Many people don’t consider themselves outdoorsy in any way. They may have spent most of their lives doing indoor activities, going to the theater or playing video or other games. Outdoor activity is good for your body. Research suggests it can also be a good way to reduce stress and improve your mood.
Here are 5 easy ways to enjoy the outdoors that don’t require a high degree of physical ability or deep experience.
Enjoy A Hike
Hiking through a natural setting is a great way to get exercise, improve your lung function, relieve stress and spend time with those you love. All you need are two feet and a good pair of shoes to spend a couple hours communing with nature and seeing the sights. Even preschoolers can enjoy a walk in the woods, learning about the trees, birds and animals. You don’t have to travel to a faraway national park. You can probably find a natural area in your community that offers hiking paths and other activities. If you are not accustomed to walking long distances, start slow. Get a map of the area and choose the shortest path to hike. As you become more confident, you can tackle the longer paths. Bring a camera, water and a snack to enjoy along the way. A hat to shield you from the sun and some insect repellent will complete your needs for a pleasant hike.
Do Some Bicycling
If you have ever had a bike, you know the benefits of cycling for your body and your spirit. Bicycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors on a sunny day, while you work your muscles, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the scenery. Family bicycling is a wonderful way to spend time with the kids and gets them away from their indoor, computer activities. You can find a variety of bike routes in your community, such as local parks, state parks and nature preserves. Of course, safety is an important consideration when biking, so make sure your family knows the rules, wears and helmet and sticks to non-traffic areas.
Fishing is an easy activity that calls the past to mind, when people found ways to feed themselves from the environment in which they lived. You and your children can get back to your more primitive instincts by fishing in your community’s local waterways, such as ponds, rivers and streams. You will only need a few basic pieces of equipment, such as a rod & reel, hooks, bait, lures, bobbers and pliers. You can find a variety of items at local stores. Whiling away the hours, sitting in the sun and waiting for a bite can be a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a summer day, for both children and adults.
Go Paddle Boarding
Paddle boarding has become a popular way to spend time on the water, enjoying the outdoors. This activity involves standing on a flat board, using a long paddle to move gently through the water. Learning the right techniques can be a fun way to spend the afternoon with family. Paddling skills increase with practice, and soon you and your family will be navigating the waterways like experts. Beginners can start out with short trips close to their access point, and gradually increase their distances as they become more experienced. A variety of paddle board models are available and buying outdoor equipment for water activities does not have to be an expensive proposition. You can find equipment at a variety of price points to suit your needs.
Get Into Stargazing
Many communities offer nighttime stargazing sessions to educate interested individuals about the stars and planets that are visible at various times of the year. These group events can be fun for both adults and children and make a safe and interesting way to enjoy being outdoors during the evening hours. Bring a blanket to sit on or some outdoor chairs, some insect repellent and a few snacks. You could find the experience sparks a deep interest in the stars and planets that lasts a lifetime.
Enjoying the outdoors can be done simply and affordably. You probably have some of the equipment you need in your closets or garage. These five ways to enjoy outdoor activity can be a great way to spend time with friends and family, to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors. Try them, and you may find they spark a spirit of adventure and an appreciation for nature.