Benefits of Outdoor Activities
Summer is a great time for outdoor activities. You can do whatever your family enjoys, whether it’s a game of touch football, kickball, or more relaxed activities such as horseshoes, fishing, checkers or a beanbag toss. Breathing the fresh air is good for the lungs and immune system.
Studies suggest that being out in nature helps our concentration. Efforts to multitask during the day actually make it harder for us to do one job effectively. Being in a green, natural setting helps rejuvenate our brains and stimulate creativity.
Just being outside in nature helps us feel better, breathe deeper and feel renewed. Outdoor activities provide many benefits:
- Feel better emotionally: being in nature has a restoring, calming effect.
- Improve our bodies: time in nature helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
- Better exercise: studies suggest that exercising outdoors helps workouts feel more enjoyable.
- Improve your outlook: being outdoors helps you unwind, take a break from stress and ease depression.
- Reduces stress: hormones associated with stress can lead to inflammation.
Summer is picnic season! Picnics are one of several healthy and fun outdoor activities.
Picnics are a great time to reconnect with family. It’s good to put away the electronic devices and spend time together. Too often we don’t have time for “small talk” with family. A family picnic can help strengthen relationships and emotional bonds. Catch up with your friends and talk instead of text! There’s no substitute for a real, personal conversation.
Meals prepared at home for picnics are often healthier and more nutritious than fast-food fare. Bring a lot of fruit and vegetables. Get the kids involved in preparing and packing up the food. They will be more likely to eat what they help prepare and gain a sense of accomplishment.
Go Take a Hike! You will enjoy many benefits:
- Increased fitness: hiking works many muscle groups
- Hiking at you own pace puts you in control
- Helps reduce depression and anxiety
- Hiking with someone builds relationships
- Helps to stabilize blood sugar levels
- Helps to lower blood cholesterol
- Strengthens heart and lungs
Outdoor Play for Kids
Kids today spend a lot of time sitting, but playing outdoors is beneficial for them in many ways:
- Making up games stimulates the brain and helps to develop problem-solving skills.
- Playing with others develops social skills and builds friendships.
- Sunshine (in moderation) and fresh air are healthy.
- It encourages creativity.
- It promotes more physical activity. Kids need about 60 minutes of activity per day.
For more fun and meaningful outdoor activities, come volunteer with us!