parenting advice
by ian g

Parenting Advice: A Walk In The Park

Article by Deanna Mascle

Today when I picked up my son from school we did not go home or run errands. Instead we headed to our local park and went for a walk. Well, truthfully, I walked and he rode his scooter. Sometimes when we take a walk in the park he rides his bike. That is not important. What is important is that we are outside doing something active together. There are three good reasons why you should take your child for a walk in the park.

An important reason for taking regular walks with your child is health. Your health and your child’s health can benefit from walking. An estimated 65 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years and older are either overweight or obese. Between 5-25 percent of children and teenagers in the United States are overweight or obese.

Risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, occur with increased frequency in overweight children and adults as does Type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. This increases to 80 percent if one or more parent is overweight or obese.

Walking at a brisk but comfortable pace for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week increases the oxygen intake to the blood and strengthens your heart, improves circulation, and lowers blood pressure. Walking also helps your body regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

In addition to health benefits, walking also offers emotional benefits for your relationship with your child. If you make it a point to walk together at least three times a week then that is three occasions when you can talk without distraction or interruption. You can focus on what your child is saying (or not saying) and ask questions about your child’s life. You can also talk about other issues big and small that impact your child and the world. If your child can rely on these occasions then they will also take the opportunity to raise concerns and questions they have as well.

Finally, walking offers social benefits that can help build a stronger relationship with your child and create lasting memories. While not every walk will inspire laughter and joy over time there will be events and shared experiences that will last a lifetime. It is these type of memories that bring families closer together.

So my parenting advice is simply to take a walk in the park, a hike in the woods, or a stroll through your neighborhood with your child. It will be provide many health, social and emotional benefits for you and your child.

Deanna Mascle shares more parenting advice and parenting tips at


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