With all of the technology available to kids nowadays, it’s easy for them to switch on the iPad or turn on the TV when they’re bored.
This season, encourage your kids to put down the electronics and get outside for some fresh air. Not only will this get them up and moving, but just breathing in some fresh air can do a lot for their health!
We’ll talk about how to get them outside, but first we’re breaking down how fresh air helps your child benefit from:
- Free Vitamin D
- Nature as medicine
- Improved eyesight
- Less stress
- Better social skills
- Sharper mind
How Your Child Can Benefit From More Fresh Air
1. Free Vitamin D
Today’s kids aren’t getting enough fresh air and it shows in the growing problem that is Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is good for helping your body absorb calcium which results in stronger bones. Just getting outside and into the sun can raise your child’s Vitamin D levels, so encourage them to get out there and enjoy the fresh air!
2. Nature as medicine
Kids who spend more time outside are more likely to lead a healthier life. It’s that simple! More time spent outdoors means more physical activity which is great for all areas of health. Studies show that kids who get outside more are less likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, type two diabetes or high cholesterol as adults.
Kids who get lots of fresh air are also more likely to have healthier hearts, more flexible joints and stronger lungs than kids who spend more time indoors. You know what they say… an hour a day keeps the doctor away!
3. Improved eyesight
Artificial lighting is the root of all evil when it comes to eyesight. The light that comes from things like cell phones, televisions and computers are actually harmful to the human eye. Our eyes–especially young eyes–aren’t made to look directly at light for a long period of time, so all of that time spent on cell phones or iPads could actually be damaging your child’s eyes in the long run.
In fact, studies show that kids who spend more time outdoors are less likely to develop nearsightedness. Getting outside and into the fresh air is an excellent opportunity to give those little eyes a break.
4. Less stress
Yes, even kids get stressed out! With all of the stimulation from things like technology and social media, kids in this generation are showing much higher signs of anxiety and depression than generations preceding them.
Kids who spend more time outdoors show improved self-esteem and reduced feelings of depression, anger, and tension. In fact, the fresh air along with the soothing atmosphere of trees and plants can actually be quite calming for kids.
Bonus points: This is an advantage of fresh air that adults can certainly benefit from too!
5. Better social skills
Kids who play outdoors are often accompanied by other kids. Putting down the technology and interacting with others is a great way for kids to build their social development that kids today often lack. Kids who get outside more often are better at interacting and making friends with other kids.
Not only that, but kids who spend more time outside interacting and less time inside playing video games or watching television show less signs of violence throughout their life.
6. Sharper mind
The very act of going outside to play and explore helps kids develop creativity and imagination. Two things that are so important for higher cognitive functioning. According to studies done surrounding standardized testing, kids who breathe in fresher air actually perform better in school too and have longer attention spans. What’s not to love?
See our blog on purifying your indoor air to learn how to get high quality air indoors, naturally.
How to do it! How to get kids out in the fresh air
This can be tricky. With all of the technology available these days, it can be tough even as adults to put down the cell phone and get outside. Not only is it important that your children get fresh air, but it’s also important that they enjoy themselves too! Here are some tips to getting your kids outdoors:
1. Keep It Fun
Kids will do just about anything you ask them to do if there’s fun involved! If it’s warm outside, set up a sprinkler. Or set up a playdate for your kids and their friends to play outdoors together. Allow your kids to bring indoor toys, outdoors. Whatever it takes to instill some fun!
Tip: Make outdoor fun a habit by opting to do things outside, instead of the mall or the movies.
2. Make It A Family Affair
Make it a point to spend more family time outdoors. Start going on regular bike rides or walks with your kids. Or have a picnic at a park every now and then! This kind of family bonding will stay with your child forever and besides, even adults could use some fresh air!
3. Think Beyond The Backyard
In the Carolinas, we have access to all the best things nature has to offer. Make the outdoors an adventure by planning a trip to the mountains. Or head to the beach to explore the ocean. Even taking a walk around a park near your home is enough if it means getting your kids excited about being outside!
But also, think inside the backyard!
What’s safer than your own backyard? There’s nothing quite like opening the door and letting your kids go and play without having to worry. Build a garden for your kids to help maintain, set up a play set for them to play in or allow your kids to bring indoor toys outdoors! The options are endless.
We hope that these tips will encourage you to get your kids outdoors and take in all that awesome fresh air! Not only will encouraging outdoor play benefit your child’s health and well-being, it can also teach them the value of nature. See our blog on simple ways to teach your kids to go green for more ideas!
At Killingsworth, we place high importance on the outdoors. Our expert staff is specialized in the various ways to make sure your outdoors is safe and enjoyable. Schedule a service with us today!