In today’s world of advanced technology, it is often easy to get caught up in the virtual world, and not spend enough time in the real world.
Yet, spending time outdoors - as well as teaching yoga outside - is especially beneficial for kids’ physical and mental health. So, as the kids go back to school this fall, make sure you make time and space for outdoor play. Just because summer is over, this doesn’t mean that it’s time to stay indoors all the time.
Take a look at 4 positive benefits to spending time outside with children.
Getting out of the house and staying active is great for kids and adults of all ages. Outdoor activities can be as simple as taking a walk in your own neighborhood or going to a nearby park. Some other examples of fun, kid-oriented activities that provide exercise include swimming, rock-climbing, trampolining, and even yoga! Yoga has been proven to increase flexibility and strength, both physically and mentally.
Check out these useful tips for practicing yoga with your kids.
2. Vitamin D
Not only does being outside encourage activity and exercise, it also gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine. Sun helps convert vitamin D into a form that your body needs to stay healthy! This vitamin is found in a limited number of foods, which is why spending some time in the sun is so important for your health, as well as that of your kids. For starters, vitamin D helps keep your bones and teeth strong, is critical is maintaining cardiovascular health, and supports your brain and immune system. Just remember to apply sunblock, SPF 30 or higher, and re-apply it regularly. You only need a few minutes of daily sun exposure to get all of the vitamin D that you need!
3. Lower Stress Levels
Spending time outdoors isn’t just beneficial for your physical health. It is equally beneficial for your mental health. It has been shown that people who feel stressed and overworked feel significantly better after spending time outside. Nature’s calm helps you to recharge, clear your mind and promote inner peace. Kids and teens who have to tackle a stressful project or school assignment should consider working outside (when the weather is nice), to reduce stress and promote creativity.
4. Stay Healthy
Seasonal colds and viruses are much more common in the cold weather. Why? Because when kids stay inside to play, their illnesses will spread more easily to other children. Being outdoors makes it less likely that your child will catch her friend’s summer cold or fall flu because the virus isn’t contained in a small space.
Indeed, getting outside keeps everyone feel healthier. Here’s another reason why you should get kids outside to stay healthy: the sun’s UV rays kill bacteria and viruses. So basking in the sun, in moderation, actually helps to fight off infections!
Spending time outside is a crucial part of your kids’ health and development. The great outdoors provides access to exercise, vitamin D, reduced stress, and good health. Equally important, kids generally enjoy being outdoors! Don’t you remember your own positive experiences playing outside with the other neighborhood kids? In today’s world, we sometimes forget that.
So, while watching TV and playing games on iPads can be very entertaining, be sure to encourage kids to turn their devices off and explore the beauty of the world around them. Here’s to good health this school year!
Emily Kitchin is a content writer at Pretzel Kids