Creative Springtime Fun: Family Activities to Improve Your Physical and Mental Health

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How To Improve Children's Physical and Mental Health

Improving children's mental healthSpringtime is the perfect time for families to embrace the great outdoors and work toward some renewed health or fitness goals after the mundane, sedentary winter months. Of course, many families embrace the opportunity to ride bikes, visit the lake, take walks, or head to the neighborhood playground, but there are plenty of other options available for those who want to shake things up a bit. There is no way the kids will be able to resist some of these fun options for heading out the door and enjoying some fresh air.

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Engage in activities with your kids so the whole family wins

USA Today suggests throwing together a scavenger hunt that involves the whole family. The hunt can take the family to the local park, a nature reserve or lake nearby, or the school park and a bit of planning ahead can keep the kids scrambling and occupied for a good chunk of the day.

When it comes to the local parks, parents can shake things up a bit by joining the kids for the fun rather than sitting on the sidelines. You can even create a friendly competition or obstacle course out of the opportunity, using the slides, monkey bars, swings. and other equipment options to pack in some great fun and exercise.

Additional outdoor family activities that will keep the kids entertained and active include blowing bubbles and having the kids chase them around, or using sidewalk chalk to cover the pavement with creations, perhaps even drawing a hopscotch board or other game that you can do with the kids. The blog Active For Life suggests drawing mazes, a 4 Square court, or even an outdoors Twister game for additional easy activities to draw the kids in for some fun. If your kids love animals, another idea is to go on a home-based safari and observe animals in and around your yard.

Look beyond your local community for additional springtime fun

While there are plenty of ways to get the kids outdoors near home to embrace the springtime, this time of year provides great opportunities for adventures a bit further away from home, too. For instance, you could go camping, kayaking, to the beach, canoeing, or hiking. Many communities have parks and nature reserves that are geared toward helping families learn how to tackle these activities, or they may provide equipment, if this is a new adventure for you and your kids.

Geocaching is another outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy, and once you learn the basics, it can provide hours of fun and lead you to new spots in your community you may not have known about before. This is the type of activity that provides not only some physical activity but an educational opportunity as well, and families quickly become hooked once they have the basics down.

Fresh air provides both physical and mental health benefits for the whole family

There is no doubt that springtime family activities outdoors are good not only for everybody's fitness levels, but they can do wonders for everybody's mental health as well. If family members are struggling with issues like depression or even addiction issues, getting outside and engaged with the rest of the family can do a world of good. Everyday Health details that embracing the fresh air outdoors can provide much-needed benefits for everybody's mental and physical needs, and the boost you get can become a great motivator. What’s more, physical activity can help battle weight gain, obesity, and health problems, including type 2 diabetes. When paired with a healthy diet, you have a recipe for keeping everyone happy and healthy.

If you want to be more health-conscious on your next outing, consider doing some shopping for fresh produce at a farmers market. Not only will your family get excited about choosing from a variety of colorful foods, you’ll help to improve their physical health, specifically their teeth. Apples, carrots, and leafy greens are just a few foods that provide nutrients for a healthier smile. Of course, just eating healthy isn’t enough to maintain their oral health; you’ll also need to schedule regular dental checkups. Make sure you find a dentist nearby if your kids need a new one. Combining fresh air with picking fresh produce can also help relieve anxiety and depression.

When it comes to embracing the nice springtime weather, kids may resist just being told to go outside and play. When parents embrace the opportunity to head outside with their kids, and pursue activities like geocaching, scavenger hunt, or creating an obstacle course at the playground, everybody benefits. Getting outdoors can improve both the mental and physical health of everybody in the family, and there is no shortage of fun activities that are available once you start thinking creatively.

Guest Post written by Sheila Johnson.
Sheila is a personal health and wellness expert. She is a certified life coach whose aim is to help people find a balance between work and taking care of their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

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