outdoors is best

Why Outdoors is Best

outside is bestProof in the air

Most days when the weather was nice, I sent my kids outside. Life was better when my kids spent time in the outdoors. It cleared the air in the house, calmed my nerves, and provided health and stamina for their bodies and their nerves. When they resisted, I offered chores in the house or play outside. You can imagine which they chose.

Children grow best outdoors. That is because nature nourishes and replenishes us when we are outside. Granted, there are times inclement weather sends us all inside. Yet, one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for our kids is to spend time outdoors. I grew up in the outdoors. Summer days were spent outside. There was probably reasons for this: we created less mess if we were outside, we tracked in less dirt, and the noise level was down considerably. Plus, staying outside allowed us to avoid being asked to help accomplish tasks inside the house.

However,  the main  reason we were sent outside to play was because the outdoors was – and still is! –  the best play station in the world. Imaginations flourish in the outdoors. Creativity flows when we are surrounded by color, fragrance, textures, and air.

Benefits of the outdoors

In addition to less noise, confusion, and mess, the outdoors brings us healing and strength. Sunlight on our skin creates the manufacture of Vitamin D, an important vitamin for growth and bone health. Kids especially need plenty of Vitamin D to provide bone density for growth. Vitamin D through sunlight supports healthy bones, manages calcium levels, reduces inflammation, and supports the immune system and glucose metabolism.

Playing outside improves a person’s immune system. Studies show that being outside builds immunity.  Natural immunity is a win for everyone.

Adults and children alike benefit from a brisk walk or playing outside. Sitting on a porch and allowing the sun to penetrate your skin brings benefits as well. Fresh air with activity increases metabolism and helps us sleep better at night. It invigorates our bodies and helps with muscle healing and growth.

outside is bestElectronics versus exposure

Our minds can only handle so much time on electronic devices. The more we get, the more we want – and the worse it is for our bodies. Whether we spend time watching TV, movies, or playing games, we spiral downward because of the effects of dopamine. Screen use releases dopamine in the brain. Dopamine can negatively affect impulse control. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter; too much or too little of it causes problems. Children who are used to being inside on electronic devices will fight to stay inside, rather than go outside. They want to be entertained instead of finding or making their own entertainment. 

Exposure to sunlight lifts the mood and brings invigoration. Take away the screens and send your kids out to play, even when they resist and complain of boredom. When all the props are gone, they will find a way to entertain themselves. It’s amazing what a stick or piece of board can become when a child is left to his own devices. Your children will discover that truly, outdoors is best.

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