Health and Wellness - Take a hike

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Public Health

October weather is perfect for a walk outside. October 4 is National Walk to School Day, and on October 5 there will be a noon walk in Adel for everyone.

The health benefits of walking are many, for children and adults. Walking can help you maintain a healthy weight. Many children and adolescents are overweight, which puts them at risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. People who are overweight as children are much more prone to struggle with their weight throughout their lives.

Children who engage in a daily walk also get the benefit of improved mental health. A brisk walk triggers endorphins (natural feel-good chemicals) in the bloodstream, which elevates your mood. Starting your child’s day with this natural mood enhancement will help him approach school with a positive attitude.

For the adults who walk their children to school, additional benefits are strengthened bones and muscles, and improved balance and coordination. Finally, a study from the University of Virginia found that men between the ages of 71 and 93 who walked more than a quarter of a mile per day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those who walked less.