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Nobody needs to be convinced that a healthy family is a happy family. Every day, the BuggyGym Association promotes physical activity in the open air, organizing fitness training for mothers with a child in a pram in many Polish cities. However, we see that in the modern world, in the heat of everyday activities, duties to fulfill and things that can't-wait, we sometimes forget about the extraordinary value of physical activity in the open air ...
Everyone needs to rest and spend time in such a way as to regenerate and catch their breath before the next challenges of everyday life. This rest is more and more often limited to passive spending free time, to "surf" the net, watch TV, do fitness exercises or in the gym, while children seem to be satisfied with a tablet, computer, fairy tale on TV or going to the playground. But is it really enough?
There is nothing wrong with browsing websites or TV channels, and aerobic or strength exercises are a great way to improve a parent's physical condition. Just like playing on a tablet or a fairy tale watched, which, when properly dosed, did not harm anyone, and playing in the playground is nothing but joy and a way to support sensory integration.
While the children are going crazy in the playground, parents have a free moment. But ... wait, wait! Couldn't you spend time together like during the holiday season? Together, not side by side?
Why spend free time together outdoors? Read and see that spending active time with your family benefits not only the child but also the parents!
Advantages of spending free time actively with your family outdoors:
1. Deepens the parent-child relationship, strengthens family ties - spending time together, not "side by side", without unnecessary technology, we finally have time to talk and listen to each other. According to research, if a child is between 3 and 16 years old, then with 76% probability it can be assumed that he is just sitting in front of the TV or computer. Screen flicker weakens the eye muscles, and the frozen look often sees nothing but the screen, and the child cannot hear what is happening around. I don't experience. It is highly probable that at the same time parents are absorbed in matters of the virtual world. Spending free time actively and outdoors, builds family relationships, increases our sense of security and belonging to a family, and identifying with it. It can also be a great way to tame different, new emotions, build confidence. By spending time together, we share experiences and collect common experiences.
2. Supports the child's comprehensive development and maintains parents' psychophysical fitness - children have an innate, natural need for movement and activity, not yet suppressed by the enormity of duties that become an integral part of adulthood. Movement is a prerequisite for learning, it affects not only the muscles, skeletal, circulatory or respiratory systems. By actively spending time, we oxygenate the brain, which works much more efficiently, improves memory and concentration skills, and thus - the time spent on learning becomes correspondingly shorter. Moving, having fun - we learn. Movement in the fresh air allows children to express their natural joy of life, and allows us to feel like a child again. Children learn by doing and their primary activity is play. It affects all levels of development: cognitive, physical (supports muscle development, manual dexterity and high motor skills), social (by learning cooperation and other specific forms of behavior). Outdoor play stimulates the imagination and teaches how to deal with difficulties. During the course, you can raise difficult topics for your child, get to know each other better. Fun gives motivation to act, supports the psychomotor development of the whole family, and development gives joy.
3. Raising a child to spend free time actively - there is nothing better than being a model for a child. Children learn mainly through modeling, and thus showing them that family and active recreation give us pleasure, we build in the child a sense that this form of spending free time is very good. Parents' behavior is an inspiration for children to take their own actions. As you know, active parents bring up active children. Research results indicate that the child's interest in activity, supporting his natural need for movement and play, faith in his skills make the child feel greater pleasure from his activity, have a sense of agency and strength. Children from physically active families have a 10-fold lower risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other lifestyle diseases. Children who spend their free time actively have a better chance of achieving better learning results, and hence - it will be easier for them in the future to find a satisfying job. In addition, those who from early childhood had patterns of active rest, will copy them in adulthood. A good example of vaccinating - already in infants - the bug of "physical activity" is a form of fitness activity for parents of young children. Each BuggyGym workout looks different, but they all have in common that they take place outdoors, and the basic exercise equipment is a pram with a child. A toddler in a stroller can sleep well or look around the world with curiosity, while a parent performs various types of exercises with an aerobic, strengthening, shaping and stretching stroller. Even a baby has a chance to see how his mother actively spends time.
4. It strengthens the body's resistance, touches children and adults. researchers from Australia prove that just being outdoors reduces the risk of myopia in children. Today, most of us suffer from vitamin D deficiencythat we need to protect against colds and flu, but also against cancer. The easiest way to ensure the health of the whole family is going for walks and actively spending time in the fresh air, exposing to sunlight. Spending time outside is not, however, only reserved for warm days. In autumn and winter you can also spend time actively! You should only remember about the right clothing, adapted to the conditions outside. Infants can spend time outside in the winter, and for older children, going skiing, sledding or making a snowman with their parents together will be a lot of fun.
5. Lowers stress level - as we know, spending time outdoors favors physical activity, and thus - secretion of endorphins, i.e. the hormone of happiness. British scientists have found that people who often stay in the bosom of nature lower cortisol levels, in addition, these people have a greater ability to deal with stress. They also stated that 5 minutes of outdoor activity is enough to improve our psychophysical well-being. Contemporary lifestyle, its fast pace, flickering screens, rapidly changing images, excessive stimuli that affect both children and adults cause a physiological state of stress. Contrary to appearances, not only adults experience stress, children also experience it, although they often can't talk about it - they can't, don't want or don't have the opportunity. Spending free time together creates opportunities for conversation, and above all - physical activity in the open air makes us forget about worries and difficulties, reduce stress levels and simply feel better.
6. Shapes pro-ecological attitudes - teaches children to interact with nature, respect it, because green areas become an attractive place to spend time together and share experiences. A place where the whole family wants to go back, and joint activity can be successfully ended with a picnic.
So Family, move! The advantages of spending free time together are invaluable: deepens family relationships, supports development, supports intellectual performance, strengthens immunity, reduces stress levels, shapes pro-ecological and research attitudes in children. Parents, raising their children, "instill" values in it, teach the right attitudes and motivate to take on challenges. Children, learning by imitation, adopt from adults the attitudes they present, also towards physical activity. Those who have been brought up in the spirit of physical activity, show greater concern for the health of loved ones, are able to combine health promotion, active spending of free time with the principles of ecology.
Author: Ewelina Wróblewska - oligophrenopedagogue, kindergarten teacher, speech therapist, advisor to the BuggyGym association. Her passion is supporting children's development, conscious parenting and traveling.