Millions of kids watch their parents wearing Fitbits and Apple Watches to record amazing milestones like 10,000 steps a day, and think they could never do it. But they can – easily. In fact, research shows that 6-11-year-old kids do about 10,000-15,000 steps on a school day; adolescents do 10,000-11,700. They can hit incredible mileages! Yet British kids, on average, spend more than 20 hours a week online – swiping smartphone screens, playing consoles, streaming movies. Government research shows 74% of them spend less than 60 minutes a day outside, which is less than prison inmates....

According to The National Trust, a ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ is creating serious hidden issues among children like diminished senses, attention difficulties, higher rates of illness, and even the loss of basic – and vital – everyday functions like learning how to safely cross roads. Walking is free, simple and one of the easiest ways to get active as a family. Hitting 1000 miles in a year might seem like an impossible target now, but make a few small changes to your weekly routine and you’ll soon see the miles pile up. Ditch the car and walk to school, go for a short stroll after dinner, take stairs instead of lifts, meet up with other families who like spending time outdoors. Short, simple activities can quickly make a big difference.   You can define the #walk1000miles challenge as a family however you want – count every step of every day; just count miles you walk together as a family; or only count ’boots-on’ miles when you’re hitting countryside trails. Walking 1000 miles in a year breaks down to 2.74 miles a day. So think about this – 10,000 steps is roughly five miles for adults, so even little legs can be well on target to smash that milestone by simply leading an active life. So make those little lifestyle changes, plan regular walks and – most importantly -– keep getting outside as a family. You don’t have to walk up mountains or trudge across boggy moors (although both are great!) – just explore your local woods or country park, or take the dog for slightly longer walks. Make each walk fun and engaging. Take plenty of snacks, play games of nature bingo, hunt for creepy-crawlies, jump in muddy puddles, skim stones, climb trees, paddle in rivers – all those great things you loved doing as a kid. The most important thing is just to get out and walk as a family, and together you could achieve something amazing.

‘My children have embraced this challenge with such commitment. They’ve been my inspiration! They have been involved the whole way – the fabulous views, places, fitness – and the lows (getting lost, and the rain) but not once have they complained. Bring on next year!’
— Sally Davies

Last year’s participants said

Did your kids enjoy doing the challenge?

1000s of families polled – one VERY clear result...

#walk1000miles + Families