The Outdoor Foundation, an association dedicated to advocating for the preservation and promotion of parks, recently released data on the number of Americans participating in various outdoor activities in 2019. The survey found that 46.2% of participants were women and 53.8% were men, with gender disparities continuing to decline. However, youth participation remains high: 77% of U.S. citizens aged six to seventeen participated in outdoor activities in 2019, compared to 91% in 2012. However, racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to participate in outdoor activities, with a lower percentage of Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans participating in hiking, biking, and running, respectively. Despite these statistics, the report also found that lack of funds is a major barrier to participation in many activities.
People can reap many benefits from outdoor activities. For example, they improve their overall cardiovascular health and muscular strength. They also improve their eyesight and are surrounded by stunning landscapes. Moreover, sunlight is essential for the absorption of vitamin D, which is directly linked to bone health and helps fight off diseases ranging from osteoporosis to cancer. Outdoor physical activity also increases endorphin levels, helps reduce stress, and enhances self-confidence. It also helps increase creativity and sharp thinking.
Kids love to play games, especially backyard ones. Hide and seek, freeze tag, and Red Rover are all great options. Once your kids master these games, encourage them to try and develop their own variations! You can also take your children on a nature walk and play I Spy. You can also paint faces while enjoying a sport. These activities are ideal for a family bonding experience, and they also help the children to exercise. While outdoor activities are a great way to spend a quality time outdoors, make sure to incorporate them into your daily routine.
Regardless of the age of your children, outdoor activities are fun ways to spend quality time together. Spending time outside with friends is a great way to relax and unwind after a long day at work. It will foster an appreciation for creativity and a love for adventure. And, as a bonus, there is no need to spend a large amount of money for an expensive outing. Getting outside is a wonderful and rewarding experience.
Many outdoor activities require physical activity. Even a short morning stroll outside will help your children catch a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Simple games like soccer and tennis encourage physical agility and body coordination. Hiking will also exercise your mind. Using a map to explore the outdoors is a good mental exercise, as well as develop learning and spatial awareness. This way, you’ll never have to worry about getting lost! And, unlike some forms of physical activity, outdoor activities do not carry a stigma.
While these activities are beneficial for your mental and physical health, they do have their dangers. If you’re not immune to COVID, make sure to wear a mask and maintain a social distance of 6 feet. Drive-in movies have seen a revival in recent years, and you can get out in the fresh air while enjoying a movie. These movies are especially popular in the midst of the current outbreak of COVID-19.
If you’re looking for winter activities, Indiana’s Cool North has plenty to offer. These activities are perfect to combat the winter blues. From snowmobiling to ice fishing, you can find a wide range of fun activities. In addition, wintertime is an excellent time to take advantage of a winter wonderland, complete with a host of holiday lights and activities. And you can even find a place to stay in the middle of all this winter fun.
If you have a yard large enough, you can also host a backyard camping session. Enjoy outdoor cooking and picnicking, as well as gathering around a firepit. SELF reader Rachel Wieser Haggerton notes that her family’s fire pit is “a personal oasis that makes them feel like they’re on vacation.”
Another option is to go geocaching, a treasure hunting activity that utilizes GPS-enabled devices to find hidden objects in nature. For the more adventurous, there’s ice climbing in the Adirondacks and rock climbing in the Catskills. If you’re looking for a new sport to take up, a state-sponsored Take Your Shot For an Outdoor Adventure sweepstakes may be the perfect choice.