It's June 21st, and the first day of summer is here! If you want to enjoy a boosted mood all season, make sure you spend as much time as you can outdoors.
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen from Unsplash
For those of us who have suffered through a long, cold, snowy winter and a mild but chilly spring season, something is exciting on the horizon — and that is the date June 21st. June 21st isn't just a random day in the middle of the year's warmest months. It's the first official day of summer (and the longest day of the year). On the first day of summer, you can celebrate the change in seasons by committing to a routine that incorporates fun outdoor activities daily.
By spending more time outdoors this summer, you will experience the benefits of enjoying the perks of soaking up a ton of sunshine. You'll also get to work on building your fitness and becoming a stronger, healthier person without even realizing it. By doing fun outdoor activities that get you moving and participating in experiences like group sports in the summer, you can incorporate a huge amount of exercise into your life without ever paying for a gym membership or even saying, "I'm heading to work out!"
Here are some fun, creative outdoor activities you can enjoy on the first day of summer and then continue participating in to derive fitness benefits all season long.
Go On a Hike
There is likely a hiking or walking trail just a short drive away, no matter where you live. Before June 21st arrives, do some research about hiking and walking opportunities near you. Then compile a list and commit to hitting every trail during the summer. Going on a hike is a great way to spend time with friends. It also helps to learn more about the geography and wildlife in your area, and it's a great workout where you won't even realize you're exercising.
If you want to do some regular steady exercise in addition to all of the fun outdoor activities you'll be doing after the first day of summer, consider committing to an easy, quick, and effective short at-home workout program. One of the best exercises you can do at home is an at-home circuit training workout. You can even continue to soak up the best elements of summertime weather if you have private outdoor space and get your circuit workout done while out in nature — without needing to get in your car or hop on public transportation.
Join an Adult Recreational Sports League
Is there a fiercely competitive athlete in you? Or, are you looking for more ways to make friends as a grown-up? Consider joining an adult rec sports league by the first day of summer, where you can participate in a sport that feels fun to play and get to build the camaraderie of a team while you do it. For more serious athletes, soccer represents a great way to be outside on a pitch and get running around to boost your cardio. If you like more unusual, creative activities, consider participating in ultimate frisbee or frisbee golf.
Doing fun outdoor activities isn't just a way to slip in physical exercise without considering it painful or torturous. It's also a great way to manage your mental health. If you struggle with your mood or want to make sure you take care of your mind as much as your body, read more about how exercise impacts depression. Then enjoy the benefits of a rejuvenated brain while enjoying a stronger, fitter body.
Commit to Cleaning Up Local Parks
For anyone who wants to do a good deed while spending time outside after the first day of summer, a great activity is regular trash pickup at local parks. Get a list of parks in your area, then head to each with garbage bags, gloves, and a keen, watchful eye. Walk each park's perimeter, and trails and pickup garbage strewed around as you wander. You'll get to learn more about all the parks your local area offers, and you'll help rid the Earth of litter while you get to enjoy the Vitamin D from the sun. This is also a great way to have fun with friends and family since you can have conversations while you do it and allow everyone to feel like they are making a difference.
If you commit to spending your summer months outdoors being active and soaking up the sun, you'll maximize your health and the way that you feel. Make sure that the diet you eat also helps to add to the feeling of wellness and vitality you're working to achieve. If you haven't mastered healthy eating yet, it can help to check out more information about the right way to eat to keep your heart strong and your immune system robust. Food can be medicine as much as it can be a delicious, fun pastime.
Go for a Dip
One last great way to enjoy the year's warmest season is to spend a lot of time in the water. Find local pools and lakes that allow swimming. Or, drive by nearby beaches to find spots where you can lay out on the sand, then dip into the water to cool down. Swimming is easier on the joints and body than activities on land, so it's a good way to have fun this summer if you are injured or trying to rebuild some strength.
The summer has always been a special time of year since kids have a break from school and grow-ups have time off, away from the office. After a particularly hard couple of years, do the most you can do this summer to keep your mood high by spending time outdoors. When you have fun out in the open fresh air and under the sunshine, you will bond with friends and loved ones, but you'll also soak up the benefits of Vitamin D, fresh oxygen, ad every other great resource Mother Earth has to offer.