In today’s technological world, everyone spends time plugged in. Playing video games, working online, computer use, or checking mobile devices, the use of modern technology is the norm. In many cases, work or school requires the widespread use of devices to succeed.
Have you ever thought about the long term effects on your overall well-being? Sitting at the desk or being immobile for long periods of time has both physical and mental consequences. Consider taking the time each day to unplug and go outdoors.
Benefits of Being Outdoors
When the weather permits, spending time outdoors is essential to your health. Even a short 20-minute walk has numerous benefits for you and your loved ones. In order to get the most out of your walk, you should leave your devices to home. Don’t panic; always carry a cell phone for real emergencies. Consider placing the phone on vibrate for the duration of your walk.
- Increase Natural Vitamin D Intake
Short periods of time in the sun allows the natural intake of Vitamin D. Helping your body function properly, Vitamin D helps maintain a healthy, strong immune system.
- Improve Sleep
Being outdoors can actually help improve sleep patterns. Exposing your body to sunlight helps regulate your internal body clock. Allowing your body to welcome rest at night, you will be able to regulate your sleep patterns.
Being outdoors gets your body moving. A walk around the block, trip to your local park, walk through a public garden or hiking a nearby trail helps keep your body fit.
- Reduces Stress
Being outdoors allows your body to relax. At times, daily schedules are hectic. Little league, dance classes, business meetings, school and family commitments may quickly become overwhelming. Going outdoors helps restore your mental clarity. In nature, you will relax and enjoy your surroundings. Reducing your stress levels helps promote both physical and mental well-being.
- Learning Experience
Being outdoors is a great way to increase your knowledge about the natural world and your local environment. If you are walking or hiking with your children, introducing flowers, birds, insects and other natural wonders will increase curiosity for further learning. Children who are curious about nature will explore subjects further.
- When walking with your children, use the time for quality interaction. Ask your children open ended questions.
- Introduce your children to wildlife
- Remind your children the importance of respecting nature. For example, picking up an insect may cause the creature to bite. Or being off the path may create a dangerous situation.
- Create a photo journal of animals, flowers, and other forms of wildlife
- Create a keepsake box for special finds. Remember to follow all rules for hiking in parks and other public areas.
Upon returning home, ask your child questions about the walk. Consider writing down the response for younger children. Older children may write or draw their own favorite park moment. Keep the responses for future memory keepsake. Simple walks may turn into a lifetime of memories.