How to plan outdoor activities for family wellness?
Taking advantage of nature can be hugely important for you and your family. The 8 dimensions of health and wellness include physical, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual. Those are all factors that can grow and be nurtured by spending time outside. In addition to your overall wellbeing, simply being out in nature can improve your mood, boost your energy, and promote better mental health.
Convinced that spending more time outdoors is important? Great. Now, you might be wondering how to plan activities for your family to get everyone involved. The good news? That’s the fun part. Let’s take a look at a few ideas that the whole family will enjoy.
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors than by spending a night under the stars. Most kids love camping, and there are countless lessons to learn from it. From pitching a tent to building a fire, it’s a great bonding experience with some natural lessons involved. Some of the biggest health benefits of camping include:
- Reduced stress
- Built-in exercise opportunities
- More exposure to the sun
- Improved airflow
It’s even a great opportunity to spend time with your child who might have special needs. For example, if your child is on the autism spectrum and doesn’t do well with loud noises or other unfamiliar things, you can still set up a sensory-friendly backyard and then camp in it. Create secluded places, keep the noise to a minimum, and watch your child enjoy themselves.
Safety and security are important no matter who you’re camping with. That’s especially true if you’re at an unfamiliar campsite or you’ve never done it before. Stay together as a family, wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and stay on marked trails if you’re camping somewhere unfamiliar. When you take the proper precautions, everyone can enjoy the wellness benefits.
Digging into a garden
If you want to benefit from the outdoors while staying close to home, consider planting a garden with your family. For so many people, it’s more than just a casual hobby. The mental and physical health benefits of a garden might surprise you. Some of the notable ones include:
- Exposure to Vitamin D
- Decreased risk of illnesses like dementia
- Boosted mood
- More energy
- Reduced stress
- Aerobic exercise
Gardening is also an educational opportunity for your kids. For example, if you choose to plant a vegetable garden you can educate your family on the importance of sustainability. You can teach them how to respect and protect nature. Even planting a flower garden offers great educational opportunities. Teach your kids about pollinators and why they’re so important to our ecosystem.
You don’t necessarily have to have a green thumb to start a bountiful garden. With a little bit of time, effort, and education, it’s a project you and your family can learn about together while reaping the rewards of its natural beauty – can you dig it?
Making sure everyone is involved
Family wellness is for everyone. It’s never too early to start teaching your kids how to live a healthier lifestyle. With that in mind, it’s important to plan outdoor activities the whole family can participate in and enjoy.
If you have some little ones that are too young to go on long hikes in the woods or even help you in a garden, get a little creative with your outdoor adventures – by simplifying them.
You don’t need to rack your brain to come up with great ways to get outside. A family walks around the neighborhood is perfect. Or, follow your kids while they’re riding their bikes. Play a game of frisbee or catch at your local park, or visit a neighbor’s pool for a swim. Don’t be afraid to ask your kids what they’d like to do and talk about the things they enjoy when they’re outside.
It’s not just about finding outdoor activities your whole family can do. It’s also about finding activities they will enjoy. Wellness isn’t something that should be “forced” on anyone. Rather, it should be an opportunity to educate your kids and help them understand why it’s so important. When they enjoy what they’re doing, they’re more likely to stick with it and pass it on to their kids one day.
Planning outdoor activities for family wellness is a wonderful way to set a positive example. By making wellness a priority in your life and encouraging your family to do the same, you can help to improve everyone’s well-being and feel good about making the health of your loved ones your top priority.