Tell Your Kids to Take a Hike (with You)

 In Family, Getting Outside

Heading outside is healthy. But when it comes to your kids, you said the same thing about broccoli and they wanted nothing to do with it. Getting your kids enthused about spending time outdoors can be a challenge, especially when it means sacrificing cell phone signals and Wi-Fi. But there’s a reason why large organizations like the military and global companies take advantage of adventure training. Not only does it teach the importance of team work, it also helps people get out of their comfort zones and overcome obstacles they never knew they could. Let’s face it. No one misses their smartphone when both hands are steering a mountain bike or hanging onto a zip line for dear life. Here are the top 7 benefits of getting outside.

1. The great outdoors is great for your eyes.

Whether it’s for work or entertainment, we spend a lot of time looking at screens—for hours at a time. Encouraging your kids to head outside and leaving their screen behind can help prevent or reverse Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) which is caused by focusing on screens only a short distance from our faces. People with CVS describe symptoms like blurred vision, dry eyes and neck or back pain. It’s also been suggested that spending more time outside can reduce the risk of nearsightedness.

2. You’ll get some exercise without trying.

Just the act of getting up from the couch and walking outside is movement. And now that fitness trackers are everywhere, it’s no secret that getting enough movement every day can be challenging. A game of basketball, a short hike or just walking the dog can offer numerous health benefits. Banishing the summertime blues with a little outdoor adventure can help prevent type II diabetes, obesity and even certain mental health problems. Encourage your family too live longer, fuller lives by stepping outside their routine.

3. Stress can’t tag along on this trip.

Immersing yourself in the outdoors can stave off mental fatigue from studying, working or stress in general. One study concluded that people felt more energetic after just looking at pictures of nature. Cityscapes, no matter how beautiful, didn’t have the same effect. When compared to being in the city, it has been reported that heart rates and cortisol levels start to drop when people spend more time in forested areas.

4.  Confidence and sense of self will climb.

Thrilling new experiences can be scary at first, but people rarely regret them after the fact. That’s because pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is something to be proud of. Encourage your kids to embrace outdoor adventure and the adrenaline that comes with it. When they survive to tell the story, they’ll likely be relieved—and ready to hit the trail again. The euphoric feeling associated with an adrenaline rush can actually have positive and long-lasting effects on self-confidence.

5.  A little vitamin D does the body good.

You’ve probably heard this before and you probably tell your kids this all the time, but getting enough Vitamin D is important. And the best place to get it is outside. The sun is our most reliable source of Vitamin D and it’s essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. In fact, getting enough sunlight has been linked to the prevention of diabetes, autoimmune disorders and heart disease.   

6. You’ll never sleep better.

Poor sleep patterns make it hard to get a good night’s rest. In addition to our own habits, for better or worse, our sleep patterns are regulated by an internal rhythm. Spending too much time inside under artificial light can alter our internal rhythms, and disrupting sleep patterns. That’s why early morning exposure to sunlight helps reset your sleep cycle. It sounds like a multi-day outdoor adventure is just what the doctor ordered.

7. Your short-term memory will sharpen.

In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, students were given a short memory test and divided into two groups. One group went for a short walk around an arboretum, and the other group walked down a city street. When the students returned, they took the memory test again. On average, the students who went to the arboretum did almost 20% better than the first time.

To take advantage of these benefits, get going on your next big outdoor adventure. Use apps like Hopper or Skyscanner to get great deals on airfare for your whole family. You can apply the money you save to unforgettable on-the-ground experiences with Adventure Pass.

The new experiences collected during travel bring families closer together. Plus, they help you prove to your kids that you really are cool. If you’re looking for deals on outdoor adventures, we have you covered. With special discounts on gear and experiences, Adventure Pass is the only way to go. Sign up to our outdoor inspiration mailing list to get great ideas on activities and  a 25% discount on your first Adventure Pass

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