Best Outdoor School to Work Out in Southern California
Getting a workout in is hard, as an adult. For a kid, though, it shouldn’t be. Yet we’re seeing more schools have to cut funding for Physical Education equipment or make classes shorter. It’s not ideal for anyone and those professionals are just following orders.
But what happens when we don’t get students enough time doing physical activity? They don’t learn as well, they’re at higher risks for diseases, and it makes teachers jobs harder.
We’re not just talking about the kind of PE where you play dodgeball or tag, or even where you butt-scoot around on those sitting scooters. We’re talking about outdoor exercise, which is better than indoor exercise – it’s scientifically proven.
Find the best outdoor school to work out and learn why your school should team up and do a PE learning field trip.
Exercising Outdoors: Is it Better?
It turns out that yes, exercising in the open air is better for you than exercising inside. Now don’t get us wrong, exercising indoors is much better than not getting any exercise at all. But in a recent study indoor exercising didn’t affect people’s self-reported vitality as strongly as outdoor exercise did.
There are numerous studies on the subject, but this one, in particular, was done of more than 800 people. The ones that exercised outside (as often as the control that exercised inside) reported a more positive sense of being.
They reported feeling less angry, feeling revitalized, having more energy, and they had higher levels of vitamin D, which plays a role in depression and mood.
That Vitamin D uptick is nothing to scoff at. It’s one of the most common minerals people are low in, since most of us spend our days inside. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin in the body that affects mood but also contributes to strong bones and a healthy immune system.
People are getting a lot less of it now that we’re so careful about sun exposure, which is both a good and a bad thing.
Exercise and Pollution
One of the caveats of the study was that people who live in polluted places (like LA) don’t benefit from exercising outside, due to the toxicity of the air in the area.
That’s even more reason any LA area schools need to get away from the grime for a while and come hang out in our pristine mountain air. Our facility is in the San Bernardino mountain range and all those trees soak up any pollution that might get blown our way. Those trees act like an air filter for both the air and the lungs.
Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
Even if you weren’t working out in nature, there are benefits to being in a green landscape. Researchers have found so many, in fact, that they refer to time outside as “forest therapy”.
From helping reduce internal inflammation from helping treat anxiety, being outside (especially in our 250-acres of forest) is worth the drive.
Best Outdoor School to Work Out
So – why would you drive up to our 70+ acre mountain campus if you could just take your PE class outside? We have some things at Pali Institute that traditional schools don’t.
For one – we have the mountains in our backyard… and our front yard… and our side yard (you get it). We have enough forest that we regularly take groups on extended day hikes, through the San Bernardino National Forest. The grades are steep enough to be a good workout, but not enough to be dangerous.
Obviously, these hikes are outside and in nature, so people with mobility-related disabilities need a substantially modified curriculum. We have a nature center and greenhouse, where we can conduct lessons on the types of plants and nature students will see on their hikes.
One of our classes, Forest Ecology, goes even further than just talking about local plants. In this class, students get to identify different plants and study animals (and evidence of animals) out in nature. They’ll talk about what each part of the ecosystem does and how they work together as a system.
Not only that but in another class, they’ll get to roleplay (yes, even teens can do it) and act out an ecosystem in our animal survivor class. They’ll feel silly at first, but it turns out to be one of everyone’s favorite classes during their time at Pali.
An Ancient Sport
We have an archery range, which it’s safe to say most schools don’t have. While archery isn’t as high energy (cardio-wise) as other sports, it still takes coordination and muscle strength. Not only is it good muscular exercise, but it’s a practice in history, too. The bow and arrow are some of the only weapons from early history still in use today.
Kids will learn the safe way to use these tools and get a chance to shoot them at our outdoor archery range.
While it’s pretty uncommon for kids to get lost outdoors for an extended period of time, it does happen. Recently in the news, two girls in Humboldt County kept themselves alive for two days without food, water or shelter.
This class will teach students how to make makeshift shelters and build fires, in our wilderness. Should they to ever get stranded (or star on Survivor) they have some skills. Learning these skills teaches students what they’re capable of, though hopefully, they’ll never have to use them.
Outdoor Education: Let’s Get Outside
When was the last time your students really felt like they were part of nature? It’s probably been a while. Let them experience the earth’s magic and learn new things while they’re at it. Learn about why we are the best outdoor school to work out.
Explore and customize your program with one of our coordinators today. Just open the chat box to your right.