Outdoor Activities For the Family

Spending time outdoors enjoying family activities with your children is one of the best ways to pass a day. There are fun family outdoor activities that you can take part in year round. Doing things with your children in this way offers unique opportunities to communicate and reconnect while also having fun.

Planning fun family outdoor activities takes a little preparation. It’s best to talk with your family and find out which activities they would enjoy, then plan outings accordingly. Medical conditions have to be a consideration also. A child with allergies probably won’t enjoy a walk in the woods as much as the rest of the family. You have to take everything into account so the whole family enjoys the activity.

There are quite a few outdoor activities to choose from. Here are some you might want to consider:

o Boating: If you do have a family member with allergies, you might consider boating as an outdoor family activity. With boating you don’t have tree and flower allergens to deal with.

o Hiking: Going for a hike is a great outdoor activity for the whole family. You can take traditional hikes in the woods of your local state parks, go to military parks and use the hike as an educational tool, or even go to botanical gardens and caves for day hikes. Hiking is an activity that you can partake in most any time of the year if your state doesn’t have bad winters. Just make sure you and your children have the appropriate clothing and gear.

o Swimming: A day spent swimming at the lake is probably the ultimate fun family outdoor activity. Children love splashing around in the water, and going to the lake is usually a fairly inexpensive activity which is good for your wallet.

o Fishing: Get the kids and the fishing gear together and head out to catch the big one. Fishing is a sport that everyone can enjoy. They even have pink fishing poles for little girls these days to make them more interested in the activity. Fishing offers great opportunities for reconnecting for the whole family. Sitting on the creek bank, or in the boat, waiting for the fish to bite, is the perfect time to ask about each other’s day.

o Skiing: During the winter months the family can go skiing together. Everyone can start out on the bunny slopes together while they learn the ropes. Being on top of the mountain and looking out at the vast horizon and beauty surrounding you is one of the best feelings in the world.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started. There are numerous outdoor activities that families can enjoy. Being together is the most important thing. Spending time doing fun family outdoor activities will improve relationships, develop bonds that last a lifetime, and keep everyone active. Make outdoor family activities a part of your life.

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Can Outdoor Activities Lead to Better Eyesight? – How It Affects Kids’ Eyesight

When it comes to caring for your eyes health care experts and researchers have pointed out a connection between outdoor activities and the promotion of healthier eyesight. This is an added incentive for parents to encourage their kids to incorporate more outdoor activities into their daily schedule. Statistics indicate that there is a lack of time spent in the outdoors among the youth. For instance, the majority of hours are spent indoors watching television, using technological devices such as cell phones, iPads, tablets and computers. According to Nielsen sources, Americans spend an average of 34 hours a week watching television. They own at least 4 digital devices on which they spend about 60 hours a week accessing information from these sources. These visual habits are leading to a significant increase in vision problems in the United States. Comparatively, children spend less than 30 minutes a week playing outdoors- a sedentary lifestyle that has contributed to high obesity rates in many cities across America. These dire statistics undoubtedly highlight the urgent need for more outdoor activities among the nation’s youth.

While the benefits of such physical activities will yield results in improved physical fitness that can lead to weight loss, did you know that outdoor activities can also protect the eyes from vision conditions?

A Chinese study was conducted to examine the effects of increased outdoor activities on kids’ eye health. In this particular study, 12 schools were chosen whereby 1,900 first graders were examined in this study. In half of the schools an extra 40 hours of outdoor activities were added for the duration of a nine month academic period of time.

The results of the study showed a 23 percent decline in the rate of Myopia among school kids after a period of 3 years. This research study demonstrated the critical importance of preventive care for protecting kids’ eyesight.

Researchers in this study surmised that a combination of factors possibly led to positive changes in children’s eyesight. Such factors may have been related to exposure to sunlight, a break from close up activities on technological devices, and physical exercise outdoors.

Insufficient outdoor activities are creating an epidemic of vision related problems. This is the case in Asian countries whereby indoor activities are significantly higher. In this particular part of the world, the rate of school children with Myopia is the highest in the world.

According to eye care experts, daylight helps the eyes as the brain releases a chemical called Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is also produced by the Retina in daylight conditions. This inhibits the abnormal elongated growth of the eye- ball that would cause the development of Myopia.

In light of concerns about the harmful UV rays of the sun, ensure that your kids wear protective gear when they are spending time outdoors. Additionally, make sure that they eat foods rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin such as dark green leafy vegetables. These do provide the eyes with nutritional protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Due to the lack of outdoor activities, and eye habits that are more geared towards an increased focus on close up activities on technological devices indoors, there has been a significant increase in vision problems related to Myopia. A solution to this problem is to encourage an increase in outdoor activities among the youth. The eyes respond positively to daylight activities. Such activities produce a brain chemical called Dopamine that is transmitted to the eyes and released by the Retina, thereby inhibiting the abnormal growth of the eye- ball; a factor that triggers Myopia. Ultimately, as research shows, increased time spent in outdoor activities has a positive and beneficial effect, thereby protecting the eyes and sustaining the health of the visual system.

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