The weather is starting to warm up, and summertime is almost here. That means it’s time for kids to get outdoors and into summer camp. Summer camp is a mind-enriching way to prevent boredom for kids, help them interact with peers, and give parents a break. It also prompts kids to get off their screens and spend some time in nature. In addition to being fun, being in nature is a great way to support your child’s health. Here are five reasons why you should consider enrolling your child in day camp this summer to get them outdoors!
1. Good for Mental Health
Our mental well-being is important for living a healthy and active life. We live in a fast-paced world that’s full of information overload. Going in nature helps us hit that mental reset button so that we can feel calmer and more focused.
Increasing studies suggest that green spaces can improve overall stress. That’s because being outdoors is the ultimate immersive experience. Various research points to anything from looking at greenery to listening to birds could help improve your mood.
After all, these are the moments when children (and adults alike) don’t have to worry about responding to texts, finishing an assignment, or posting on social media. They can just be with nature in the present and leave with a clearer perspective.
2. Supports Vitamin D Production
Over 1 billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency. It’s important that we get enough vitamin D because this nutrient is crucial for:
- Absorbing calcium for strong bones
- Healthy blood vessels
- Balanced cholesterol
- Mental health
- And more
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that isn’t found in many foods besides egg yolks, dairy, and fish.
Therefore, our primary source of vitamin D is through exposure to the sun. Our skin absorbs UVB rays, which our bodies convert into vitamin D.
Unfortunately, the average American spends about 90% of their day indoors. That’s why there’s such a significant number of people with a vitamin D deficiency.
Enrolling your child in summer camp will help them get outdoors, which naturally improves their production of vitamin D. Just make sure you provide them with sunscreen to help prevent burns.
3. Boosts the Immune System
There’s something to be said about getting outdoors and getting a little dirty. The hygiene hypothesis states that the key to boosting a child’s immune system is by exposing them to other microorganisms.
Many of these “germs” can be found in dirt, leaves, grass, rocks, and other natural elements. Remember, now. We spend about 90% of our days indoors!
Additionally, plants (such as trees and grass) release compounds called phytoncides. Scientists believe inhaling these compounds triggers our immune system to produce more white blood cells. These are essential for keeping our bodies healthy and strong!
4. Aids with Breathing
Childhood asthma is an extremely common condition, which continues to rise over the years. Many scientists believe it’s because (you guessed it), we spend 90% of our days indoors!
Indoor air pollution is caused by dust, fragrances, cooking, and so many other factors. Since we’re indoors most of the day, we are continually breathing in these toxins that are inflammatory to the respiratory system.
Getting outdoors helps reduce the continuous attack on the respiratory system. In fact, one 2016 study followed over 108,000 women for eight years. Results found that those who lived closest to greenery were 34% less likely to die from a respiratory disease.
You can’t always control how close you live to greenery. Therefore, we must make the most of the opportunities to get outdoors that we can!
5. Keeps You Active
Being indoors can feel confining. Being outdoors is the complete opposite.
Nature is so vast. It becomes an open field to run, jump, and play. Even adults can become a kid again when they’re hiking through the woods, going for a swim, or playing a basketball game.
Being outdoors keeps you active, which is good for your mental and physical health. When it comes to your wellness, the sky’s the limit when it comes to nature – literally!