It’s never a bad idea to spend more time outside. Unfortunately, you might not always have the motivation to “get out there.” There’s no question that across the globe, people are living in stressful times – so getting outdoors could be the start of rejuvenating yourself and your family.
By increasing your family’s time outside in healthy ways, you can start to see benefits very quickly. Those benefits can improve your mental health if you’re struggling throughout this pandemic. It can also help to take care of your heart health and potentially reduce your risk of developing certain conditions.
Most importantly, by increasing your family’s time outside in healthy ways, you’ll teach your kids the importance of being in nature and respecting it, so they can pass those ideas on for generations to come.
So, why should you spend more time outside with your family, and what are the benefits?
What Health Benefits Are There?
One of the main reasons to increase your family’s time outside in healthy was is actually to improve everyone’s health – physically and mentally. According to Harvard Medical School, children need to spend time outside and play. It helps them with things like:
- Getting enough sun to produce adequate Vitamin D
- Regular exercise
- Executive function
Being active outside can also improve your overall mental health. It can boost levels of serotonin in your brain, leading to more energy, feelings of happiness, and less stress. That’s something anyone can benefit from – no matter their age.
Nature also fuels creativity and can be inspiring. Children need opportunities to stretch their imaginations. Being outside allows them to do that, both by socialising with others and thinking of creative games to play on their own. Even as an adult, you can give your creativity a boost by spending more active time outside. If you’re feeling “stuck” or overwhelmed in any way, it’s an incredible solution that could make a difference immediately.
So, while the physical benefits of increasing time outside might be more obvious, consider the non-physical benefits, too, and take them just as seriously as you’re encouraging your family to get outdoors.
Activities you can do together outside
Being outside is good for your overall health. But, depending on what you choose to do, you can experience other benefits, as well. For example, certain outdoor activities can be beneficial to the environment. You can use them as a platform for teaching your family about sustainability, climate change, and even regenerative farming.
One of the easiest ways to do that is by starting a garden. Have your children help you by letting them pick out their favourite fruits and vegetables and create a garden together. You can choose a small raised-bed option, or turn a larger area of your yard into your own “crop central.” Gardening has incredible health benefits, including the fact that it’s a great workout and a fantastic way to de-stress. Plus, you can teach your kids about how to eat healthily and get them excited about fruits and vegetables.
You can also turn your outdoor adventures into eco-friendly practices by cleaning up. Go for an adventure away from your own backyard, and have a “trash pickup” day. A great option is to scope out your local beach. They are often, unfortunately, loaded with litter. Your kids will love being able to fill a trash bag with the things they find, and you can walk away with a sense of pride.
How to Get Started
There is really no “wrong” way to spend more time outside. Even if you’re strictly concerned with improving your mental and physical health, increasing your family’s time outside is an easy way to do it.
But, for some families, it can be hard to get started. You might not be used to spending a lot of time outdoors, and while simply being out together is a good start, it’s okay to wonder what activities can be fun for everyone. Some of the best backyard activities for kids include:
- Drawing with chalk
- Playing with a kickball
- Going on a treasure hunt
- Creating an obstacle course
- Having a water balloon fight
When you’re taking part in physical activities for your health, it’s important to keep your total wellness in mind. Make sure your family (kids especially) is staying fully hydrated. Younger children are at a greater risk of dehydration, so if you notice them becoming fatigued, it’s important to take a break and get them a drink immediately.
Whether you want your family to be more physically active, enjoy the mental health benefits of being outside, or do something good for the planet, you don’t need an excuse to spend more time outside.
Keep these ideas in mind and allow yourself to have fun as you share these wonderful outdoor benefits with the people you love most.
Do you want to create healthy, lifegiving relationships with your family? Do you struggle to connect with each other? Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online now.