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Set Down The Phone & Pick Up a Kite.

The 3 Main Benefits Of Trading Your Phone in For A Kite


Do you also wonder what happened to going out, socializing, meeting new people, or even flying kites in spring? Now, most of us would rather spend our day on the couch than leave the house. In other words, we are caught in a sedentary lifestyle!

The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity explores what it means to be living a sedentary behavior in its 2017 paper. It defines a sedentary lifestyle in several terms: physical inactivity, stationary behavior, standing, screen time, non-screen-based sedentary time, lying, sitting, reclining, etc.

Wait… Does that sound relatable? Isn’t that what most of us do all day? Lying around, sitting on the couch, scrolling social media. Even if we have to move our body, our phone is always in our hands.

While technology provides us with comfort at hand, this new reality of the online world is full of red flags. It might surprise you, but research reveals those who exercise are 75% happier and healthier and 74% more successful than those who don’t.

In the following guide, we will shed more light on this ugly side of the internet and a sedentary lifestyle. The comparison will go side by side with the super good health benefits of an active lifestyle: getting outside, running around, flying kites, and getting sun.

New Reality of Online World: Is it THAT Ugly?

According to a survey conducted by CDC from 2017 through 2020 for 52 jurisdictions (49 states), 25.3% of people worldwide lack any physical activity in an average day.

Such numbers are alarming because they are the direct cause of many dreadful diseases in today’s world. Take obesity, for example. A journal article published by the International Journal of Epidemiology recorded a rise in overweight and obesity trends from less than 50% of the population in the 1960s to almost 80% through 2020 in the US.

boy wearing blue t shirt using black laptop computer in a dim lighted scenario

Another study done by SUN Cohort study (the SUN project) compared those who spent more than 42 hours/week watching television and/or using the computer with those doing the same for less than 10.5 hours/week. The results were shocking: a 95% difference in mental disorders in 10,381 participants who belonged to the first group!

When talking about mental disorders, it’s hard to ignore depression. With so many adverse effects of the internet going around, the British Journals of Sports Medicine conducted thirteen cross-sectional studies with 110,152 participants and 11 longitudinal studies with 83,014 participants. In cross-sectional research, the pooled RRs of depression for sedentary behavior was 1.31 (95%), while in longitudinal studies, they were 1.14 (95%).

melancholic woman watching video on laptop at home

Children, especially, are at the most risk of this sedentary lifestyle. The World Health Organization (WHO) records inactivity in 60 to 85% of people worldwide. Among that, nearly two-thirds of kids are thought to be inadequately active, which has detrimental effects on their health in the long run.

Some other harmful impacts of a sedentary lifestyle caused by vegetating in the online world include:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Multiple Forms of Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Poor Body Metabolism
  • Unregulated Blood Sugar Levels
  • Unregulated Blood Pressure

It might surprise you that inactivity and higher screen time are also linked to early deaths. A study done by CDC in 2018 matched the data from 1990 to 1991 from the National Health Interview Survey with mortality data till December 31, 2011. The results showed that inadequate physical activity levels caused 8.3% of all recorded deaths.

In other words, the more you spend time staring at screens, the more inactive you are. While inactivity may appear soothing, it severely affects your body and mind in the long run. On the other hand, activities like going out, getting sun, exercising, and flying kites are excellent ways to lift your mood and health.

people standing at beach

Still, How do Activities like Flying Kites Benefit My Health?

Before we dig into that, let’s first see how an inactive lifestyle impacts your body:

  • When you stay inactive, your body doesn’t burn enough calories. It results in excessive fat and obesity.
  • Because staying on the couch for more time also means less muscle movement, you risk muscular strength and endurance.
  • A sedentary lifestyle also impacts bones, as they can become weaker and contain fewer minerals with time.
  • Your body’s metabolism is also at risk, making it harder to break down sugar and fats.
  • You will be prone to viruses and illnesses, for your body’s immune system will not be strong.
  • Unregulated sugar levels and blood flow risks higher body inflammation.
  • Inactivity can also disrupt hormones, impacting glands and hormonal cycles.

Not to forget, these are just physical risks, as a sedentary lifestyle and competitive online presence are also linked with an exhausted emotional, and drained mental health. Whether adults or children, staying online most of the day adversely impacts your overall health.

On the other hand, an active lifestyle, including movement and activities like going out, exercising, and fun outdoor games like flying kites, has significant health benefits.

How? Let’s find out!

The Health Benefits Of Getting Off The Screen And Flying A Kite Don’t End There!

Very few people are kite experts that can handle a kite without running around. For regular people, flying kites is considered a natural exercise because it can take a lot running to keep the kite in the sky, especially on a windless day.

This movement is not forced on a person , the recreational aspect entices you and helps you burn more calories. Besides, the muscles and bones in your arms and legs are constantly moving, unlike when you hold a phone almost 24/7 in the same position.

Thus, when such an activity as flying kites combines with recreation and family bonding, it becomes a natural exercise with its own health benefits.

Besides burning calories and moving your arms and legs, flying kites and associated activities also benefit your cardiovascular health. A study, Assessment of physiological demand in kite surfing, evaluates the effects of kite surfing as a cardio workout. Anyone that flies a kite knows that kite surfing is closely related.

It’s because moving your body keep your body running and protects the heart against blood clots in the vessels and arteries. It regulates blood flow and helps prevent irregular blood pressure and cholesterol.

While flying a kite alone can be rewarding, flying with friends can be a fare more fulfilling experience. The activity is naturally enjoyed with groups like friends and family. Thus, like any other outdoor activity, flying kites allow you to go out and engage with people.

You get to meet new people when you are not surrounded by four walls in your room, staring at a screen all day. Dr. Sawchuk at Mayo Clinic Minute agrees that social interaction improves memory and cognitive function, boosts pleasure and well-being, and may even lengthen your life.

man wearing black jacket

Sun Exposure

Sunlight is important for everyone. If you are active on social media most of your day, you might forget to go out and get sun. This can result in vitamin deficiency and may weaken your bones.

Studies link vitamin D insufficiency with inadequate outdoor sun exposure. It’s because sunlight is responsible for vitamin regulation in the body, especially Vitamin-D.

When you fly kites, you also put your body into the sun, which regulates your body’s need for vitamin D. As a result, you are saved from loss of bone density, enjoy strong muscles and bones, and have an improved immune system!

About Animal Kites.

I started Animal Kites during the COVID lockdown to address these exact issues. Since major COVID shift to an only world we all have much less opportunity to have natural, non-screen-time physical activity. I started Animal Kites as a way to get myself outside and off the screen.

I ended up losing over 100 Pounds during this process, and simultaneously was able to try out and vet hundreds of kites. I found that single line children’s kites were my favorite and hit out upon the idea of Animal Kites. Now, not only do we vet the best and easiest to fly single lines kites. We also design them as well.

girl holding kite
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on
blue kites in the sky
The sun shining over a ridge leading down into the shore. In the distance, a car drives down a road.

A good kite gives children and families a compelling reason to get outside, look up at the sky, run around, and be the physical creatures they need to be in order to develop into healthy, well rounded adults.

I’ve trekked the globe, sluething for the easiest to use beginner kites in the world. In the process we’ve come to understaned what makes a great beginner kite and we’ve incorporated those principals into our own line of Artist Designed Kites.

If you work with us, together we can make sure our communities and our children stop buying into the lie that screen time is healthy.

We need to stop letting our phones eat our lives.

The Only way to for us to be healthy is to go outside and to MOVE & BE ALIVE

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4 Reasons Every Kid Should Fly A Kite

4 reasons every kid should fly a kite

Kites are probably one of the most underrated, yet exhilarating toys a child could own. Many people feel the frustration of building them just aren’t worth the trouble, but I think quite the opposite, and here’s why!

1. Problem Solving 

First and foremost, building a kite helps teach your child patience and diligence to finish a task. No matter how frustrating it can be – even though most kites are pretty simply to make – there seems to always be a bump in the road that makes you want to stop. This is a great learning opportunity for your child to figure out how to work around the bumps and solve problems to finish the job.

2. A Sensory Experience 

Flying a kite is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences a child can have. A sense of pride, joy, and accomplishment washes over them as their eyes watch this object they built fly into the sky. They smell the great outdoors as their hands feel the vibrations from the wind helping their kite fly. It is thrilling, sensational, and a feeling that every child should experience at some point in their childhood.

3. Family Bonding 

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than building and flying a kite together! You can watch your child’s imagination run wild as they design and build their kite, and you can relive the glory days of your childhood by sprinting across a field as your creation flies into the wind. Regardless of your participation level in the kite flying, there really is nothing sweeter than spending an afternoon in the great outdoors with your kiddos. 

4. Healthy Mind, Healthy Body 

Besides the obvious fact that it gets your kids up and moving, kite flying is mentally stimulating and quite beneficial for your mind. For starters, it is very easy to forget about your troubles and momentarily become mesmerized by your kite flying through the wind. There is just something about it that is almost therapeutic. In addition, research has shown that flying a kite can stimulate areas of your brain involved in memory, learning, and emotion.

So, there you have it. 4 reasons why your kid and every kid should fly a kite. If anything, flying a kite is just a happy experience. And your little ones deserve to have that giddy, unexplainable joy that comes when your kite finally catches the wind and soars into the sky.

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Teach Your Child to Fly A Kite – #1 Tip

I am not afraid to admit it, but one of my favorite outdoor activities is flying a kite. My family loves to run around our backyard trying to get our kites to fly or most of the time we head to our local park so we have some more room to get our kites up in the air.

Kit flying is a great way to get your child running around outside and getting some physical activity while having a lot of fun. Most kids don’t even realize how much running they are doing as they are just worried about getting their kite to fly.

There really are so many cool looking kites for kids that you can get for your child and you may just be amazed yourself at the way some of them look when flying high up in the sky. Best of all, most kites for kids don’t cost a lot of money either.

Now, I’m no kite flying expert, but I have been able to teach 3 of my kids how to successfully get their kites off the ground and up in the air, so I thought I would share some tips with other parents on teaching your kids to fly a kite. You should easily be able to teach your child to fly a kite.

Pick the Right Day

There is nothing worse than trying to fly a kite on the wrong day because it only discourages and frustrates the child as well as the parent.

When choosing the perfect day for kite flying, choose a day that has a light to moderate breeze. You don’t want a really windy day as the kite won’t cooperate and may just blow away instead, but you do need some sort of wind to get your kite flying.

Also, never attempt to fly your kite on a day that is stormy or even just raining. In some places a quick rain shower can turn into a spring or summer storm quite quickly and you never want to have a kite flying in the air when lightening is around.

Teach Your Child To Fly A Kite

If you have a big backyard that may be efficient enough for younger child to get their kite up and flying, but if you have an older child or lots of trees around, you want to head out to a local park or field that is wide open and has plenty of space.

Be sure that there are no power lines around as well so that you don’t have to worry about a child’s kite getting tangled in the lines and potentially causing them bodily harm. An open soccer or baseball field is a great option because there won’t be trees or power lines in the way.

Choose the Right Kite for Your Child

If you are going to let your child fly the kite by themselves you definitely want to make sure you get an easy to fly kite that is appropriate for their age. Many times a child may not possess the needed hand-eye coordination to properly fly a kite on their own until they are approximately 6-7 years old. Keep that in mind when choosing a kite for your kid.

For kids you most likely want to stick with a triangle kite or a diamond kite, which are great for beginners. A bigger kite may be easier to get flying but it also may pull more once up in the air which may be harder for a younger child to control. On the other hand, a smaller kite may be take more time to get in the air but once it is flying is easier to control.

Getting the Kite to Fly

Now comes the fun part. For children younger than 4 or 5 years of age, you may want to get their kite flying for them and then let them take over the reigns, but you can always have them try flying the kite first as it can be fun to simply run around and try to get the kite off the ground.

Have your child stand with his back to the wind and hold the kite out in front of him. On a good, windy day, the kite will start soaring up on it’s own, but if it needs a little help you can always help him out by walking the kite about 50 feet away and launching it up in the air as he pulls the string.

You can also help the kite get up in the air by having them run with the kite while letting some of the string go to allow it to fly higher. This is probably one of the most fun ways to get the kite to fly.

Be prepared to have to wind a lot of string back up as it can be difficult for some kids to get the kite off the ground and keep it off the ground.

Check out the National Kite Flying Month’s website for more information about getting certain kites to fly.

Safety Tips for Flying a Kite with Kids

As I mentioned above, be sure that you are not flying the kite anywhere near power lines, trees or during stormy or rainy weather. You also want to stay away from any busy streets or even parking lots as well.

Buildings can also pose a threat to kites as well and if at all possible try to find an open field with nothing else around.

If you have more than one child trying to fly a kite at a time, be sure that they have enough space between them that they won’t run into each other and their kites won’t get tangled as well.

Flying kites with your kids can be a lot of fun and is a great physical activity to get your children outside during nice weather. I’m sure you probably remember flying kites as a kid and now you can share that fun with your child.