Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy long sunny days outside. June is Great Outdoors Month, making it a great time to explore and connect with nature. Whether you like to hike, bike, canoe or walk; spend time in the sun, apply sunscreen and delight in being outdoors.

Taking time to escape the indoors has its health benefits. Along with getting more exercise while doing outdoor activities, studies show your concentration will increase and you’ll be happier. Being with nature makes us calmer and more balanced. Time spent in the great outdoors reduces blood pressure, increases creativity and improves mood and self-esteem. Being in nature has a stress reducing effect and can lower anxiety. Maybe you should be reading this blog outdoors?

Our children also benefit. According to Great Outdoors Month®, a generation ago, kids spent more than four hours a day outside — now, it’s less than 40 minutes per week. Children who engage in fun outdoor activities are more likely to be physically fit, have better eyesight, and improved cognitive development. Let’s encourage our kids to turn off the TV, video games, put away their phones and play outside with friends and family.

Looking for an adventure this summer? Try one of the 400 national parks and more than 84 million acres of protected national parkland in the United States and US Territories. You may be surprised to find some in your community. Click here to find a national park:

No time to travel to a national park? Plan a family picnic, go fishing, fly a kite or take the dog for a walk. Any and all outdoor activities have benefits!


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