Tap into Your Own Physical Energy—Play Outside With Your Kids!
October 05, 2019
Lisa Beach

If you grew up playing outside until you were called home for dinner, you might not recognize the “play landscape” of today’s kids. Why? They’ve largely moved indoors. In fact, the average American child spends only four to seven minutes a day playing outside in unstructured activities. At the same time, they spend more than seven hours of screen time a day, whether that’s watching TV, playing video games, texting friends, or surfing the Internet.

Since October is Children’s Health Month, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to not only get your kids (or your friend’s kids, or the neighbor’s kids, or other kids in your life) outside, but to join them! Playing outdoors offers a great way to burn off physical energy. Studies show that spending time in nature can positively impact your mental and physical health, no matter what your age. Here’s how:

Need some ideas to enjoy the great green outdoors? Spend a day at the zoo, go to the beach, or visit your local park. Go for a hike, take a ride on a bike trail, or go kayaking. Go camping, boating, or looking at the fall foliage on a nearby nature trail. Looking for something different? Go rock climbing, explore caves, or try birdwatching. Nature’s playground provides endless opportunities to burn up some energy and improve your mental and physical health. So, get out there and get moving!

To learn more about environmental health activities appropriate for Children’s Health Month, check out this month-long calendar of ideas. Find additional resources from the Environmental Protection Agency about protecting children’s health at home and at school.


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