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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The roads were packed bright and early Wednesday morning near Rosewood Elementary but not by cars or buses but by people. It was a similar situation at more than 200 schools across the state.

Wednesday is International Walk to School Day, a day thousands where thousands of kids got to school the old fashioned way.

Walking requires a series of simple movements, one foot forward followed by the other; however, there is nothing simple about the benefits.

" We have so many children and families that participate in this event that it is an annual event," said Rosewood Elementary's principal, Elizabeth Williams. "It's something that we all enjoy and look forward to. It takes a little coordination but the rewards are great!"

Thousands of schools took part in the walk across the United States with more than 200 from South Carolina alone.

"It's a way for us to get our students together and our community to celebrate walking to school. To do so we promote physical activity and build a sense of community. "

Keeping in mind that childhood obesity is on the rise, here's an example of how an everyday activity can help when it comes to staying fit.

According to healthyweightforum .org, if a 100 lb child walks at 2 miles per hour for just 20 minutes, they will burn an extra 39 calories a day. That comes out to 273 calories a week, 1,092 a month and 13,104 a year. Let's break that down to something all kids understand; that's equivalent to 164 Oreo Cookies a year.

In addition to the weight factor according to the CDC physical activity lowers the risk of colon and breast cancer. Letsmove.gov recommends that children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day to grow up to a healthy weight.

So walking a short distance could mean living a long healthy life.

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