Director's Outlook: Three Actions for Health to Take in November

Deb HubsmithYou might have heard that I was diagnosed on October 17 with acute myeloid leukemia, and I am now in the hospital healing. I so greatly appreciate the outpouring of support of prayers and healing vibrations from the community- it lifts my spirits and helps me to stay strong.

 As I take this time to focus on healing, I draw strength from knowing that you are all out there working diligently to grow, build and invigorate the Safe Routes to School movement – which is all about health. So I’m suggesting three actions that you can take this month to continue to increase momentum for walking, bicycling, and increasing physical activity in our daily lives. 

Attend the Shared Use: Is It In You? Webinar on November 7. Shared use agreements are gaining traction in communities across the country as strategies to increase opportunities for physical activity. Making use of school facilities that would not otherwise be used after school hours allows for a more efficient use of public space and money, and is a promising strategy to combat childhood obesity, particularly in underserved communities. Attend the webinar hosted by the National Partnership to gain knowledge and tips on providing tools to engage key stakeholders like principals, school board members and superintendents in the discussion around shared use agreements. Register for the webinar here.

Organize a walking meeting at work. Eighty percent of Americans work at jobs that require little to no physical activity during the day and that’s not good! Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and kids need 60 minutes. Make one of your meetings this month a walking meeting, and your co-workers will thank you for the opportunity to move around and be active. Plus – moving while you’re working stimulates the brain in new ways and you just might get some completely amazing and new ideas. You get bonus points if you can convince a skeptical boss to adopt this as a regular practice! 

Tell us your story. We know there are so many more great Safe Routes to School success stories in urban, rural and suburban areas all around the country, and we want to hear them!  Your story about overcoming obstacles to implementing Safe Routes to School, shared use agreements, Complete Streets policies, MAP-21 funding and a walking school bus or bike train success will educate and inspire Safe Routes to School champions around the country. Use our webform to submit your story, and we’ll get in touch with you soon to elevate and share your story.

I have been so touched by the outpouring of support and well wishes – thank you so much! I am feeling strong and walking 30 minutes each day around the hospital to stay active. Thank you again for all of your amazing work – you are making a positive difference in the lives of many.