Children Of All Ages Benefit From Outdoor Activities

There’s something about being outdoors that adds a spark to a child. Regardless of the weather, most children can’t wait to get outside to play. There’s so much to explore and do, the heat, the rain, the snow, even cold winds don’t seem to slow them down.

Children seem to spend more energy when they are outdoors. We usually attribute them being worn out to “all the fresh air”. Regardless of what the cause actually is, you can see it even in babies; they tend to sleep better after a walk around the block or some time play time sitting under a tree.

Children are naturally active and curious. Being outdoors allows many opportunities to satisfy both of these at the same time. They create games that allow them to run and jump or climb. They play louder and faster. Playing outside strengthens their muscles, their imaginations and their lungs.

It doesn’t seem to matter which toys they have or don’t have, the outdoors has a whole new set of rules as far as play goes. A child that is bored and troublesome indoors may be actively engaged with a group and well behaved outdoors.

In your own backyard, there are many opportunities to stimulate your child’s imagination. There’s a whole world to explore from blowing the seeds from a “dandelion puff” to bugs and birds and squirrels. There are trees and flowers, dirt and maybe even some sand. Falling leaves or falling snow; both will provide more than one afternoon of play.

It’s hard to imagine that the feel of the grass on their feet for the first time is a brand new and upsetting experience for most children. They are usually introduced to the grass at a very early age. It is stiff and sharp, and painful. Even cutting the grass higher doesn’t do much for their delicate skin. Be sure to provide a mat or playpen for very young children to help them enjoy being outdoors.

Many older children participate in after school activities, including sports. These organized activities may keep them active during the school year, but many of the same children are lost without them. They are unsure of what to do with themselves once the season or the school year ends.

While these activities are excellent for children, they must also be pushed to go outside for some unstructured time. This will not only help keep their imagination growing, but will also help to keep them active outside of the structured settings of school. They will be more “in touch” with any neighborhood children and make new friends that share their interests.

Having someone to do things with is just as important to older children as to the very young. If they have kept their friendships with children in the neighborhood, they are much more likely to enjoy spending time on outdoor activities.

Regardless of your child’s age, it is important for them to get outside. Whether they enjoy relaxing by the pool or playing sports, they benefit from being outdoors.

Backyards are fun, but they are even better when explored with friends. Whether you setup a play date with your toddler or allow your teenager to invite friends over, planning for a shared experience is an easy way to keep your child wanting to go outdoors.

Another alternative is family activities in your backyard. Backyard campouts and barbeques are a great outdoor experience and an excellent way to spend quality time together. Letting your child help with the planning and preparation of family activities will help make your outdoor activities a fun and educational experience for your child as they grow.

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Can Outdoor Activities Lead to Better Eyesight? – How It Affects Kids’ Eyesight

When it comes to caring for your eyes health care experts and researchers have pointed out a connection between outdoor activities and the promotion of healthier eyesight. This is an added incentive for parents to encourage their kids to incorporate more outdoor activities into their daily schedule. Statistics indicate that there is a lack of time spent in the outdoors among the youth. For instance, the majority of hours are spent indoors watching television, using technological devices such as cell phones, iPads, tablets and computers. According to Nielsen sources, Americans spend an average of 34 hours a week watching television. They own at least 4 digital devices on which they spend about 60 hours a week accessing information from these sources. These visual habits are leading to a significant increase in vision problems in the United States. Comparatively, children spend less than 30 minutes a week playing outdoors- a sedentary lifestyle that has contributed to high obesity rates in many cities across America. These dire statistics undoubtedly highlight the urgent need for more outdoor activities among the nation’s youth.

While the benefits of such physical activities will yield results in improved physical fitness that can lead to weight loss, did you know that outdoor activities can also protect the eyes from vision conditions?

A Chinese study was conducted to examine the effects of increased outdoor activities on kids’ eye health. In this particular study, 12 schools were chosen whereby 1,900 first graders were examined in this study. In half of the schools an extra 40 hours of outdoor activities were added for the duration of a nine month academic period of time.

The results of the study showed a 23 percent decline in the rate of Myopia among school kids after a period of 3 years. This research study demonstrated the critical importance of preventive care for protecting kids’ eyesight.

Researchers in this study surmised that a combination of factors possibly led to positive changes in children’s eyesight. Such factors may have been related to exposure to sunlight, a break from close up activities on technological devices, and physical exercise outdoors.

Insufficient outdoor activities are creating an epidemic of vision related problems. This is the case in Asian countries whereby indoor activities are significantly higher. In this particular part of the world, the rate of school children with Myopia is the highest in the world.

According to eye care experts, daylight helps the eyes as the brain releases a chemical called Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is also produced by the Retina in daylight conditions. This inhibits the abnormal elongated growth of the eye- ball that would cause the development of Myopia.

In light of concerns about the harmful UV rays of the sun, ensure that your kids wear protective gear when they are spending time outdoors. Additionally, make sure that they eat foods rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin such as dark green leafy vegetables. These do provide the eyes with nutritional protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Due to the lack of outdoor activities, and eye habits that are more geared towards an increased focus on close up activities on technological devices indoors, there has been a significant increase in vision problems related to Myopia. A solution to this problem is to encourage an increase in outdoor activities among the youth. The eyes respond positively to daylight activities. Such activities produce a brain chemical called Dopamine that is transmitted to the eyes and released by the Retina, thereby inhibiting the abnormal growth of the eye- ball; a factor that triggers Myopia. Ultimately, as research shows, increased time spent in outdoor activities has a positive and beneficial effect, thereby protecting the eyes and sustaining the health of the visual system.

My name is Joel King and I am a City College Broadcasting graduate and natural vision improvement success story. Spending more time participating in outdoor activities is just one of the many factors that help in protecting your kid’s eyesight.While physical fitness strengthens our muscles improving athletic performance, the eyes also consists of

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