Back-to-school time is a little different this year. But regardless of whether you are sending kids to school (full-time or part-time), you are planning to homeschool your children, or you’ve arranged grandparent or other remote teaching help, it’s likely their schedules will allow less outdoor fun time. While schedules will be busier, the Pros at Ryan Lawn & Tree encourage you to make spending time in nature a priority.
There is much research supporting the benefits of being outside — for kids and adults. Most of the studies acknowledge that kids who play outdoors are more intelligent, more observant, less apprehensive and just happier than children who stay inside. Resources are readily available to help you connect with your kids or grandkids with nature and help them experience and understand the benefits. The first step is making it a scheduled part of your daily routine. Here are just a few reminders of the benefits gained by outdoor play and how you might work it into your new school-time schedule.
Take away the TVs, computers and tablets and step outside. You’ll be forced to move. Physical exercise is good for everybody — young and old. If your child is homeschooling, they may be missing out on P.E. classes where they would normally get at least some physical activity. And the benefits of taking a quick walk every day include burning more calories, boosting your metabolism and clearing your mind. Whether you take off down the street for a walk around the block, opt for a pickup basketball one-on-one in the driveway, or break out the lawn games for some backyard fun, you’ll be adding a healthy habit to your everyday routine.
In addition to the increase in physical activity, an interesting study published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology showed spending just 20 minutes in nature can increase a person’s vitality — that is, their feeling of being more alive and well. These studies also show that the increase in your vitality translates into an improved ability to fight off infections and illness.
In other studies, researchers concluded that time spent in nature could reduce anxiety and improve cognitive skills. These findings are especially important when you consider that more and more of the country’s population is living in urban areas with less and less green space. Urbanization is causing a variety of concerns with the changes in the way people live across the world. With even brief exposure to nature, studies show your worries are subdued and your memory skills are enhanced. Other studies showed students who were exposed to a view of green trees improved test scores. Consider setting up your children’s home workstation with a view of your backyard green space.
The feeling of isolation is more widespread than ever before with the mandates of a pandemic. There is powerful evidence that shows loneliness can compromise physical and psychological health. Outdoor play to the rescue! Whether we play with neighbor kids or take a walk with our best friend, getting outdoors can increase your social interaction. Some studies suggest that the improved mental state that correlates with the time you spend in nature makes you more relaxed and gives you more confidence to be yourself and make new friends. Forest bathing and other nature therapies are widespread remedies used throughout the world.
Our goal is to provide the services you need to enjoy all the health benefits of being outside! Here’s how we can help:
Call your RYAN Pro at 855.216.2293 for more information on any of these nature-enhancing services!