Outdoors and Walks
Outdoors and Walks for You and Baby
There are many benefits to the outdoors and going for walks which are both physical and mental, but there are also developmental benefits for baby.
I really enjoy the outdoors, as I grew up on a farm in New Zealand and spent a lot of time out on the farm or on bush walks. I enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine, hearing the wind and the birds, and getting some exercise while I’m at it. Moving to Australia meant I had to often get up early to go for walks because of the heat. But when I do, I feel so much better for it. Going for walks could be just walking down to your local park and spending some time in the fresh air or walking foot paths near your house. It could also be going for walks at a local forest or national park as many places have paths for prams or take bub in a pack. My baby Quen loves going outdoors, seeing the trees, birds and taking in the whole environment, plus he gets so tired out after and naps really well, BONUS!
Walking regularly (at least 3 times a week) for 30 minutes or more can mean many benefits for mum including:
- Improved health such as reduced risk of heart disease, improved heart rate, lower blood pressure, helps manage weight, and help or prevent diabetes
- Helps strengthen muscles, bones, and protects joints, as well as improves immunity
- Reduces stress, improves mood, helps anxiety and depression. Also clears your head, improves creativity and productivity
This is due to the exercise maintaining weight and blood sugar through burning calories, strengthening the muscles in your body including your heart. Moving the oxygen around your body and improving blood flow helps with concentration. The endorphins, fresh air, and clearing your head on walks helps with mood and mental health issues.
Benefits of being outdoors:
- Going outdoors the air is better than indoors but going away from the city and traffic you are breathing the best air, away from pollution
- Able to soak up some vitamin D which helps bones through the absorption of calcium in the body
- Eases anxiety as it feels slower and calmer, less loud stressful noises and more sounds of birds and the wind
- Improve immunity – increase in white blood cells through breathing in phytoncides
- Improve sleep- exposure to sunlight restores natural sleep pattern
- Improves sight, life expectancy, creativity, and memory
As for taking baby for walks and outdoor, they benefit too:
- Helps sleep- not only from fresh air and stimulus but it also helps them set their biological clock due to the sunlight exposure.
- Boost immunity- they are exposed to lots of different microns and allergens when outdoors in new places, they also gain endorphins, vitamin D and sleeping better all of which help your baby build immunity.
- Sensory stimulation and cognitive development- exposure to lots of new colours, shapes, scents, and sounds. Where baby will need to focus on what he is seeing and hearing trying to understand what they are encourages brain development.
- Promotes language and auditory development- Baby will hear new sounds and discuss with baby what they hear or see for example “see the bird flying away?”
- Meet with people to help socialise, saying hi to people you see on walks or go for walks with friends.
- Quality time- spending time together away from technology and give baby new experiences.
- Vitamin D- absorbed from sunlight helps with calcium absorption, immune function, as well as improving muscle, bone, and heart health.
Even enjoying the back yard on a blanket can benefit baby with fresh air and sun. Being stuck inside all the time is no fun for anyone.