With the statistics of more and more young people with a diagnosable mental illness skyrocketing, the awareness of mental health is higher than ever.
In recent years, research suggests that physical activity has a direct link to mental wellbeing in young people and adults, and with that in mind, we have identified 4 reasons why going outdoors improves a child's mental health and wellbeing:
Give Them A Break
We all need a chance to relax and give our brains a rest, children probably more so than adults because their brains are still in the development stage, so giving children the opportunity to have fun outside is a great way of creating headspace and enabling them to let go and forget about any tasks they may find challenging inside.
This also helps them to get back on task with a fresh mind when they are in school or have school work to do at home.
Sports And Physical Activity Lowers Anxiety
Research shows a link between participation in outdoor sports and activities,with significant improvements in mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing in children. A recent study confirmed that life satisfaction and happiness are higher for people who are physically active, and their levels of anxiety are lower.
Sunlight is the best natural source for our bodies to produce Vitamin D, which releases serotonin, also known as the ‘happy chemical’ as it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. Children need healthy levels of Vitamin D and serotonin for their mental health and development. Reasearch shows that a lack of Vitamin D has been linked to mental ilnesses such as depression.
Relieves Stress And Anxiety
Playing outdoors is thought to help relieve stress and anxiety for children by reducing levels of the hormone cortisol in the brain. Recent studies found that even just five minutes of exercise in a natural outdoor environment can rapidly improve self-esteem and mental health and wellbeing in young people.