Can Outdoor Activities Lead to Better Eyesight? – How It Affects Kids’ Eyesight

When it comes to caring for your eyes health care experts and researchers have pointed out a connection between outdoor activities and the promotion of healthier eyesight. This is an added incentive for parents to encourage their kids to incorporate more outdoor activities into their daily schedule. Statistics indicate that there is a lack of time spent in the outdoors among the youth. For instance, the majority of hours are spent indoors watching television, using technological devices such as cell phones, iPads, tablets and computers. According to Nielsen sources, Americans spend an average of 34 hours a week watching television. They own at least 4 digital devices on which they spend about 60 hours a week accessing information from these sources. These visual habits are leading to a significant increase in vision problems in the United States. Comparatively, children spend less than 30 minutes a week playing outdoors- a sedentary lifestyle that has contributed to high obesity rates in many cities across America. These dire statistics undoubtedly highlight the urgent need for more outdoor activities among the nation’s youth.

While the benefits of such physical activities will yield results in improved physical fitness that can lead to weight loss, did you know that outdoor activities can also protect the eyes from vision conditions?

A Chinese study was conducted to examine the effects of increased outdoor activities on kids’ eye health. In this particular study, 12 schools were chosen whereby 1,900 first graders were examined in this study. In half of the schools an extra 40 hours of outdoor activities were added for the duration of a nine month academic period of time.

The results of the study showed a 23 percent decline in the rate of Myopia among school kids after a period of 3 years. This research study demonstrated the critical importance of preventive care for protecting kids’ eyesight.

Researchers in this study surmised that a combination of factors possibly led to positive changes in children’s eyesight. Such factors may have been related to exposure to sunlight, a break from close up activities on technological devices, and physical exercise outdoors.

Insufficient outdoor activities are creating an epidemic of vision related problems. This is the case in Asian countries whereby indoor activities are significantly higher. In this particular part of the world, the rate of school children with Myopia is the highest in the world.

According to eye care experts, daylight helps the eyes as the brain releases a chemical called Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is also produced by the Retina in daylight conditions. This inhibits the abnormal elongated growth of the eye- ball that would cause the development of Myopia.

In light of concerns about the harmful UV rays of the sun, ensure that your kids wear protective gear when they are spending time outdoors. Additionally, make sure that they eat foods rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin such as dark green leafy vegetables. These do provide the eyes with nutritional protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Due to the lack of outdoor activities, and eye habits that are more geared towards an increased focus on close up activities on technological devices indoors, there has been a significant increase in vision problems related to Myopia. A solution to this problem is to encourage an increase in outdoor activities among the youth. The eyes respond positively to daylight activities. Such activities produce a brain chemical called Dopamine that is transmitted to the eyes and released by the Retina, thereby inhibiting the abnormal growth of the eye- ball; a factor that triggers Myopia. Ultimately, as research shows, increased time spent in outdoor activities has a positive and beneficial effect, thereby protecting the eyes and sustaining the health of the visual system.

Outdoor Activities For the Family

Spending time outdoors enjoying family activities with your children is one of the best ways to pass a day. There are fun family outdoor activities that you can take part in year round. Doing things with your children in this way offers unique opportunities to communicate and reconnect while also having fun.

Planning fun family outdoor activities takes a little preparation. It’s best to talk with your family and find out which activities they would enjoy, then plan outings accordingly. Medical conditions have to be a consideration also. A child with allergies probably won’t enjoy a walk in the woods as much as the rest of the family. You have to take everything into account so the whole family enjoys the activity.

There are quite a few outdoor activities to choose from. Here are some you might want to consider:

o Boating: If you do have a family member with allergies, you might consider boating as an outdoor family activity. With boating you don’t have tree and flower allergens to deal with.

o Hiking: Going for a hike is a great outdoor activity for the whole family. You can take traditional hikes in the woods of your local state parks, go to military parks and use the hike as an educational tool, or even go to botanical gardens and caves for day hikes. Hiking is an activity that you can partake in most any time of the year if your state doesn’t have bad winters. Just make sure you and your children have the appropriate clothing and gear.

o Swimming: A day spent swimming at the lake is probably the ultimate fun family outdoor activity. Children love splashing around in the water, and going to the lake is usually a fairly inexpensive activity which is good for your wallet.

o Fishing: Get the kids and the fishing gear together and head out to catch the big one. Fishing is a sport that everyone can enjoy. They even have pink fishing poles for little girls these days to make them more interested in the activity. Fishing offers great opportunities for reconnecting for the whole family. Sitting on the creek bank, or in the boat, waiting for the fish to bite, is the perfect time to ask about each other’s day.

o Skiing: During the winter months the family can go skiing together. Everyone can start out on the bunny slopes together while they learn the ropes. Being on top of the mountain and looking out at the vast horizon and beauty surrounding you is one of the best feelings in the world.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started. There are numerous outdoor activities that families can enjoy. Being together is the most important thing. Spending time doing fun family outdoor activities will improve relationships, develop bonds that last a lifetime, and keep everyone active. Make outdoor family activities a part of your life.

Top 5 Outdoor Activities For Kids

Finding safe, fun outdoor activities for kids in all weathers may be a little challenging but definitely isn’t impossible. With the right kids clothes outdoor play can be enjoyed on most days. Anyone can find something fun and exciting to do during the warmer weather but what about those wind-swept autumn days or frost-bitten winter mornings?Actually, finding something to do in all weather is more about an attitude change than an activity change. More and more these days we feel it may be too wet to go out or too cold when actually even a short period outdoors in inclement weather can make for a lot of fun.A New Twist On Old FavouritesNot only can the activities be entertainment but it is a perfect way to teach children to be more aware of the world around them and how seasons work to affect the plant and animal life on earth. This in turn will bring them to think with empathy on other ways of life and how to better care for their environment.Backyard cricket – This iconic game of Australia is a summer played sport but that doesn’t mean you can’t play forms of it in other seasons. You can use it to link back to some of our heritage and even use it to explore the cultures of the other countries that play. Tippety Run is an easy form of the game where you must run between wickets anytime the ball is hit. Wickets can be anything, even plastic rubbish bins, and because it is an active game it will keep kiddies warm on cooler days. It teaches teamwork as well.Kite Making – the best things about kites is they need a windy day to fly so autumn and spring are going to be perfect. Of course, no electrical storms for flying but a good stiff wind is perfect and means less work to get the kite off the ground. Children will find these easy to make and with some encouragement and some basic kite flying principles they will soon be doing their own designs. The tails can be long and fancy and a big kite is a wonderful group project. This is a great way to discuss how birds fly and what other things might be found airborne in the autumn and spring. Older kids can learn about the power in lightning and how it can travel to the earth.Treasure Hunt – Depending on where you live and how safe you feel the children will be wandering around it may pay to split into teams with an older teenager or adult with no more than two younger children. Toddler and preschoolers should always have adult supervision. You may need to take a drive to find a suitable spot if you live in a city.A rock the size of a 20c coin
The longest stick you can find
A spiky leaf
Something the shape of a love heart
This can be done in several ways and is fantastic for all age groups; you simply adjust the clues according to age group. You can also award prizes for certain categories. A sample list might be:You can tell them not to destroy anything living to get the objects and even a few showers won’t hurt this one at all. Just get them to don the raincoats, hats and boots and get excited about going out into the rain for a little while.Outdoor Painting – Painting outdoors is perfect if there is going to be a big downpour likely. It’s easy to do when the cement or walls are already wet. Use big paintbrushes and safe, water soluble paints. Even big pavement chalk is fantastic to run out in between showers to draw and then watch it get washed away. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss how rain is formed in the clouds and what happens when it rains. Kids can watch the clouds moving fast in a stormy sky and make up stories about them and then try to paint those stories. Imaginations will run wild.Sprinkler Play – Once before we could turn on the sprinkler on a hot day and play until our heart’s content. But the reality of water shortages is pertinent today and responsibility with water is an important thing to instill in our kids. They can still have sprinkler play but place the sprinkler into a pool and discuss ways to reuse the water when they have finished with it. It might be to put on the winter veggie patch that you sow in early summer. Water is an excellent source of education and play. Rainy days can help to show children what happens to water, where it goes after the drain hole, and what effect it has on the place it ends up in.There really is no limit as long as you don’t mind a bit more kids clothing in the wash. Once rugged up well even breaking ice in puddles on a frosty morning is so much fun. There is a huge variety of kids clothes and kids protective clothes available today so no more excuses about the weather being bad, go and enjoy our world.

Enjoy 6 Fun Outdoor Activities With Your Dog

One of the best things about being a dog owner is the ability to enjoy some outdoor fun with your friend. Your canine pal will always be more than happy to share in the excitement of the outdoors with you, no matter what you choose to do. They will never complain and always be the finest companion. So think big and plan some new adventures.1) Play fetch with your dog. You can do this in your backyard or in your local dog park. A good old-fashioned game of fetch is fun. Dogs are born with the instinct to hunt and retrieve and they look forward to returning to their happy owner again and again. Fetch will give your dog his needed exercise, will help strengthen the bond between you and will get him in the habit of happily returning to you. There are many fetching toys available, but a simple tennis ball will be sufficient.2) Swimming is great exercise for both of you. While not all dogs are natural swimmers, most will learn to enjoy it. Enjoying the water during the summer months will cool off your pet while they also are immersed in the physical activity of this low-impact sport. Swimming won’t stress the joints, yet it works many muscles at the same time. Take a few buoyant fetch toys along to toss for your canine pal to retrieve and return to you.3) Take your dog camping with you. Camping is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors and your dog will be a willing and ready companion. If you choose to camp near a lake or stream, your dog can play in the water while you relax nearby with a good book.4) Dog parks, including dog agility trails are both real boons for the urban dweller. Dog parks will allow your pet to romp and play off-leash with other dogs and with you, their owner. The best parks are filled with well-socialized dogs and owners, are large enough to allow unlimited running and are strongly fenced. More and more parks are now offering agility trails, designed to give your pet a fun and challenging workout. Your pet will enjoy obstacle courses consisting of ramps, hurdles, balancing bridges and many other obstacles which they must navigate through and around. This is becoming a growing new sport for your active pet.5) Go for a hike. This is not just your leisurely stroll down the street, but an extended hike through new and exciting territory. This could involve a trip to a local state park or simply exploring a back country rood or open or wooded area nearby. If you live near the ocean, an excursion to the beach will be an experience you will both treasure. The new views and different terrain will be welcome changes for both of you. Please be aware of the prevention needed for Canine Lyme Disease and also remember to bring water for your dog and for yourself on your hike.6) Consider biking, rollerblading or jogging with your well-trained pet. If your dog has been trained to stay by your side with no yanking or pulling, you will be able to bike, roller-blade or jog with your friend by your side. You may want to consider protective doggie shoes for their sensitive pads. Certainly remember to bring additional water, too.Outdoor exercise is critical to your dog’s health, but there is no reason why it must be boring. Try a few of the fun outdoor activities noted above and enjoy the bonding, the fresh air, the mental stimulation and the fun exercise with your dog.