I am a big advocate of getting outside, especially when it comes to children. There are so many benefits to getting outside. Obesity is a growing issue in the United States, as most of us are aware. Getting outdoors and going for strolls downtown or hikes in the woods can help people feel good about themselves and start the road to becoming a healthier weight.
Doing activities outdoors can also help with depression, especially with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Getting extra vitamin D from the sun will help anyone feel better, but taking the time to “smell the roses”, meditate, and just enjoy the simplicity of nature will help clear your mind of everyday problems and stress. Who couldn’t use a little de-stressing every now and then, right?
Spending time outdoors with your children is a great learning opportunity for them. (You may be surprised what you learn as well!) Children, especially younger ones, learn primarily through exploring on their own terms and playing. Let them wander around your yard at home or take them to a state or national park; these places generally have wonderful people who thoroughly enjoy what they do and love teaching others about different aspects of the world around us.
One of the main reasons I’m writing this post and subsequently holding a giveaway for Jennifer Ward’s “I Love Dirt!” book is to help people become unafraid of the outdoors. Many people nowadays seem to be scared to death they (or their children) are going to burst into flames or have an accident as soon as they step foot outside. Don’t get me wrong. You should still take the necessary precautions when doing outdoor activities, whether it be applying appropriate, more natural-based, sunscreen, wearing the proper attire such as sunhats, or wearing baby in a breathable carrier. What I am suggesting is that we all put our smart phones down for awhile, turn the computer off, unplug the video game system and spend some time getting re-acquainted with Mother Nature. There are more pros than cons. :)