We intuitively know that getting outside is good for us. And, good for kids. But, life seems to conspire against us. Complicated schedules, luring screens and the safety net of “indoors” all combine to form a world where people aren’t spending enough time outside.
A doctor at Harvard Medical School encourages parents to make getting outside a priority. Dr. Claire McCarthy, MD has said, “There are many ways in which this generation’s childhood is different from that of the last generation, but one of the most abrupt contrasts is the degree to which it is being spent indoors. There are lots of reasons, including the marked increase in time spent interacting with electronic devices, the emphasis on scheduled activities and achievements, concerns about sun exposure — and, for many families, the lack of safe outdoor places to play.”
Dr. McCarthy reminds parents that our bodies need sunshine. Sunshine produces Vitamin D, an important element for healthy living. It improves bone development, builds our immune system and helps us sleep. It’s important for kids to get physical exercise and to be outside every day–thankfully kids don’t really view it as “exercise.” They view it as “play.” Kids love to play outdoors, but many lose that willingness to get outside as they age. Keep that love for play alive by making it a priority for your family.
To help you develop your kids’ love for outdoor adventures, send them to a week at summer camp. They may discover a new hobby, a new sport and a new love for nature while they’re away. That may yield payoffs for the rest of their lives. You can find a camp at www.ThePowerOfCamp.com.