MFF and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) are launching Walk and Wheel Wednesdays to give Michigan families opportunities for healthy and fun outdoor activity.
Beginning May 6, families are invited to be active by spending at least 20 minutes outside every Wednesday. This includes walking, bicycling, hiking or other outdoor activities with individuals from the same household. While being active, families are reminded to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other members of the public, avoid all shared outdoor equipment, cover coughs and sneezes, and wash hands immediately upon returning home.
Families are encouraged to post photos of their Walk and Wheel Wednesdays activities to social media by tagging @MichiganFitness and @MichiganDOT with the hashtag #WalkandWheelMI.
The initiative is spearheaded by MFF through their Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program with support from the MDOT. SRTS collaborates with schools throughout the school year to improve students’ ability to safely walk and bike to school by providing students with bicycling and pedestrian education and activities, such as Walk and Bike to School Day. Visit saferoutestoschool.org for additional information.
For tips to make your outing safe and enjoyable, MDOT offers the following pedestrian/bicyclist safety tips:
- Plan your route.
- Always wear a helmet when riding a bike.
- Stay visible. Wear light and bright colored clothing. If you must be out at night, wear reflective clothing.
- Stay alert. Enjoy time away from the phone.
- Walk on sidewalks. If no sidewalks are available, ensure that there is safe distance between yourself and passing vehicles and walk facing traffic.
- Children can ride their bicycle on the sidewalk. If riding in the street; please ride with traffic, obey all traffic laws, and use proper hand signals.
- When possible, cross at a crosswalk. Only cross when safe to do so. Make eye contact with the drivers and make sure all cars have stopped before crossing.
Physical activity at an early age, such as walking or bicycling, helps reduce stress, heart disease, diabetes, and other obesity-related illnesses. With many families staying home to help reduce spread of COVID-19, Walk and Wheel Wednesdays offer families the opportunity to be healthy while learning about safe bicycling, walking and ways to connect as a family through physical activity.