As the summer stretches on, it becomes more and more tempting to let the kids and you lay around the house in front of a screen all day long. But you can beat the summer blues by getting outside while at the same time enhancing your health.
There are many cool ways to enjoy the fresh air.
- Early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler, you could go for a walk in your neighborhood or to the playground. Let the kids pick out the path. Or try a new playground that you haven’t been to before.
- Cheerfully invite the kids to pair up with you in the garden. If they are old enough, teach them to mow the lawn.
- If sports are your thing, bring out the baseball gloves or soccer balls or jump ropes.
- No sports equipment? No problem! Jumping jacks, relay races, or push-ups require only your body.
- If you aren’t the sporty type, try a scavenger hunt. It can be as simple as finding 10 green things as you walk around your neighborhood. Or you could involve some more sophisticated hunting with geocaching or Pokémon Go.
- On a hot day, water play is called for! Turn on the sprinkler, wash the car, host a water balloon fight, or take a trip to the pool. Don’t just sit poolside with your magazine. Make sure you are getting in on the action too.
- Or you can do anything outside which you would normally do inside, like eat or read or play a table game. Simply being outside in the fresh air even when you are not moving has benefits, too.
The more you move, the more calories you burn.
It doesn’t take long for the calories to melt away while moving outside. Even moving for as little as 10 minutes can burn up to fifty calories. In addition to aerobic exercise, building muscle will help you continue to burn more calories, even while resting since muscles burn more calories than fat cells. So join your kids on the monkey bars at the playground! The jolt to your metabolism will keep your body burning calories at a rapid rate all day long.
Being outdoors with the kids lowers cortisol, the stress hormone.
If your cortisol level constantly remains high, so you are always in high alert mode, your adrenal glands could become fatigued which can lead to brain fog and low thyroid function. In addition to the physical activities outside regulating your cortisol levels, the social connections made doing activities with your kids can also regulate your cortisol level.
The benefits of being outdoors not only will positively affect your life, but your children’s as well; both in the here and now with their own health, and their whole life long as they build life-long habits of outdoor activity. Your whole family will be pleasantly surprised by how good they feel when they spend even just a little time each day moving in the fresh air.
What are you waiting for? Get up and get moving!
Dr. Scott and his team care about your health. Would you like more guidance in taking care of yourself? Call and make an appointment. 704-282-9355
Dr. Scott has the heart of a teacher and desires to empower you to be your healthiest self.