Vitamin D is essential to our health as adults, and it’s perhaps even more beneficial for teens who are spending more and more time indoors every day. The most natural and accessible source of Vitamin D3, a great immune system booster, is the sun. However, with the increasing use of technology via smartphones, tablets, and computers, especially in schools, teenagers don’t get much of this incredible natural resource at all. And even when school lets out, we find more and more teens using their phones and hiding away indoors, especially in climates where the sun is scorching!
The benefits of vitamin D, especially for teens, are undeniable. But it can be hard to convince them, as many parents of teens acknowledge. Here are a few tips to make sure your children spend more time outdoors and soak up as much Vitamin D as possible this summer.
Take a family road trip.
Pack an RV and get on the road with your teenagers! This will enable you to spend quality time together and sightsee as a family. If you plan to travel on the west side of the country, the Grand Canyon is a great destination for spending time outside. If you’re on the east coast, you can visit a waterpark or go camping in the mountains.
Install a deck and pool in your backyard.
Your teens will appreciate having the extra incentive to invite their friends over and hang out. And since they’ll be doing it at your house, you can keep your eye on them. Don’t live in a pool-friendly climate? Don’t worry! Winston Salem porch contractors, Bob Ryan and Erik Diamond (our friends and owners of Outdoor Lifestyles, LLC), assert: “a screened porch or sunroom is a great alternative and a fabulous way to enjoy the outdoors from within the comfort of an enclosed environment.” (These are also areas that you can enjoy in cooler weather, so they’ll get year-round use!)
Encourage them to play a sport.
Enrolling them in some sort of competitive league during the summer is a great way to ensure they continue to build up their coordination and physical fitness, which may be useful if they plan to go to college on an athletic scholarship! It’s also a great family bonding tool as you’ll find yourself cheering them on at games.
Take the phone away.
Technology can be a huge hindrance to encouraging your teens to get outside during the school year and over the summer. At the very least, try to establish some boundaries when it comes to using phones, tablets, and computers by only allowing their use in a controlled environment, at specific times and for productive purposes only (i.e. for a job, and not for checking Facebook or posting on Instagram).