We all know that physical play and outdoor play is essential to the development of a
child’s body and mind. There are many factors that help a child to grow and be
healthy, and outside play is just one of them. However, if we do not encourage
our children to enjoy physical play, we are actually hindering their physical
growth. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that “children and teens
should be physically active for 60 minutes a day.”
In the brain of a young child, a 3-year olds brain is twice as active as a college
student’s brain. The most important time for physical and motor skill development
is birth through age 12. Before I researched this, I had no idea that the
window of development stayed open that long. But don’t forget that kids start
sitting and watching TV by age 4, and then playing video games by age 6 or 7. The
potential of development is hindered through mindless activities. By allowing
our children to sit for hours in a day, we are hurting their natural
It’s a fact, that when we are active, our bodies work better. When our bodies work
better, our minds do too. You must exercise them both. This is true for every
age person, form youngest to oldest. Physical exercise is so important for our
growth, when our bodies are young. Moreover, physical activity is important to
maintain our body and keep it in proper working order as we age.
Outdoor activities are important, since we get health benefits from sunlight. Sunlight
helps release vitamin D into our bodies and releases endorphins into our
bloodstream. This will make us feel better throughout the day, and give us
energy to sustain our desired activities.
Outside or physical play time does not have to be for an hour, all at once. Even short
10 or 20 minute windows, several times a day is okay. It doesn’t really matter
how you get it, just as long as you do!
For children, get them outside to play every day. Put them on a schedule that
promotes physical activity, or take away distractions during the week (like tv
or video games). As adults, we have to set a time during the day for us, when
we can get up and exercise. Whether we walk outside or do some yard work or
gardening, we have to make sure we are active for our health’s sake.