Childrearing in today’s modern culture is overwhelming, but being outdoors may still be the gold standard in their health and wellness.
Research has finally caught up to what some parents have been touting since the dawn of time — the outdoors is a vital part of your child’s health and development.
In a often sterile and over-santitzed society, being outdoors better builds their immunity and supports many facets of emotional wellness in addition.
At Huneycutt Family Medicine, we are a general practitioner’s office in Loveland that focuses on the entire family and provides medical care from sports physicals to immunizations. Join us in today’s blog as we explore nature and how it’s so advantageous to our kids!
The Great Outdoors and The Health of Our Kids
The sunshine. The fragrant spring blooms. The rich soil. Nature does something to our wellbeing that helps calm our stressful and hectic lives — less stress equals a greater functioning immune system! There are countless studies on how the great outdoors benefit our lives, read a couple here and here.
But, how about our kids, how do the great outdoors impact their lives? In a longitudinal Danish study following people between 1985 and 2003 it studied how the amount of green space available impacted their mental health. The study concluded that the more a child spent in green space, the lower their risk of mental health issues would present in adulthood.
In a time where screen time trumps a lot of what we do, it’s imperative as a parent to take time and foster and prioritize outdoor time with your kids — for their health!
Below are the perks your kids can get from spending time in the great outdoors!
The outdoors are a natural stress-buster!
More and more we’re seeing kids feel the intense pressure to perform, and with this comes stress. Instead of being a kid, their days are jam-packed with activities to help them get a leg up on their competition.
Nature is the antithesis!
When you allow your kid to run and play outside it cultivates a resiliency to stress and can become a great coping mechanism. It calms the nerves and helps reset their parasympathetic nervous system.
And the best thing about it is, it doesn’t have to be anything over the top or a long, mountainous hike — it can simply be taking them to a park or out for an evening stroll.
The outdoors spurs children’s creativity.
Keeping creativity alive is something we all want to preserve and research has found that kids tend to be more creative when they’re exposed to nature. All of their senses are stirred — from the sight and sound of a woodpecker to feeling the cold river water. Because more of their senses are being activated, they’re more engaged and aware of their surroundings.
It also lends itself to be great for helping kids stay focused, thus stay on task and create!
The outdoors help stave childhood obesity.
One of the largest epidemics children face is childhood obesity and when kids are given the opportunity to be outside,generally they’re more physically active which is great for keeping them healthy.
So, instead of being inside parked in front of screens, kids are climbing, running, and jumping often unbeknownst to them that they’re getting physical activity because it’s so fun!
Whether you have a little one just learning to walk or a moody teenager, it’s never too late for them to experience the real health benefits of nature. Quell stress, increase their creativity, and keep them physically healthy with the help of the great outdoors.