As tempting as it might be to hibernate indoors during the winter months, especially if you have a new baby or a toddler, it’s important for all of you to get outdoors frequently to blow away those cobwebs and get some fresh air. It’s not just good for your baby or toddler, spending time outdoors will improve your health and general feeling of wellbeing, Midwife and Health Visitor Katie Hilton shares her top 5 benefits of getting out & about this year…
1 – Get Some Fresh Air!
You might have heard the old wives tale that breathing in fresh air helps to clear your airways and makes you feel better, but there is actually some truth to this, breathing in fresh air helps your lungs to dilate and expel toxins from within your body. When you’ve been stuck sitting inside for hours, most likely with the heating on at this time of year, you’ve been breathing in stale, recycled air. So, popping out even just for a short while and breathing in fresh air is a great cleanser for your lungs. Fresh air is also a great way of boosting both your own and your baby or child’s immune system, which helps them to fight off those nasty winter germs, it increases your oxygen levels which will make you think more clearly and feel full of energy, which is great for ‘mum brain’.
2 – Boost Your Mental Health!
Leaving the house and getting outside boosts your serotonin levels, this is the hormone in your body known as the happy hormone. Increasing your serotonin levels helps to improve your mood, relaxes you and provides an overall sense of increased wellbeing. Many new mothers with young babies and children can feel a little low in mood, especially if they’ve been stuck in the house most of the week, so getting out & about can really help to raise your mood. If you can try to get out to somewhere like a park for a walk, where there’s some trees and greenery then even better, as research has shown this increases your serotonin levels even more!
3 – Helps You Get Fit!
You more than likely feel that you never sit still at the moment and you’re always on the move which is likely true with trips up and down the stairs and to the washing machine to clean all those baby & toddler clothes, but being active at home doesn’t offer the same health benefits as a brisk walk outdoors, which will raise your pulse and help you to get fit. If you have both a baby and a toddler in tow and need to take the pram or pushchair with you, then use something such as the Lascal BuggyBoard or Saddle, which will enable you to easily transport both around without your older child complaining about aching legs or struggling to keep up. Even just a short walk will give your heart and lungs a good workout, walking is also a great to way to lose that pregnancy weight if you need to.
4 – Improve Your Digestion!
This might be a little surprising to you, but getting out & about, taking a walk and getting some fresh air and exercise helps to improve your digestion. The increased oxygen level and blood flow helps to boost your digestion and also stimulates your bowels to work more effectively.
5 – A Great Night’s Sleep!
I know you’re probably thinking you won’t get a good night’s sleep for many years to come but getting outdoors has been shown to improve both yours and your baby or child’s quality of sleep. After a good dose of oxygen and fresh clean air, you will all have a deeper, more restful sleep. Little one will also likely be hungrier and have a good feed, settle much quicker and have a longer, peaceful sleep, so it’s time to swap your slippers for your walking boots and make 2020 the year you get outside!