Healthy Families

Easy Ways to Spend More Time Outdoors

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Ah, the health benefits of fresh air and sunshine are incomparable. Vitamin D from the sunshine helps everything from our metabolism and bones to improving our skin. It's an essential vitamin. And there's something that's just good for the soul when you spend time outside.

Easy Ways to Spend More Time Outdoors

Getting Children Outdoors

Children often need to be motivated to get outside. There are so many activities to keep them busy inside that they forget how much fun outside can be.

Once they're outside, they're free to run, play, climb and jump. They get up and off the couch and move their bodies the way they were intended.

Activity is good for children. But how do you get them outside? There are a few ways you can approach it.

Get Sneaky

Ask your child to walk the dog, go get the mail or have them ride their bike to school instead of driving them every day.

They'll be spending time outside and they won't even know you're making them do it. Ask them to rake the leaves, water the garden or mow the lawn. Chances are, once they've finished the activity, they'll stay outside.

Additionally, if you go outside to work with them, you'll be showing them a good example. You'll be surprised – if you head outside to read a book or just sit and watch the dog play, children often follow you out there.

Make It Fun

Another way to get your children outside is to make it a fun place to be. Do you have a tree in your yard? Trim it so it's a good climbing tree. Add a swing to the tree so kids can play on it. Buy outdoor toys that kids want to play with. When they're bored or during nice weather days, send them outside to play.

Make It a Family Affair

Take bike rides, walks, and hikes as a family. The more time you spend outside, the more your children will realize that it's a fun place to be. They'll grow up to appreciate outdoor activity.

Be a good role model and your children will naturally follow your reactions. Walk to places or ride your bike when you can. Spend time in your yard and just hang out outside. Create reasons for everyone to be outside.

As your child learns how much fun they can have outside, they'll learn to appreciate it more. They'll develop habits that motivate them to spend time outside as they're growing and when they've become adults. Of course, as with most children, you'll occasionally have to remind them to “go outside and play.”

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