Last year in my constituency the daily mile initiative was launched at Pontllanfraith Primary School. What I really like about the daily mile initiative is it gets kids up and moving every day. A mile isn’t a huge distance to walk but it allows kids to get out of the classroom and learn that being active every day is important.
More children in Wales are struggling with Obesity than ever before. Shockingly Public Health Wales found that in Caerphilly 12.8% of children are classed as obese.
It is crucial that we help children learn the value of a healthy and active life style. Learning healthy habits later in life is much harder than if we learn them as young children
Obesity is one of the most dangerous public health emergencies facing Wales. The cost of treating diseases caused by obesity will only continue to grow if we do not tackle it head on. People who are overweight are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Exercise doesn’t just help people lose weight, it is also really good for mental health. Exercise can even help control anxiety and depressions.
It isn’t just children who can benefit from walking every day. British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK along with many others agree that walking 10,000 a day is a great way to be more active and lose weight. Walking can increase stamina and energy levels while burning calories and improving bone strength.
Walking has other benefits too. Walking is better for the environment than driving. Walking is also a great way to get out of the house if you are feeling isolated. If you are feeling lonely joining a walking group is a great way to meet new people.
There are lots of simple ways you can add a little bit more walking into your lifestyle; whether that means getting off the bus a stop early or walking the kids to school instead of driving. The benefits of improving mental and physical health means walking more is a brilliant healthy habit to develop.
Every extra step we take is a step in the right direction to improving our health and wellbeing. It is never too early or too late to go that extra mile.