Unplug and Play: Get Out and Get Healthy!
By Rhenelle Mc Sween-Navarro, Community Health Specialist
In today’s fast-paced digital world, it is easy to get lost in our screens and social media. Although online content is a lot of fun, it is essential to balance our online time with outdoor activities to stay healthy and happy. Being outside is fun too! Let’s explore the many benefits of getting off our phones and getting active.
The Importance of Physical Activity
Physical activity can sound like a lot of work, especially if you’re used to chilling and scrolling through social media, however, physical activity is crucial for kids and teens. Let’s see why below:
- Strong Bodies: Regular physical activity helps us build strong muscles and bones, making us less prone to injuries.
- Boosted Mood: Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are those feel-good chemicals in our brain which can reduce stress and make us happier.
- Better Sleep: Being active during the day can help us sleep better at night, so we wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
- Healthy Hearts: Kids who are active are more likely to grow up with healthy hearts, reducing the risk of heart disease later in life.
- Improved Social Life: Getting out and socializing with friends in-person is way better than online! Imagine being able to actually give your friend a hug rather than sending a hug emoji. Super cool.
Say Goodbye to Screen Time
We all love our devices, but too much screen time can lead to many different problems such as:
- Poor Posture
- Eye Strain
- Sleep Disturbances
- Social Isolation
To break free from the screen, try these tips:
Set Time Limits
Limit screen time each day by setting a time limit. An example of this can be committing to only using social media for 1 hour a day. An easy way to do this is by setting screen time limits on your phone or devices. Apple users can learn how to do this here, while Android users can learn how to this here.
Find Offline Hobbies
Explore activities like sports, crafts, reading, or playing a musical instrument. The St. Pete Parks & Recreation department offers fun Teen Sports Leagues such as flag football, volleyball, and basketball. There are also many different Youth Leagues for younger kids all over the city. In addition, there are many other programs offered by St. Pete Parks & Recreation that you can learn about here. You can also check out the St. Petersburg Library system for fun activities here.
Go for hikes or nature walks. Explore local trails, parks, and forests to discover the beauty of the outdoors. Check out some fun outdoor activities with the St.Pete Parks and Recreation Nature Programs. You can also get outside and grow some crops with the St. Pete Youth Farm. The options are endless!
So, there you have it everyone! It’s time to unplug, go outdoors, and enjoy all the fantastic health benefits of being active. Remember, a healthy and balanced lifestyle is the key to your wellbeing. So, put down those phones, round up your friends and family, and let’s have some fun in the St. Pete sun!