The summertime, with its warmer weather and increased daylight hours, is the perfect time to choose an outdoor activity and go! Being outside gives you plenty of opportunities to be active, but also reconnect with nature—which can be incredibly soothing to your soul.
To take full advantage of the great outdoors, you can take part in the following activities:
- Hiking. Whether you live near a wooded area, or a state or national park, hiking is a great way to get some exercise while taking in the sights and sounds of the outdoors. To make the most of your experience, bring a friend or two, and a backpack with water and healthy snacks—such as fruit or trail mix. Choose a charted path with trail markers so you don’t get lost. Click to find a national park or state park near you!
- Biking, walking or running. Many areas now have biking and walking paths, which make it easy to strap on sneakers and comfy clothes, and hit the trail! Walks are also a great way to spend time catching up with family or friends as you get some exercise and fresh air. If you’re an avid runner, you might choose a local road race to join other like-minded individuals while supporting a charitable cause.
- Nature photography. Being outside gives you a chance to put your busy life on hold for a bit and just relax. And when you slow down for a second, you never know what you might encounter—even in your own backyard. The way the sunlight shines through the trees, a butterfly perched on a flower, birds building a nest… the opportunities are endless. Bring your camera or smart phone and take pictures of anything that inspires you!
- Swimming or wading. Just being near water can be incredibly rejuvenating, but for some, jumping right in is the best way to experience being seaside, lakeside or poolside. This is especially refreshing on a hot summer day. Depending on where you live, you may be within driving distance of a beach, or you may have access to a pool. Either way, you can enjoy time outside by the water—swimming or wading, and spending time outdoors. Always remember sunscreen, and choose bodies of water supervised by a lifeguard.
- Boating. If you own a boat, you know the joy of riding through the waves. But you can also go boating on a charted boat tour in or near where you live. You might choose to whale watch, fish, or just enjoy the ride.
- Picnicking. One way to relax is to pack up a picnic lunch, rally your family and friends, and head to local greenspace for a picnic. Parks are a great choice. Often grills are available for help preparing your meal, but cold sandwiches and fruit work just fine, as well. To make the most of your time at the picnic, bring a blanket (in case tables aren’t available) and sporting equipment—to kick back after your meal.
- Outdoor fitness. Many organizations offer free outdoor fitness classes during the summer months. You can sign up to take part in yoga, Zumba and other popular group fitness opportunities. To learn more, Google “free outdoor fitness” or check with health insurance companies near you.
- Relaxing. It’s great to be active, but it’s also nice to just sit back and relax. Being outside in a hammock, relaxing in your backyard with a good book, or exploring your local green space are all great ways to enjoy the outdoors. You don’t have to sweat to gain the health benefits of nature.