A family hiking at a state park.

Five reasons to get outdoors with your family this summer

May 31, 2023 Written by Alyssa Whittaker, Health and Well-being Agent & Meg Streissguth

1) It’s good for your health.

Vitamin D Deficiency is prevalent, particularly among women. Getting outdoors is one way to allow your body to synthesize Vitamin D, just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Did you know? Vitamin D helps your body with processes such as; building up bones and reducing the risk of cancer and infection!  All the more reason!


2) It gives everyone a screen break.

Getting outdoors and off our screens can be the perfect scenario for practicing present-moment awareness by noticing the sights, smells, and feel of the nature around us, essentially being more mindful of ourselves and our surroundings! So, take this as permission to spend time away from technology, get off your screen, and enjoy the presence of nature!

Did you know? Studies show youth spend between 4-6 hours on screens daily for recreational purposes, and this number is even higher for teens with up to 9 hours of screen time daily. Scheduling family time outdoors ensures they have time built into their day to give everyone a screen-time break!


3) It boosts energy when linked with exercise

Getting outdoors for exercise is a great way to give yourself a quick energy boost!

  • In the early morning, the natural sunlight will help wake your body up!
  • In the afternoon/evening, a short walk outside can give you that boost you need to get through a few more tasks of the day!
  • Light exercise in the evening can help some individuals sleep better!

Any of these walk suggestions can easily be made into family walks!


4) It creates memories

Whether it is jumping in puddles after early summer showers or running through sprinklers in the heat of the day- getting outdoors will be sure to foster memories for your little ones! Here are some ideas no matter the weather:

  • Rain: Splash in puddles, discuss how things change as they get wet, and talk about how the rain feels on your skin
  • Wind: Pause and listen to the sounds of the wind, notice wind chimes, notice the movement that wind causes to trees and objects around the outdoors
  • Sun: Find some shade and relax for a game, pack a picnic, read a book, or go for a walk in the woods (just remember your bug spray and sunscreen!)


5) It can foster healthy habits for your family for years to come!

Helping your youth establish healthy habits like getting outdoors at a young age is a great way to lay the foundation for a great relationship with the outdoors throughout their lives ahead!

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