Oh, the good old days of outdoor play. I remember building sand castles, perfecting my sporting abilities and laughing so hard over something silly that had happened in a game. And through it all, I didn’t even realize my health was improving as a result of those outdoor games.
Research also revealed that this disturbing trend has its drawbacks. People who spend less time playing outdoors are at a higher risk of getting obesity, type II diabetes and high blood pressure, high cholesterol anxiety disorders, depression and attention deficit disorder.
As an adult, outdoor play tends to make me feel more energized and imaginative. Growing children need outdoor play to stimulate their minds. Spending the whole day in front of a TV screen isn’t healthy. All it takes is an inexpensive foosball table to get you up and moving!
Gather your best outdoor gear and get going, I’ll explain the top five health benefits of outdoor play for you below!
1. STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM
Children who spend a lot of time playing outdoors are likely to be less susceptible to diseases than their counterparts who spend a lot of time indoors. This applies to adults too.
There is a variety of outdoor play available to both adults and children. Outdoor play gives you the opportunity to walk run, jump, climb, swim, dance, golf, and exercise muscles that you wouldn’t ordinarily workout.
All these activities provide wonderful opportunities for aerobic exercises and strength training. The result is a boost of the immune system, It is a great way to keep illness away.
2. IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH
The statistics are not encouraging. More and more children and adults alike are being diagnosed with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
Outdoor play helps the body release endorphins and other happiness hormones that can improve the mood and boost happiness levels.
While it is good to improve workplace and academic performance, we must incorporate healthy relaxation habits that can improve our physical and mental health. One great way to do this is outdoor play. Enjoying yourself in an outdoor game is guaranteed to reduce stress levels.
3. BOOSTS VITAMIN D LEVELS
The physical activities involved in playing outside improve vitamin D levels in children. Vitamin D is essential in the prevention of osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes.
To improve Vitamin D levels, parents and children must make out time for outdoor play. There are lots of outdoor game ideas to explore. They can play the cop and villain, hide and seek, tennis, capture the flag, basketball and so on. These outdoor games can improve physical and mental health, as well as boost the emotional well-being.
4. IMPROVES EYESIGHT
Research studies have shown that exposing children to too much bookwork and too little outside play can cause near-sightedness.
People who play regularly outside are exposed to adequate amounts of natural light and sunshine. It has been shown that there is a link between a lack of natural light and myopia.
The unnaturally bright lights from the TV screen, tablets and video game screens are bad for the eyes.
5. PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
Most people consider outdoor play a waste of time. They are wrong. The body undergoes a lot of physical development every time we engage in outdoor play. This is especially true for growing children.
Studies have shown that outdoor games improve the level of concentration in both school and work.
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.