These days, kids tend to stay indoors a lot more, mostly due to technology. Although they may prefer to stick to their screens, they should also be regularly spending time outdoors.
Being outdoors plays an important role in your child’s mental and physical health. Nature provides many benefits, such as reduced stress levels, better sleep, an increase in vitamin D levels, enhanced creativity and imagination, and improved relationships.
Research has shown that when spending time outdoors, people experience a decrease in cortisol, which is known as the “stress hormone.” In times of stress, the adrenal glands in our bodies produce cortisol.
Setting aside some time to step into nature will help bring cortisol production down and reduce stress.
Additionally, surrounding yourself with nature helps significantly lower blood pressure and heart rates, which also impact stress levels.
Furthermore, being outdoors can increase levels of vitamin D, an important nutrient linked to mental health.
Lower levels of vitamin D have been found to be connected to depression, anxiety, and behavioral concerns in children.
In a study from 2009, 61 percent of kids in the United States were insufficient in vitamin D, while nine percent had a deficiency. By soaking up some sunshine, it can boost the amount of vitamin D your child is receiving.
If your child hasn’t been sleeping well at night, some outdoor activity may lead to better rest and improved mood.