As a kid you were told that "the fresh air will do you good" and now you likely tell your children the same thing. While this statement is true, it might be a mystery why fresh air is good for children. Being outside in the fresh air has at the very least 10 health benefits for kids.
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Getting fresh air has actual measurable physical health benefits for children. Kids who are outside are more likely to get their daily dosage of vitamin D, which assists in bone strength and lowers risks of cancer. The National Wildlife Federation also found that children who play outdoors are less likely to have natural nearsightedness. Additionally, outside kids are likely to engage in active play for at least an hour a day, which helps ward off childhood obesity.
Time outside has proven to soothe children, lowering their risk of hyperactivity and depression. The American Academy of Pediatrics also notes that children who watch TV and play video games throughout the day, rather than playing outdoors, have shorter attention spans. When children play outside they are more likely to use their imagination, creative play and inventions, which expands their creative thinking.
Children who are healthier tend to get better grades, and playing outside creates healthier minds and bodies. Kids are less likely to act out when they play outside away from the violence of televisions and video games. As children play outdoors with others, they interact, create and play together directly, which enhances their ability to get along with others.
Get Out There
To facilitate your child's outdoor play, create a mandatory outdoor playtime each day when your child gets at least one hour of outdoor time. Go on a picnic or just eat on the back porch. Go for a family bike ride or nature hike. Invest in some outdoor play equipment, such as a basketball hoop. According to the National Wildlife Federation, kids who are sedentary lose three to five years off their overall life span, so getting your kids outdoors can make a real impact on their future.