As winter comes to a close in the spring and summer seasons approach, everyone’s getting spring fever. There’s just one problem — COVID-19 and social distancing orders are making outdoor time a bit tricky. But just because you’re under a stay-at-home order doesn’t mean you’re under a stay-inside order, and there’s still plenty of fun to be had outdoors. Spending time in the sun will naturally increase your vitamin D levels and boost both your physical and mental health. Here are nine engaging outdoor activities that you can do yourself or with your family as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer.
Take a Walk
Although it may seem mundane, something as simple as a daily walk through the neighborhood as still a valid way to get out of the house and spend some time together as a family. To minimize potential contact with other people, opt for less-traveled routes or go during less busy times of day. This can be tricky in densely populated areas, but it’s still doable. Avoid touching anything, especially sitting on public benches, and wash your hands and throw your clothes in the wash immediately after getting home.
Go on a Hike
If there are opportunities nearby, take your walks to the next level by going on a hike. Not only will you get good exercise while away from people, but you will also get to enjoy nature. Listening to nature sounds can be soothing for the mind and soul. Hearing the birds chirp, other animals communicate and feeling the wind are all great ways to disconnect from regular life demands and enjoy the little pleasures nature has to offer.
You can choose to hike a straight path via a brisk walk without stopping. There’s even the method of stopping and observing nature during your hikes. For example, if you chose to hike at a national park, you may have a guide book of some of the local trees, flowers, and animals in that area you’d like to observe. Just make sure to hike the less-popular trails and keep a good distance between yourself and others.
Sit outside and enjoy the spring and summer air while it is here. Outdoor decks have a host of features that make them perfect for enjoying the fresh air.
- A swinging chair with an awning for warm nights on the outdoor deck with family.
- A garden table and chairs to seat all of your family and/or friends during a cookout event.
- Additional lawn chairs to seat more guests than your garden table chairs can accommodate.
- A fold-out table that can be placed on your outdoor deck to display healthy (or scrumptious) snacks.
Ride Your Bike
Bike lanes are growing more prominent on roads throughout local communities. You can ride your bike to your local park (if it is a short distance) and find a bike path that is safe to travel. If your local park is located further away from home and you have access to a vehicle, you can put your bike on a bike rack, drive to the park, and ride on the bike path upon arrival. Riding your bike is a great cardio workout!
If biking isn’t your thing, rollerblading, skateboarding, or riding a scooter are also options. Just don’t try any tricks — anything that could potentially result in an ER- or even Urgent Care-worthy injury should be avoided, as it’s important to reduce the strain currently placed on medical facilities.
Grow a Garden
If you have a green thumb, you may want to grow a garden this spring. You can order seeds online, and whether it is a flower garden or a vegetable garden, you will enjoy working with the soil, planting the seeds, and watering and maintaining the plants. Growing herbs and vegetables with kids is a great way to get them to try new flavors; this can also help to avoid raising a picky eater.
If you own your home, get out your shovel and plant a garden in your back or front yard. If you live in an apartment complex, you may consider a small window garden to get your green thumb fix. You can even plant a small garden in your own home with indoor growing kits.
Cook Dinner Outside
If you have a grill or a fire pit, cooking dinner outside is a good way to shake things up and get out of the house. It’s not safe to invite friends over, of course, so cookouts will have to wait, but you can still have a good time with your family or even by yourself.
Cook foods that you don’t usually do indoors, and don’t be afraid to range outside of the usual burgers, hotdogs, and s’mores. Put together some easy tin foil dinners. Throw some healthy options like grilled vegetables and fruits on the grill. Have a BBQ night with ribs and your favorite sauce (don’t forget to wash your hands first!). You can also have some fun with nontraditional recipes like grilled pizza.
Get the family together, grab a fishing rod or some crab traps, and catch some delicious seafood without breaking the bank eating out! Be sure to check the local regulations for any licenses you may need and which water bodies are open and closed for the season. You can enjoy fishing by catching fish and throwing them back in the lake or ocean or you can save the fish or crabs and cook them up for dinner later that night.
There may be a pandemic out there, but as long as you limit contact with other people, there’s no reason to stay indoors 24/7 (unless that’s been ordered in your area). Get out and lift your spirits by enjoying the good weather. No matter what you do this spring and summer, just be safe and have fun.
Right now it’s more important to stick to a healthy diet. Browse our selection of healthy and tasty snacks!