First Lady Releases Video Encouraging Families to Get Outdoors
Just in time for the weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama released a video that encourages families to explore and enjoy the great outdoors.
Kids need sixty minutes of physical activity each day to stay healthy. “One of the most fun ways to get moving is by exploring America’s Great Outdoors. No matter where you live, there are places near you to get out and get active,” says First Lady Michelle Obama. “The great outdoors is America’s first and best playground.”
Let’s Move!, Mrs. Obama’s campaign to end childhood obesity in one generation aims to improve nutrition and physical fitness for kids across the country. An arm of the campaign, Let’s Move Outside! promotes green spaces as natural gyms where we can have fun, get moving and experience all the benefits of spending time in nature.
Last year, I had the honor of attending (with my colleagues from the Outdoors Alliance for Kids) a Let’s Move Outside! event on the White House lawn where we helped lead nature-based activity stations for Washington, DC high school students, including the first ever rock climbing wall at the White House. Sierra Club's Baltimore Inner City Outings Chair, Nicole Veltre, was also there with me to share her pretty impressive paddling techniques during a kayaking demonstration on the South Lawn.
As summer heats up, this message from America’s First Lady couldn’t be any more important. We know that spending time outdoors in nature can help to make us healthier and happier. Gallup polling has found that people who live near parks have fewer headaches, lower obesity rates and as many as 25% fewer heart attacks. Research shows that kids who play outdoors are often more physically fit and have better vision than kids who recreate indoors. Time in nature can reduce stress, anxiety and the symptoms of attention deficit disorders.
The bottom line - getting outdoors is good for you! Just ask any of Sierra Club’s volunteer outings leaders who give their free time to make sure that kids and adults get to experience the great outdoors all year round.
Three cheers for Mrs. Obama for keeping her family active and healthy and inspiring the rest of us to do the same. From an organic garden, where kids can learn where there food comes from and enjoy planting, harvesting and eating fresh veggies, to family trips in some of our most iconic National Parks, the Obamas are leading the way. So get outdoors with your family this summer – you’ll be glad you did!