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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Why Playing Outside Is Way Better For Your Child's Health Than Video Games


CREDIT: k4dordy Flickr

In the digital age that we're living in today, children have become fascinated with their electronic devices. Whether it's their smartphone, tablet, or the latest video games out on the market, kids have increasingly had their eyes glued to screens over the last several years. However, it's vital that children spend time playing outside, without their digital devices, as it can not only help with their physical health, but their mental health as well.

Your children's health is important, and staying active as opposed to being in front of the television can be a huge help. When it comes to these digital electronics, it's been video games that have perhaps been the biggest offenders of keeping your children inside. Early on, I made a serious effort to get my children active by having them play outside, and here are some reasons why it's beneficial to be outside, instead of inside with a controller in hand, for your child.

  1. The air outside is better than the air inside – The air inside of our homes can often be recycled, thus it has containments and dust, among other things, which can make your home somewhat of a health risk at times. Even if you're inside weather permitting, open a window! Fresh air is great for both yours and your child's health. By staying inside playing video games, your child isn't getting as much of that fresh air as they could, by playing outside.
  2. By playing outside, your child is getting exercise – In a day and age where child obesity is one of the biggest problems that we face, sitting inside all day certainly isn't the solution to the problem. Playing 'tag' outside over playing the latest game for the Playstation is much better for your child's physical and mental health. Supplementing this exercise with healthy eating habits can be great for your child's health.
  3. Your child's problem solving skills will enhance – By playing outside, as opposed to staying inside in front of the television, your children will be better problem solvers as they grow and get older. Even when it was something small like when my children would build forts, they were using their brains, and surely you have seen this with your children as well. Creativity and real experiences are key.
  4. Imagination is important – With the way technology is in the world that we're living in; it gives everyone everything they need, often at the touch of a button. With that said, there isn't any effort needed anymore with many basic life functions. Our children are shown everything now through technology. To go back to the example of building a fort outside, it enhances their imagination. Sure, they may be able to do something like this in a video game, but the real, hands-on experience is important in enriching your child's mind and imagination.
  5. Don't miss out on Vitamin D – As your children are exposed to the sun, they'll get Vitamin D, which not only can help raise their mood, but it can enrich their memory, energy levels, and overall health in general. By staying inside, your children aren't getting this benefit.

There's no harm in having your child enjoy their video games here and there, but it's important that it's not their only hobby. With that said, these are some examples that I'm happy to share with you, as to why it's vital for your children to be outside! I took interest in keeping my children active from an early age, and you can too. What benefits do you see in your children playing outside? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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