What scenes do you picture as the winter months approach?
Curling up with a hot cuppa and a good book? Playing board games as a family in front of a blazing fire? While these are lovely visions, being cooped up inside during winter isn’t always a barrel of laughs. Especially when you have to contend with small children full of energy to burn!
While many of us tend to want to hibernate when the temperatures drop, research suggests that heading outdoors is much better for us – and our kids!
And what better opportunity, than getting out to the Field Days event if you are a Waikato local (or anywhere for that matter)?
There are so many good reasons to throw on a sweater and raincoat and venture outside, even when it may feel unwelcoming. Here’s some motivation to help you get off that couch and into the fresh air.
Beat The Winter Blues
Ever heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Feeling the winter blues is a common reality for many people, and can be caused by a variety of factors. Staying inside and not getting enough natural light can actually have adverse effects on our energy levels, mood, and even our ability to think clearly.
Our moods and emotional wellbeing are strongly impacted by the serotonin levels in our brain. In winter, these levels tend to be lower, putting us at increased risk of depression and fatigue. Heading outside is a healthy, natural way to boost your serotonin.
Get Your Daily Vitamin D Dose
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and a well-functioning immune system. Unable to absorb this from food, our body relies on exposure to sunlight to stay topped up. Even ten minutes of outdoor time every day should be enough. Obviously, less is required in summer when the sun is at its most powerful – and dangerous.
Boost The Immune System
Many parents think that letting their child play outside when it’s cold increases their risk of developing a cold or flu. But in reality, keeping them inside is a more significant risk. Recycled, warm air is a germ factory! Head outdoors for some crisp fresh air to flush out those airways.
If that’s not reason enough, a recent Japanese study proved that time spent in nature can boost immunity and lower stress hormones.
In today’s digital age, many children don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity for optimal health. Instead of parking your child in front of the TV or iPad for hours during winter, plan some outdoor physical fun together.
Being active at any time of year helps growing (and already grown!) bodies stay strong and healthy – not to mention those mood-boosting benefits associated with exercise.
Learn About The World
The changing seasons are fascinating, and an excellent opportunity to learn and explore with your children. There are different sensations, textures, colours, plants, animals, and natural phenomena to explore. Mother Nature provides a much better education than we give her credit for.
Every season brings new challenges and adventures. While winter may be a little less appealing to some, perhaps it is time to reframe it and look forward to throwing on a jacket and boots and leaving crunchy footsteps in the grass while breathing steam into the early morning air.
Dress For The Season
There is no denying that winter weather can be cold. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel cold when you are out in it! To make sure you enjoy your outdoor adventures, choose the right clothing for the job. Layers are the best way to stay warm. Choose breathable fabrics like merino, so that you don’t sweat. Stay away from cotton or linen as they retain moisture and take forever to dry.
You also want to make sure you choose a great waterproof outer layer for both yourself and your little ones. Little Ducks specialises in warm, waterproof clothing for preschoolers and we have done for years. We have a great range of jackets, overpants and puffer vests to choose from.
Unfortunately this year we will not be able to attend the Field Days event, however, we can still offer you the same great Field Days specials we always have done. Head on over to the our website and read about the specials between 15th May to 15th June!