As a parent, you want to keep your kids healthy and happy. So you always try to look for new ways to improve their overall well-being.
But you don’t really need to look very far or spend loads of money on the latest trends in healthcare and wellness.
All you need to do is step outside your door. It’s simple, right?
Think about it: When was the last time you played outside with your kids?
How long do you usually spend outdoors without checking your phone or watch?
Many studies have found that being cooped up indoors poses risks to both parents’ and children’s physical and mental health. It also greatly reduces stress and increases attention span.
The home becomes a comfort zone
Many parents prefer that their children remain indoors. This is for a variety of reasons.
They may feel it’s safer not to play in the streets and due to the increasing pollution, spending time outside doesn’t seem very inviting. It’s only natural for parents to want to shield their kids from all of this.
So, activities are limited to watching TV or playing video games. Sure, these are also fun. But an excess of these can pose certain health risks such as poor circulation, and obesity.
Many schools today don’t even have fields or gardens. Kids go from their homes, to their school buildings; some classrooms don’t even have enough windows for proper light and ventilation.
The Huffington post also recently cited a study which provided further proof that spending time outdoors makes us healthier and happier.
The benefits of stepping outside
It not only helps us get back in shape; it reduces stress, increases Vitamin D production, improves brain function, and it also aids in combating anxiety and depression.
The benefits of helping our kids reconnect with nature are many; they include: less stress, increased attention span, great exercise, fresh air, learning more, feeding their imagination, and bonding with parents.
In the U.S., illnesses such as depression and Attention Deficit disorder are being treated with simply spending time playing outdoors. There have even been cases where a specific park and amount of time to be spent there was prescribed to a patient.
But how do we actually achieve this without much effort?
Go to the next page for hassle-free ways your kids can enjoy spending time outside the house!
If you have a backyard, make use of it
Set up nice, comfy furniture outside (preferably teak so it doesn’t wear easily) so it’ll be more inviting to just hang out there.
Why not set up a picnic and cloud-watch? This will exercise your child’s imagination and will be a great opportunity for you guys to bond. Playing tag is also a fun way to bond while keeping fit.
Parks mean recreation!
Though you rarely get your fix of sprawling greenery if you live in the Metro, places such as Ayala Triangle or Marikina Riverbanks are great alternatives.
You don’t really have to go far. Visit your subdivision’s park and play frisbee, race each other or play other games that require movement.
Walk, Hike, Bike!
But make sure you know the safe areas to travel on. The U.P. Diliman campus is great for these activities because there really is a lot of space for runners and bikers. (There are a lot of good food places, too!)
A good place to walk while enjoying nature and art is the lovely Pinto art museum!
Don’t let chores be a bore
Come up with fun games while doing chores! For instance, when you need to hang up clothes on a clothesline, you can play ‘stop dance’
Sign up to volunteer
Spending time in animal shelters and helping out with outreach programs will get kids moving and outside their comfort zone; they also teach them compassion.
During bad weather, improvise
Of course it’s not advisable to go outdoors. Pick a nearest recreation center such as Marikina Sports Center or Ace water spa. If you don’t want to spend, just have a karaoke/dance party in your room. This will keep you moving and you don’t have to sacrifice bonding time.
With time, stepping out to enjoying nature will become second nature.
READ: 8 Nurturing reminders to sustain a healthy, bright, and happy child
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