With the onset of warmer weather, there are plenty of interesting ways to get exercise, #movemore and be more physically active without hitting the gym.
The benefits of an active lifestyle are too numerous to count. But maybe you’re tired of the same workout routine or need a way to get motivated after an inactive start to the first half of the year. Whether you’ve been on the treadmill all winter long or hibernating like a bear to avoid the cold, here are 25 ways to get moving while the weather is warm.
If your backyard looks like a jungle, transforming it into a serene garden paradise could be a boost for your body and your mind. Hauling bags of topsoil, pulling weeds and raking can feel invigorating as you enjoy the fresh air.
The garage is cluttered, the closets are bursting, the front door needs painting or maybe the gutters are full of leaves. It’s the perfect time of year to have a yard sale or to get those household repairs done before winter rolls around again.
3. Fur-kid frolicking
Sparky and Fido love the warm weather as much as you do, so get moving together. Studies show that dog owners already get more leisure exercise than the average person. Why not kick it up a notch at the dog park for an off-leash chase?
You’ve been searching for that perfect lamp to complete the living room. Forget the online searches and go hunting for antiques, thrifting for bargains or strolling through an outdoor market to see what you can find.
5. Get rolling
Even if it’s been awhile since you’ve pedaled around the neighborhood, get back in the saddle. There’s a reason they say, “It’s like riding a bike.” Or dust off those rollerblades or skates and get wheelin’!
If possible, leave the car at home or skip the commuter bus and get to work by your own power. That’s right, human power. Not only is it good exercise but also spares creating air pollution.
Keep it old school and move on your own two feet. If you’ve dreamed of accomplishing a marathon, or just want to start with a 5K, now’s the time to start training with a brisk walk, then move to a light jog down a local path. Start small to add this beneficial activity to your life.
Your local beach, lake or pool offers the perfect place for some low-impact exercise, which is correlated to lower mortality rates. Dive in and get splashing!
If you don’t want to get in the water, consider getting on it. Try kayaking on a lake or white-water rafting down a river. Or, if it’s serenity you seek instead of adventure, paddle out to a peaceful cove and do a little fishing.
10. Rock climbing
Safety first, but if you know how to climb or have an instructor who can help, rock climbing is an invigorating way to turn the outdoors into your own gym. Cliffs and mountaintops become your weight machines and pull-up bars.
The wildflowers are blooming, and the birds are chirping. Get out in nature, hike around local paths, parks and trails to enjoy it. Go bird watching, seek out local species of plants and keep a keen eye open for animals. Bring a journal to write down what you see.
12. Doing yoga in nature
Grab a towel or mat, find a small open space in a park and do yoga. Look for outdoor yoga classes or groups in your area.
13. Produce picking
Walk around a Farmer's Market and choose some seasonal fresh produce. Or go fruit picking at a local farm to get it right from the source.
14. Going about town
Check out local events that will get you out and about. Look for music festivals that will get you dancing and county fairs where a solid throwing arm could win you a prize.
15. Joining a league
Find out if your town or city offers organized sports, such as softball or flag football leagues. You might just unleash your inner athlete and take home a trophy.
16. Fielding a field day
Organize a neighborhood event at a nearby park that will get you and your neighbors moving more and socially connected. Bring horseshoes, badminton, volleyball, cornhole or other backyard activities. Create teams and let the games begin!
17. Going it alone
Are you an introvert? Try a solitary sport, such as archery, which focuses the mind and is a lot more work for the body than you might realize. Also try paddleboarding, horseback riding, body surfing or wind surfing to get moving on your own.
For the super adventurous thrill-seeker, there’s the ultimate rush from skydiving. It can strengthen back muscles and improves flexibility, so there’s a lot more to it than just falling.
19. Playing with toys
For the techies, there are plenty of ways to get outside with their toys. Venture out to an open meadow and fly an electronic drone or remote-controlled helicopter. Look for a local league to meet others with similar interest.
When the warm weather stretches into the night, it’s time to look up to the stars. Hike up to the top of a hill, lie on a blanket in an open field or on the beach and turn it into your own planetarium. Better yet, make an event out of the Perseid meteor shower that usually occurs in July and August.
21. Treasure hunting
Get ahold of a metal detector to see what might be buried in your own front yard. Or get an app and try geocaching, where you use GPS directions to find surprises and fun treasures that others have hidden in your neighborhood.
Do you like playing video games? If so, try larping (live action role-playing), a character-driven type of gameplay that is conducted in the physical world. Look for a local group where you can trade in those imaginary weapons and spells for foam swords and beanbag fireballs to bring the action into the real world.
If you love the outdoors for its beautiful scenery and fresh air, you may enjoy plogging, a Swedish term that refers to picking up litter as you explore the outdoors. Think beach cleanup but done anytime you’re out.
24. Forest bathing
If you really want to immerse yourself in nature, try forest bathing. No, you don’t soak in a tub among the trees. Instead, you meander through the forest, and get in touch with the outdoors. The experience of immersing yourself in a forest has been shown to improve immunity and mood. Use your phone camera or a sketch pad to capture what you see.
25. Flying a kite
Look for an open field or park area where you can safely and easily walk around and fly a kite.
Which of these activities appeals to you? Choose one and commit to doing it this weekend. And choose another the weekend after that and so on. Just get moving so you can be healthy for good.