Enjoy the Outdoors

— Written By and last updated by Elisabeth Purser
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Places to Hike in NC, Hiking Near ME, Hiking in Charlotte, Uwharrie, N.C. Cooperative Extension In the last two decades, childhood has moved indoors. The average American child spends as few as 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day and more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen. The outdoors provides endless opportunities for physical activity, such as biking and hiking. Outdoor play for children promotes fitness, can raise vitamin D levels, and can help reduce stress. Here are some ways your children can be more active outdoors: 

  • Bike riding: Whether you bike through your neighborhood, on a trail, or through a state park, bike riding is a fun activity to do as a family.
  • Swimming: Going to a pool, lake, ocean, or river open to the public for swimming is a great way to cool off and get exercise during the summer months. 
  • Parks: Local and state parks provide many options for physical activity, from playgrounds to canoeing. Parks are great places to find activities that all of your children can enjoy, no matter how old they are.
  • Hiking: Hiking trails range in difficulty, from easiest to very strenuous, so it’s easy to find a trail that suits your pace and experience level. 
  • Backyard play: Your own backyard is a great space for a quick game of catch or for getting all 60 minutes of your child’s daily physical activity! Try activities like hula hoop, “Red Light Green Light,” jump rope, or even gardening.
  • Remember to bring water, sunscreen, snacks, and other appropriate safety equipment (such as helmets) for whatever activity you choose.

Whether you go in your backyard or to a hiking trail, enjoy the outdoors as the weather gets warmer!