How playing outside can improve your child’s health

Megan Smith
 min read

Childhood obesity effects are harmful. That’s why it’s important to know how playing outside can improve your child’s health!

how playing outside can improve your child's healthWithout intervention, childhood weight problems can rapidly become adult weight problems.

This results in many life-threatening diseases. Luckily, it is possible to fix the problem before it escalates.

Playing outside more often is one of the easiest and best ways for your kids to slim down.

Is there a default form of home entertainment, also electronics and screens?

Try dragging your kids outside to play with some friends. In the best case, they might even start enjoying (some) sports!

Exercise makes all the difference

Even a little additional exercise every day can make a huge difference.

It will already improve your kid’s general health and well-being.

A research study released in the European Heart Journal studied the weight changes from childhood to adult years.

One study group was overweight as a kid, but lost the excess weight by their 20s thanks to healthy routines and exercise.

The conclusions of the researchers were exceptional! These people were no longer at a higher risk of hypertension and high cholesterol.

Their risk of these diseases became the same as people who never were overweight.

So, when kids with weight problems find healthy routines before their 20s, they secure themselves of a longer and healthier life.

Most psychologists agree that children adopt new habits more quickly than grownups.

So kids should find out and be stimulated to make healthy choices from a young age.

How do you figure out how to prevent childhood obesity as a parent? The best way is to identify the possible reasons for the problem.

Of course, factors like metabolism and socio-economic factors are out of our control.

Luckily many other factors are within our control, though!

One of the most common reasons for childhood weight problems is an inactive life.

Although it isn’t easy to make a real lifestyle change at that age, it is possible with the help of the parent(s).

Outdoor games for your child to play

How playing outside can improve your child’s health by helping him/her:

  • burn calories
  • reverse and avoid weight gain
  • build more powerful muscles
  • improve their coordination
  • increase their heart health
  • strengthen their immune system

Kids today depend more on technology than ever.

According to several surveys, many parents say that their kids spend less time outside than them at the same age.

Smartphones, computers, TVs, and video games offer endless entertainment. Kids don’t have to go outside to stay entertained.

One of the best ways to inspire your kid to go outside? Introduce them to (concepts for) fun games to play outside.

Children who aren’t used to spending time outside might struggle to create games by themselves.

Recommending some outside activities may inspire them. You can encourage them to play with others.

Whether it’s siblings or friends. Playing with other children around the same age will encourage them to play more, too.

Allow your kids to play with children in the neighborhood. Or, after school, invite their friends over to play outside together.

This doesn’t only support an active life. It also improves their social skills.

Here are a few additional tips to lure your kids outside and away from screens:

Get involved and enjoy the fun too

Technology dependency does not only affect kids. Many grownups spend too much time looking at screens, too.

When you’re around your kids, try to set a good example.

You’re giving your kids an unhealthy message if you watch screens all day.

When you have time, join your children outside! Teach them your favorite games and show interest in what they’re doing.

If your kids see you having fun outside, they’ll want to go out and have fun as well.

This will teach them that there’s no age limit to enjoying time outside. It helps them continue their new active way of life as they get older.

Try to involve the entire family in outside activities as much as possible.

Go hiking or swimming, or organize family sports competitions.

You can motivate your kids to be active while also enjoying quality time together!

Limit their screen time

Trading their electronic devices for more time outside is not easy for children.

Your first step to help them: Select how much screen time they get every day.

Some parents allow 30 minutes in the morning and/or 30 minutes in the evening.

Others may allow an hour a day at a time of choice. You could allow more time during the weekends and less during the week.

You could allow screens on specific days and not on others. All households are different.

You need to consider your children’s needs, schedules, and situations when choosing the guidelines.

However, as soon as you set the rules, it’s crucial to stick to them.

Your kids need to know precisely how much time they’re allowed on their electronics.

They can’t be able to convince you to change the rules!

Invest in fun outdoor equipment

Outdoor play equipment and devices are a great way to get your kids to play outside.

Consider buying one of the best heavy-duty swing sets for adults and children or a play system with an integrated swing, slide, and climbing wall.

Outdoor tools like this can provide endless games and fun for kids. Additionally, equipment and tools such as swing sets fight childhood obesity!

But do extensive research and a proper due diligence before you buy something as you want to invest in sturdy, secure equipment!

For example, you should check how much weight a swing set can hold before you buy it!

Drive their imaginary play by pretending the play area is a pirate ship or even a castle.

If you have multiple children, you can motivate friendly competition.

Simply by asking who can swing higher or who can climb the tower quicker.

Try giving them sports equipment like a basketball or rugby ball if you have teens, who probably won’t be impressed by a swing set.

This doesn’t only give them fun activity ideas. It also encourages their sportsmanship and competitive side.

Other great toys to get your kids outside are:

  • roller skates
  • steps
  • skateboards
  • bikes, and so on

Prevent hypocrisy at all cost: How playing outside can improve your child’s health

Children learn behaviors by imitating grownups.

Many research studies found a close link between childhood obesity and parental BMI.

Genetics might play a part in this but… Still, the shared family environment is the most significant cause.

If you eat junk food and avoid exercising as a parent, your children will most likely follow that example.

Even if you encourage your kids to play outside, they might only change their habits if you set the example.

Kids are way smarter than you think! They quickly notice when you’re supporting them by setting the example.

They notice even quicker when you’re a hypocrite, ignoring your own words…

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More