How would you like to give your kid a present that will help shape their adulthood mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally, while guiding them to avoid lifestyle disease, all without spending a dime? Provide them what my father provided me: Beginning at toddler age, take them on periodic walks. I recommend this not from a parent’s point of view, but as a former kid.
I loved walking with my dad since I was able to put one foot in front of the other. I enjoyed the fresh air, the movement of the walk, the varied terrain, the change of scenery, and the discussions we had. Walks with him are some of my earliest memories, and after 4+ decades, our walks continue on a regular basis, together and separate.
Over the years, my father and I have literally walked thousands of miles together, the benefits of which have been priceless. I’m grateful that Dad carved that walking channel into my mind so early in life. My daily walks today, during all 4 seasons, provide the wellspring for life’s essential resources. Here are 4 examples of why you might consider giving your child the same gift.
Creativity is Tapped
We now know that brain activity is increased when walking. I can personally sense this during each morning march, wherein my most effective business ideas are born. In an entirely unscientific presumption, a child whose brain is brisk with the sights, sounds and physical exertion of walk-taking can benefit with accelerated learning and an advanced creative toolbox.
Bonding is Maximized
Walking with a parent is an ideal way for your child to share ideas, especially about the challenges that lie ahead in their teen years. Your child needn’t look you in the eye during walk discussions, which creates a setting for honesty and candidness, allowing you to feel each other out on topics that you might otherwise avoid.
Long-Term Physical Fitness is Achieved
Walking can certainly be a person’s main source of physical fitness, provided you get your heartbeat up past 120 beats per minute for 20 minutes. As we get older, it’s one of the most effective ways to maintain fitness. After all, our bodies are designed for walking. It takes no special equipment and can be done virtually anywhere. Developing those core muscles early in your child’s life will serve them exponentially as they get older.
TV is Avoided
The average American watches 30 hours of television per week, on top of all the time squandered surfing the web, messaging and gaming. We can have our children sit passively and indulge in the non-reality of life, or we can expose them to the gifts that are waiting right in their own “backyard”. In a perfect world, walking with your kid will tame their digital sweet-tooth in a culture that tempts us with more and more reasons to stay indoors and stare at a screen.