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What is sooooo good about the great outdoors? I am truly blessed to have kids who love the outdoors, and love to be outside with me. We live on a farm and spend most of our days in the spring, summer, and fall outside. They play in the dirt, catch chickens, play with the dogs and calves, and help in the garden. One of the books I read a while ago had an excellent ‘recipe’ for preserving children.
“Take 1 large field, a dozen children, 2-3 small dogs, a pinch of brook, and some pebbles. Mixz together children and dogs; sprinkle the field with flowers; spread over all a sky of deep blue and bake in the sun. When brown, set away to cool in the bathtub.” ~The Encyclopedia of Country Living.
I might be biased, but country kids are some of the healthiest kids around. There are a few studies that have suggested this as well. Check out google scholar if you want to dive deeper there. But what does all the great outdoors have to do with health? Let's take a look at some basic things the great outdoors has to offer our health.
#1 Vitamin D! There is no doubt the best, most readily available source of vitamin D comes from the sun. When you are outside you soak up that Vitamin D, giving your immune system what it needs to help keep you healthy. With that said, do NOT go out and get sunburned. That is not helpful to your body.
#2 Fresh air! Remember over winter how stuffy the house gets to feeling? You cannot wait until spring to throw open the window and let all the air in? Fresh air allows us to breathe in clean sair, that is not loaded with bad bacteria that make us sick.
#3 Bacteria exposure! Before you go and freak out, hear me out. Bacteria way out number us. They live in us and surround us. Many ‘bad’ bacteria actually naturally live in the body. They only become ‘bad’ when they move to where they are not supposed to be, or become too populated. Your immune system is like a muscle, the more it works out the stronger it becomes. Outside is loaded with bacteria, good and bad. Exposing yourself to all that bacteria is like exercising your immune system. It becomes stronger, with small exposures, then when a large challenge (hello flu) comes around it is armed and ready to fight.
With those 3 things in mind, I’ll keep my kids outside as long as they can all year. Don’t worry, I’ll be out there too!
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