Nowadays, families are starting to spend less and less time together. Instead, people are opting to take more work hours, they’re hanging out with friends more often and everyone seems to prefer their private time away from their other family members. Unfortunately, this is a troublesome trend because it doesn’t help families bond together and it means we can’t take advantage of some of the benefits of spending time outdoors with our loved ones.
So in this article, we’re going to try and bring things back to their roots by talking about the importance of spending time outdoors with your family and how you can do it more often.
The importance of spending more time outdoors with your family
First, let’s take a look at some of the big reasons why you should be getting outside more often with your family.
It gives your family a chance to bond
Now that we have a lot of advanced modern technologies, a lot of our kids are focused on computer and smartphone screens. It’s not necessarily a bad thing seeing as they’re likely still socialising on the internet and playing games with their friends, but it means that there’s less chance to bond as a family. You might also suffer from something similar such as a constant need to check your phone for notifications and updates when you should be talking about the film on TV to your family.
It allows the whole family to get away and de-stress
As much as technology is a huge benefit to our lives, it does help every now and then to disconnect from the web and just enjoy nature instead. Taking regular trips outdoors will help your family unwind and destress since they’re less likely to check their phone than if they were lounging on their bed or the living room sofa. Unwinding and unplugging yourself voluntarily from things like social media can be a huge help for anyone that is feeling stressed out.
It makes you healthier in several ways
Lastly, we also can’t forget that going outside and spending more time surrounded by nature can make you healthier. Walking alone can help contribute to calorie loss and also keeping your legs mobile, while sports can help you train to become stronger, faster and fitter. In addition, exposure to sunlight boosts vitamin D which can help prevent chronic illnesses. According to a study, over 85% of Americans actually have a vitamin D deficiency because they don’t get enough sun.
It gives you an excuse to visit relatives
Outdoor trips are a lot of fun because you get to travel, but there's nothing wrong with visiting your relatives and allowing your kids to socialize with more people. This can include other children around their age in the area or even their aunts and uncles. Visiting relatives can help ensure that your family not only get used to travelling outdoors but also helps your children (especially if they’re young) learn the faces and voices of their relatives.
How to encourage your family to spend more time outdoors
Now that we know just how important spending time outdoors with your family is, let’s look at a couple of ways to encourage it so that it happens more often.
1. Let your family members invite friends
Spending time with your family doesn’t mean that other people can’t be invited. There’s nothing wrong with taking an extra friend or two, or even going together with another family to make it a joint venture. Let your kids invite their school friends, let your partner invite a work colleague or even bring the neighbors along for the ride to make it more exciting and social.
2. Consider something convenient like a backyard barbeque
Don’t have a gas grill? Not a problem! You can find some of the best gas grills under 300 at local hardware and appliance stores. Don’t know how to cook? No problem! Ask your partner, friends or family members for help or just do a bit of research and practice a bit. Cooking on a grill brings out the delicious flavors of our favorite meats and vegetables, and you can always add a spin with your own unique barbeque sauce. It brings people together, it helps to share food culture and your neighbors will be jealous!
3. Try and encourage some outdoor hobbies
It could be playing soccer, it could be fishing or even just bike riding together. By encouraging some kind of healthy outdoor hobby, you stand a much better chance of getting your family outside on a regular basis. This is the perfect opportunity for family bonding and as long as the activity is something everyone enjoys, it can offer a lot of group enjoyment. Even if the outdoor hobby is something in your backyard such as spotting birds, it at least gives you something to talk about and bond over.
4. Pick a teamwork activity
Something like an escape room is the perfect cooperative activity that is not only fun for everyone but can help you create family bonds. Escape rooms are exciting and the many different themes are unique and often get changed to keep things fresh. Some of them have real brain-teasing puzzles that can boost your confidence and it makes for a very satisfying activity if you do manage to escape!
5. Make it a regular thing
In order to successfully get your family outside to enjoy themselves, you need to make it a regular thing. Don’t focus only on heading out for special occasions. Instead, consider going out every week by picking a new destination each time or lining up some fun activities for your family to enjoy.
With any luck, we’ll start seeing more families going out with their children to socialize, have fun and enjoy each other’s company. It’s going to be a far cry from all of the technology that your family are probably used to by now, but it’s certainly a unique and fun way to get the family together and bond.