Connecting Physical Literacy and Nature
When we talk about physical literacy, we are not just talking about the physical act of learning how to move, we also need to consider what motivates us to move. How do we develop a love for movement that will keep us coming back for more?
One easy way to do this is to simply spend time outdoors! Exploring nature’s playground is a great way to help children develop physical literacy – there are plenty of things to climb, balance on, hop over and lots of open space to run and get that heart pumping and feeling good. Spending time in nature is good for the whole family – the benefits are seemingly endless – stress reduction, reduction in ADHD symptoms, lower blood pressure, better grades in school… even better eyesight, just to name a few. The research is undeniable – spending time in nature is essential for good health… the problem is that we are actually spending more time indoors.
So the challenge to you is to “unplug” and get outside…. even in the winter. Winter is our longest season here in Canada but it shouldn’t stop us from enjoying what the great outdoors has to offer and there are plenty of activities to do in the snow and on the ice. Don’t forget that sliding and gliding are two very important fundamental movement skills and winter is a great time to practice and develop those skills.
So here’s to vitamin D, green (and white!) and feeling GOOD – see you out there!
Visit http://www.parks-parcs.ca/english/ConnectingCanadians-English_web.pdf to learn more about the benefits of connecting to nature.
Tara Chisholm is the Wellness Programmer for the Medicine Hat College Be Fit For Life Centre.