Outdoor play offers a greater scope for physical activity than simple indoor exercise. While keeping physically active is important for overall health, doing so outdoors offers even more benefits.
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Outdoor play provides a host of physical benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, reduced stress levels and an improvement in overall fitness. It also contributes to psychological health. Outdoor play can help a person improve his self-confidence, develop spiritually and forge a connection with nature that contributes to environmental awareness. It offers opportunities for social interaction with others who share similar outdoor interests.
Take precautions when outdoors. Use sunscreen and wear insect repellent to protect from sunburns and insect bites. Wear appropriate safety equipment. For instance, wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads when riding a bike.
Outdoor games and events can be planned all year long. Summertime play may include swimming, hiking and sports such as volleyball and baseball, while the wintertime offers opportunities for skating, skiing and snowboarding. According to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, adults need a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week for optimum health, while children and teens require 60 minutes.
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