Health Benefits of Playing Outdoor Games & Outside Exercise

health benefits of playing outdoor games

As the world gets more sources for indoor entertainment (TVs, video games, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon delivery services), playing outdoor is becoming less and less frequent. As I was growing up, exercising outside and playing outdoors was a way of life. My friends and I played basketball in my driveway, football in the street, baseball at the park, and other outdoor games anywhere we could.

To this day, I still enjoy spending my free time walking with my wife and son and exercising outdoors whenever possible.

Recent studies have consistently shown that almost half of preschool-age children don’t get enough time playing outside. In addition, some children rarely get the chance to play outside at all!

Research also revealed that this disturbing trend has several consequences. For example, people who spend less time playing outdoors are at a higher risk of getting obesity, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety disorders, depression, and attention deficit disorder.

This is a problem for children, but it’s a problem for adults as well.

Training inside is the norm in fitness communities, but outdoor training can be just as effective, and it comes with a variety of other benefits as well.

If you want to look your best and feel as healthy as possible, exercising outside or playing outdoor games can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.

If you are a fitness enthusiast, you may find that exercising outdoors can help you feel a lot fresher and fitter.

As an adult, outdoor play tends to help you feel more energized and imaginative. Likewise, growing children need outdoor play to stimulate their minds and keep them in shape.

Playing and exercising outside is one of the best things you can do for your health. So, gather your best outdoor gear and get going!

Here are a few amazing benefits of exercising outdoors and playing outdoor games:

Playing Outdoor Games Helps You Develop a Strong Immune System

Children who spend a lot of time playing outdoors are likely to have stronger immune systems than their counterparts who spend a lot of time indoors. Of course, this applies to adults as well.

Spending time outside can increase your immune system by allowing you to experience a variety of new aspects of your environment. Over time, your body will become stronger and more acclimated to the world.

There are various ways that spending time outside by exercising or playing outdoor games will increase your immune system, and these are just a couple of examples.

Playing Outside is Great for Your Mental Health!

The statistics are not encouraging. More and more children and adults are diagnosed with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

Fortunately, refreshing air and sunlight is a proven method of improving a person’s overall mental health and mood.

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology noted that exposure to natural environments is associated with mental health benefits, including lower stress, reduced depression symptoms, reduced anxiety, and improved cognition. Additionally, a study published in Extreme Physiology & Medicine

Noted that engaging in outdoor physical activity provides increased opportunities to obtain sufficient vitamin D levels from sunlight, promoting better physical and mental health. In addition, as the sun is the greatest source of vitamin D on the planet, exercising outside can help you maximize your vitamin D absorption each day.

In general, exercising outdoors can be great for your mental health.

Can Improve Your Eyesight

Research studies have shown that exposing children to too much bookwork or television and too little outside play can cause near-sightedness.

The unnaturally bright lights from the TV screen, tablets, and video game screens are bad for the eyes.

Furthermore, people who play regularly outside are exposed to adequate natural light and sunshine. It has been shown that there is a link between a lack of natural light and myopia.

According to one study, playing in natural outdoor environments can reduce childhood myopia (near-sightedness),  and reduce the need for eyeglasses.

For healthy eyes, play, or exercise outside often!

Real Life Functional Training

Training outside in the elements and environment around you is an excellent way to ensure that your training will help you in life, not just help your body look better.

Activities such as rock climbing, trail running, hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking are outdoor workouts that will improve your physique and help your body become better at accomplishing real-world tasks!

Furthermore, there is a lot of research proving that those who walk over 10,000 steps per day are healthier, and many people who enjoy hiking or other outdoor sports take more steps than this each day!

Experience a Dynamic Environment

Exercising outdoors means looking at something new every day. So you’re bound to find at least something new when you go out, be it people or surroundings.

There may be some interesting places near you that you wouldn’t normally explore but exercising introduces you to things you’ve been aloof from otherwise.

In a life that is fast and majorly dominated by technology and sitting behind a computer screen for most of the day, connecting with nature can be quite a difficult task.

Concluding Thoughts – Benefits of Playing Outdoor Games

Along with traditional forms of outdoor exercise such as walking or running, there are lots of outdoor game ideas to explore. For example, children can play hide and seek, tennis, capture the flag, basketball, fishing, and so on, and adults can partake in these activities or play other games such as volleyball, golf, or even paintballing.

These outdoor games can improve physical and mental health and boost emotional well-being.

Outdoor games require a lot of creativity. When children regularly exercise their problem-solving skills, their classroom performance improves.

Most parents remember playing outdoors. I remember my experiences and how helpful those activities were to my physical, intellectual and social development.

Playing outdoor games and exercising outside is an incredible way to get healthy and stay healthy for children and adults.