How the Outdoors Keeps Kids Healthy
I’m not just a health and fitness coach; I’m also a mom. And as such, I don’t want to just help you improve your health – I also want to help our future generations lead healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives, too.
So today, I’d like focus on the kids – specifically, on how time spent outdoors can influence them, improve their health and make them happier in the long run.
Kids & The Outdoors
Since I grew up in Tanana, a small Alaskan fishing village, I spent a lot of time outdoors. In most cities and towns nowadays, kids simply aren’t outside very often. They spend most of their days watching TV, playing video games, or hanging out with friends indoors. They have no need – nor want – to spend time outside.
Unfortunately, not spending time outdoors can have grave effects on our children’s lives. Without those valuable hours in the sun, they miss out on crucial physical activity, vitamin D exposure, and many, many more benefits.
Here’s what just a little bit of daily time outside can do for a child:
- Improve their vitamin D levels – Vitamin D is crucial to any person, but especially to a growing child. It can improve bone health, prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, lower blood pressure and more.
- Relieve their stress and anxiety – Exposure to sunlight, grass, dirt, and trees can increase endorphin levels, leaving children happier and more at ease. In fact, studies show that kids’ stress levels fall dramatically within just a few minutes of hitting the outdoors.
- Build up their imagination and creativity – When left to roam free, explore nature and play outside, kids begin to develop new and creative ways to have fun. These increased levels of creativity can carry on throughout the rest of their lives.
- Develop their attachment to nature and increase spirituality – The more time a child spends outdoors, the more connected they feel to it and the world. It also increases their respect for nature and the environment.
Improve their emotional health – According to a recent study, children who spend at least 5-10 hours a week outside show increased levels of peacefulness, happiness and a sense of belonging.
- Control ADHD symptoms – A good amount of outdoor time a week has also been shown to improve focus and decrease ADHD symptoms in many children. No medications needed!
- Fight off obesity – Childhood obesity is growing at an alarming rate. Increased levels of outdoor play help stave this off and encourage healthy, fit bodies in our future generations.
- Improve their vision – Surprisingly, outdoor time can also improve a child’s distance vision and even lower their risk of developing nearsightedness.
- Encourage higher intelligence – Statistics show that kids who spend more time outside tend to score higher in math, reading, listening and writing.
Remember, the benefits of nature aren’t only reserved for children. In addition to encouraging your kids to head outside more often, make it a point to include more hours outdoors for yourself, too. Go on walks, jog around the neighborhood, or just eat dinner on the patio once or twice a week. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your life. You’ll feel happier, healthier, and more at peace.
~ Be Happy, Healthy and Fit in Mind, Body and Spirit ~ Visit DiviniFit.com for daily health, fitness & lifestyle tips ~
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