In the world where technology has taken over everybody’s life – whether it is a kindergartener or a 35-year-old business person, the amount of time we spend amidst the beauty of nature has reduced drastically. Kids have become couch potatoes and us adults, such slaves of technology that even the weekly chore of visiting the supermarket to pick up groceries, now seems like an unnecessary effort. Though this technology boom has undoubtedly made our lives a lot simpler, it has also made us lazy, unsociable and extremely unhealthy. The repercussions of a sedentary lifestyle are far too many to ignore, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, poor eyesight and lack of focus. As parents, it’s not just your duty to ensure that your kids spend an adequate amount of time playing outdoors, but to also ensure that you join them in doing so. Here are five amazing benefits you and your kids can enjoy by spending more time together, outdoors:
- It Gives You An Excellent Opportunity To Bond With Your Kids – A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents should join their kids in outdoor play as it provides them with a wonderful opportunity to bond with their children. The study further reports that outdoor play can improve the social-emotional development in kids.
- It Improves Both You And Your Kids’ Physical And Mental Well-Being – There are many proven studies that emphasize the benefits that outdoor time have on improved physical and mental health. Outdoor activities help increase vitamin D levels in the body, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. A study conducted by Environmental Science and Technology reports that nature also has a remarkable effect on mental health as it helps boost mood and self-esteem. Another 2008 study suggests that kids suffering from ADHD report improved concentration levels by spending more time outdoors.
- It Makes Exercising More Effective – If exercising seems more like a punishment to your and your kids, heading outdoors is an excellent idea. Not only is exercising outdoors a lot more fun (who doesn’t fancy running or cycling through beautiful sceneries?), but it is also a lot more effective. Research conducted by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity suggests that older adults who spend more time exercising outdoor enjoy more physical benefits compared to those who exercise indoors. Exercising outdoors can also lower cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.
- It Makes You And Your Kids Creative – Spending time outdoors is a great way for you and your little ones to get your creative juices flowing. Too much indoor time can limit imagination and creativity in a big way. Even a little walk in the woods can work wonders towards improving the flow of ideas and creative thinking. Sure enough, when you have the bright sun, the rustling leaves and chirping birds all around you for inspiration, you’re bound to experience numerous spurts of creative energy.
- It Offers Endless Possibilities For Recreation – Unlike indoors, the outdoors provide unlimited possibilities for recreation and rejuvenation. You can plan a picnic at a park in your neighborhood or organize a bonfire in your backyard. You could go trekking with your kids or go camping in the woods. The options are endless and are all extremely exciting; surely a lot better than having everyone in your family spend their weekends hooked to on to their individual smartphones and tabs.
The outdoors can provide you a refreshing change from the monotony of your daily lives and offer numerous ways for you to unwind. They can open up a whole new world of possibilities for your kids, and ensure they emerge as healthier and happier adults. It’s time you get everyone in your family to put on their sneakers and embrace the wonderful world outside.
This post was written by Aradhana Pandey from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle.