Keep kids active this summer

Published 5:51 pm Thursday, June 20, 2019

It’s hot. The sun is beaming and beads of sweat are falling from your brow within minutes of being outside. School is out for the year, opening the door for so many activities — sweet summertime.

Before the days when everyone always had smartphones, laptops or controllers in our hands, all there was to do was go outside. It didn’t matter what we were surrounded by, there was something that could be done to keep out of the house. That’s what the kids today should learn how to do.

According to a survey of 1,001 parents conducted by National Trust in the U.K., they collectively reported that their kids spend half the amount of time in a week outside, compared to when they were kids.

There are so many opportunities in our area to get outside and get active. Save the video games for nighttime, because there’s too much water surrounding us in the Beaufort County areas to not be in it. We are gifted the ability to use natural resources as summer equipment: swimming. There are basketball courts, nature trails, creeks, parks and playgrounds that don’t get enough use. Give kids a jar with which to catch fireflies, organize a game at one of the local fields with friends and play soccer or football.

Get kids outdoors this summer, because it could potentially change their outlook on life. It’s as simple as riding a bike around and finding things to do rather than staying wrapped up in the comfort of a TV or video game.

This is a way to encourage kids to live a healthy lifestyle and to experience the sheer joy of the outdoors. If you’re not already exposing your children to nature, these are practical ideas to change that.

Sunlight increases the body’s natural production of vitamin D3, which is important for bone and muscle development.

Research even shows that exposure to natural environments can lead to reduction in anger, a decreased risk for problem behavior and a reduction in depressive symptoms.

Even if they don’t want to, encourage kids to go outside for a minimum time limit. Lead by example, go out with them — make it a family affair.

Don’t forget the sunscreen.