February 25, 2016

Why not make one of your goals for 2016 to spend more time outside with family. There are endless benefits to getting outside, exploring and going on an adventure. Provincial Biologist Melissa Baum from Love. nature. baby has enlightened us with 16 reasons to get outside and why you should start now.

1. To create new memories
The New Year is a great time to start making new memories with your loved ones. Spending time outdoors is a great way to do this. A lot of family favourite childhood memories include hiking or camping. Play in the mud with your kids, go camping for the first time, or explore a new trail. Not every outdoor experience is going to be perfect, but those sometimes make the best memories.

2. To spend time with friends and family
Being outside is a great way to spend the day with friends and family. By getting outdoors you can leave distractions behind and spend some quality time together. Go hike in a park and bring a picnic, go to the beach and have a sandcastle building competition, take the family to the playground, or just sit out in the backyard and have a BBQ. Outside time means more quality time with the ones you love.

3. For your physical health
Getting outdoors is great for your health. Even a small amount of outdoor activity such as playing ball, exploring around the yard, or walking around your neighbourhood will have you feeling great and will improve your overall health. Physical activity can reduce your chances of developing health problems and can even add years to your life – valuable years you will spend with your kids and future generations.

4. For your mental health
Ask any outdoor enthusiasts and most would say that they spend time outside because it makes them feel good. Whether you are a hiker, a fisherman, a runner, or someone who just enjoys lounging outdoors you do it because you enjoy it.

5. To meet new people
What is better than finding a new friend that shares the same passion as you? Whatever your outdoor passion is there is probably a community for it and, if not, you could start one of your own. Whether it is new friends for you, for your kids, or both, meeting new people is just another reason to get outside.

6. To experience new things
Get outside with your kids and to find a new hobby or activity. Try mountain biking or rock climbing? There are a lot of free options out there too such as bird watching or hiking.

7. To get better at something
Use this year to get better at an outdoor activity that you already enjoy doing. If you are a family of mountain bikers you can keep challenging yourselves to new and more difficult trails. This kind of goal works well with aging kids as their skills and abilities grow as they do. Having a goal will keep you motivated to continue to get out.

8. To make great stories
Just like making memories with your family, get outside and make stories that you and your family will be sharing with others for the rest of your lives.

9. For inspiration
Nature is full of inspiration – with its’ beautiful landscapes, sounds, smells and textures. Use what you experience in the outdoors to inspire other parts of your life. Take your kids out and find things to use during arts and crafts or maybe get artsy yourself and use the natural surroundings to take some beautiful pictures of the family.

10. For someone else
There are endless benefits to kids having outdoor time, that you should get outside for them.

11. For yourself
Maybe you are the person who thrives outdoors more than inside but your kids are at the age where they don’t want to be outdoors. You take them on a hike or a bike ride and all you hear about is when you are going to get home. Find a way to still enjoy your time outside for you!

12. For the fresh air and space
Get outside to breath in the wide open space. Get outside with the kids for the fresh air and the space. It will make you all feel great!

13. To see things in a new way
If you are a family who spends a lot of time inside, get outside and see your kids in a new way. Children in nature are wonderful, creative little creatures. When kids are allowed to play with their surroundings they may amaze you with the things they come up with. If you are a family that spends a lot of time outside try to enjoy something you do all the time in a different way. Hike a trail that you know like the back of your hand, but take the time to look at it differently.

14. Because it’s fun
What better reason to get out with the kids then it is fun! Whether your definition of fun is an activity that is thrilling and adrenaline inducing or it’s calm and relaxing, get outside and experience it!

15. Connect with nature
There is something special about experiencing nature’s wondrous things and as a family it can bring you closer together.

16. For no reason at all
You don’t always need a reason to go outside. In fact, the most fun and spontaneous activities might start by simply just going out. Among the many reasons having kids in nature is awesome, their imagination and creativity could take you to places you could never imagine. So next time you think there is no reason to go outside, do it anyways, and let the kids lead the way. Next thing you know you might be fighting monsters with swords made from sticks, turning over rocks to find new creatures, or creating a whole world that you would have never seen if it wasn’t for them.

Live outside the box at Watagan Park

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