Why You Need To Get Outdoors

Chris Demory, Reporter

There are so many kids that say they don’t need to go outside and are often perfectly fine staying inside, but they are wrong. Being outside is good for you. It really is. And it’s a necessary part of human function.

The first reason that kids need to be outside is that it makes them healthier. Because the outdoors is for running, jumping, throwing balls, catching, pulling things, lifting, and carrying objects, all these actions require motor skills that improve with practice.

When kids go out to do stuff like play or ride bikes or go fishing, not only do they gain skills, but the movement of their bodies is good for regulating health.  There have been studies shown that kids tend to burn more calories outside than they do inside.  

Being outside not only burns more calories, but it also prevents obesity,  strengthens bones, and improves muscle functions. Playing in the sun also gives you Vitamin D, which means stronger bones, greater heart health, and increased immunity to specific chronic diseases. Additionally, Vitamin D helps fight depression. 

Being outdoors also helps counter the effects of too much screen time. Teens spend about nine hours of each day on technology. Nature helps rejuvenate the energy of the mind that has been diminished by technology.

According to professionals, “Nature can help. Specifically, unplugged time in nature has been shown to regulate mood disturbance and nervous system arousal caused by too much time in front of screens.”

The second reason you should get outside is that it improves your sense or sensory skills. An optometry and vision science study showed that kids who play outside can normally see farther than those who don’t. 

When you see new animals, that’s sight. When you hear new noises you have never heard before, that’s hearing. When you smell the cow manure in the fields, (if you live in the country) that is smelling. Jumping in puddles after a rainy day isa touching sense. Then eating food from a garden like carrots or apples from an apple tree, that is the taste sense. 

Experiencing your senses is an important part of childhood, because you learn about yourself and the world around you. This is important for maturing into a well-rounded adult. 

Being outdoors can also make you happier! Outdoor light stimulates the pineal glands. This part of the brain is vital to keeping our immune system strong and making us feel happier.

Spending time in nature is also associated with improving mood and happiness. 

While scientists aren’t entirely sure why nature reduces stress and anxiety, studies prove it does. In a Harvard Article published in 2018, they reported, “It appears that interacting with natural spaces offers other therapeutic benefits. For instance, calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which calms the body’s fight-or-flight response.”

An added bonus is that children who identify with nature are more likely to become adults who appreciate nature and want to protect the environment. 

Those reasons should make you want to go outside. It’s better and also there’s more you can do outside than inside. Being outside is just generally better for you physically and emotionally.