Teens are kinda addicted to their phones. Teens spend more time streaming videos online, playing video games, and interacting on social media combined than any other activities. Unfortunately, this means that teens rarely spend time outside, but finding things a teen can do outside and not on the phone is going to improve your health.
When you stay inside all the time, you miss out on the physical and spiritual benefits that sunshine, fresh air, and exercise can give you. Getting too much sun can be bad for you, but not getting enough sun can be worse. The sun can help elevate your mood and regulate your circadian clock, which i turn helps you sleep better. To reap these benefits, try to do things a teen can do outside and not on the phone. Here are a few ways every teen can get outside more often:
Involve your friends
Get a group of friends together for stuff you can do outside. Teens are kind of in between still being a kid and being young adults, so you can get away with being goofy and running around. Examples of things you can do include:
- Volleyball (could be informal, just hit the ball in the air if you don’t have a net)
- Walking around the city and talking
- Manhunt (you need a larger group)
- Bocce ball
- Miniature golf
- Kick a ball around, or a hacky-sack
- Hunt geocaches
- Urban exploration (don’t trespass, but you can find really cool locations)
Active Sports and Activities
Take the initiative to participate in sports such as swimming or tennis if you are an active person. See if you can get involved in a baseball or softball league. You can also take a weekend hiking, fishing, or camping trip.
If you aren’t interested in participating in sports, you can always spend time outside watching others play. Attend football, baseball or soccer games. Going to a beach or a lake to enjoy the beauty of the water is always a good alternative option.
Outside of playing games and sports to spend time outside, there are alternative options that you can choose. Walk around the park and just watch people. Don’t be creepy and stare, but just look them over and try to find something you like about them. This will help you come out of your shell a little bit, especially if you are mad at someone or very shy. Your mood will get better. And you never know where you might make a new friend!
Walk or bike everyhere
Making it a point to walk or bike everywhere is another way to get outdoors without having to play a sport or game. Get in the habit of walking or biking to school if you live in a safe enough area. If you are old enough to drive, don’t waste time hunting for a close parking spot at the mall, but park far and enjoy the extra exercise.
Safety comes first
No matter what outdoor activity you try, make sure you don’t take stupid risks or break the law. These are not worth it. Stay alert to your surroundings. Don’t walk or jog with earphones in your ears. This can drown out what’s going on around you.
Be sure to look out for cars that may back up out of driveways or that run red lights whenever you go outdoors. Be careful not to walk or bike after dark. Most pedestrian accidents that result in injury happen at night. It is also dangerous to cross the street anywhere other than the crosswalk of an intersection.
Once you enjoy things a teen can do outside and not on the phone more often, you may start to wonder whether you even need video games or spending so much time obsessing about your Snapchat streaks. Be cautious, be safe, and have fun.