Healthy Habits and Getting Outdoors Benefits the Mind and Body


For children and youth, healthy habits at an early age can lead to a healthy lifestyle as adults. For kids, exercise can mean playing, having fun and being physically active. While everyone can benefit from regular exercise and healthy habits, active kids will have;

·         Less risk of becoming overweight

·         Stronger bones and muscles

·         Leaner, more athletic bodies

·         Lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes

·         Lower blood pressure

·         Lower cholesterol levels

·         A better outlook on life

If those weren’t enough benefits consider this, active and healthy kids sleep better and are able to handle physical and emotional challenges, from studying for a test to participating in athletics.

Children and youth tend to sit around a lot more than they used to. Many spend hours every day in front of a screen and intake a lot of media. The science is clear, too much screen time and not enough physical activity add to the problem of childhood obesity.

Parents and guardians should make sure their kids get enough physical activity or exercise every day. So, how much is enough? Kids and teens should get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Toddlers and preschool children should play actively several times a day with toddlers getting at least 60 minutes active play every day. Preschoolers should have at least 120 minutes active play every day. Young children should not be inactive for long periods of time, no more than 1 hour unless they're sleeping. School-age children should not be inactive for periods longer than 2 hours.

Get outdoors, it’s good for you!

Spring is around the corner. Consider these good reasons to get outdoors.

1.       You’ll get more exercise! If you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking and doing other things that put the body in motion.

2.       You’ll be happier! Sunlight tends to elevate people's mood, and there's usually more light available outside than in.

3.       Your child’s concentration may improve. Studies suggest children with ADHD focus better after being outdoors.

4.       Your vitamin D levels will rise! Studies suggest vitamin D helps fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. So, don’t skimp on some daily limited sun exposure!

Tennessee Junior Ranger Program

The Junior Ranger Program offered by Tennessee State Parks offers children, ages 6 to 14, a fresh look at the world around them. Inspiring a love of nature and the outdoors, camps open the door to a lifetime of fun and adventure. These sessions provide hands-on opportunities for exploring and learning about the natural world through an array of fun and creative activities. Check out the events calendar to find an outdoor activity near your community.