Posts Tagged ‘benefits of nature’

Making Nature Time a Priority

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

IMG_7347It’s not only fun to spend time playing outside–it actually has some serious health benefits. So if the kids get dirtier than you really wanted them to, keep in mind that they’re doing something that’s good for them. First of all it can help all of you calm down. So if you’ve been cooped up indoors during the cold winter months chances are you all have a little too much extra energy. Running around outside can help get the wiggles out but it also helps you feel more relaxed, peaceful and grounded.

Making nature time a regular part of your life, preferably on a daily basis, has even been shown by studies to help kids concentrate and focus. They also have fewer symptoms of ADHD when compared to kids that spend their afternoons and weekends playing indoors.  According to the Natural Learning Initiative there are several more reasons to get your kids outside. These include: supporting creativity and problem solving, enhancing cognitive abilities, improving academic performance, promoting physical activity, reducing stress, improving eyesight, improving self-discipline and social relations.

Personally I believe any time kids get to spend outdoors versus indoors is great but playing on a play structure at the park wont exactly get you the same benefits. Instead try to find a “natural area.” Someplace with trees to run around in or climb, rocks to lift up, a stream to poke a stick in, leaves to pick up, critters to watch-anything that lets them use their imagination and get moving in a real natural environment.

I like to aim for at least thirty minutes of outdoor, nature time a day. Since we like in Oregon it’s pretty easy to find nature here, it’s everywhere. Sometimes my daughter prefers to play on a play structure than go for a hike so I try to make sure to take her to a park that also has a great area to play in and when she’s done with the play structure it’s pretty easy to take her to play around the dirt! Be creative, go for hikes, find different spots and find what works best for your family. You’ll all have fun and you’ll all benefit from your time outside.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor and online fitness coach. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception to those trying to get their grove back after pregnancy to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mom and baby.