Empty school crosswalk

It has been about two weeks since I arrived in Atlanta and one of the things that I realized earlier on is that I can’t get anywhere without a car. This is quite difficult for me because back in Korea, I could go anywhere – markets, libraries, department stores – with the help of public transportations or just walking. Korea is a small country so naturally everything you need is all in approximately 3 miles radius, kind of like New York City. I used to get at least 30 minutes of walking done just by going to school or shopping due to this kind of lifestyle. However, I can’t do that here so I feel like my body is not getting enough exercise.

Which is why I say, “Let’s walk, people!”

I realize that this is not as easy of a task as it sounds and I am not saying that you should change your entire lifestyle, but start out with something that is doable and you do everyday. My solution is walk or ride a bike to work. For those of you with kids, Back-to-School is coming up. Why not try walking to school with your kids?

Fairfax County, Virginia is carrying out an initiative to encourage students to walk to school. I think this is good because there is a statewide problem on child obesity and this would get children to incorporate exercise into their daily routines. A study has shown that larger parts of Georgia have obesity rates over 30%.

Also -- this is just my thought -- but walking your children to school may mitigate the issue of bullies. If parents organized schedules to walk their children together, the children would naturally get to know one another and make friends. Parents can watch out for their kids and it would discourage bullies from acting out since it could affect their reputations in the neighborhoods. An added benefit would be providing extra time for families to engage in conversation, building healthy communication for healthy family relationships.

Last but not least, this would improve the environment since there would be less emission due to fewer buses.

If this is a successful experiment, we have killed at least three proverbial birds with one stone. In these few weeks before the beginning of school, talk to your neighbors and try walking on the first day of school.

For more tips on healthy eating and exercises, visit GPBWell.