The Great Outdoors: The Health Benefits of Nature for Military Families

By: Jason Jowers

Family picnicking

Military life can be challenging and stressful for military service members and their families. And with this increased stress, it makes it harder and harder for parents to find meaningful ways to connect with their kids and to provide support in their everyday lives. One way for the whole family to de-stress is to spend time together outdoors.  What better way for military families to reconnect than through spending time together in nature?

In this blog from the Human Performance Resource Center (HPRC), they highlight ways that military kids especially can benefit from spending time in nature and how military parents can be involved. Some suggestions include:

  • Access to nature can improve thinking abilities and positive brain development.
  • Can help to build strong social skills.
  • Increased physical health and physical activity.
  • Less screen time whether that be from TV, phones, and other electronic devices.
  • Increased attentiveness and can help with attention deficit disorders.
  • And most importantly, reduced stress!

With summer right around the corner, there are increased opportunities for military families to get outside. Many parks and their activities are absolutely free and cater to military families specifically. So get out there and reconnect to support healthy and resilient military kids and parents!

And if you are looking for more ways to support military kids, MFLN Family Development has an array of programming and suggestions. Tune into our webinar called, “The Power of Family Mealtimes: Strategies to Promote Health and Wellbeing.” Also, be sure to watch our webinars in the Kids Serve Too! Series, all about the great resources provided by Sesame Street for Military Families! CEUs are still available for these webinars and, as always, are absolutely FREE!

References

Human Performance Resource Center HPRC. (2018). 5 Ways Military Kids Can Benefit from Nature Plus 5 Ways Parents Can Make It Happen. Retrieved from: https://www.hprc-online.org/articles/5-ways-military-kids-can-benefit-from-nature-plus-5-ways-parents-can-make-it-happen

 This post was written by members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Learn more about us at https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/family-development, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter.  Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.

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