Summer is almost here, which means more opportunities to get plenty of vitamin D with some fresh air and sunshine! Breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the sun improves your overall health. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Research suggests vitamin D may have protective effects against everything from osteoporosis to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke.” So, how can you start enjoying more outdoor activities in a big city this summer?
While it may feel like second nature to do most of your activities inside, you might be surprised about how many things you can just as easily do while enjoying the day outside. While soaking in plenty of vitamin D is good for your overall health, it’s important to use sunscreen to protect your skin if you are outside for an extended period of time. Check out our favorite outdoor activities that help the whole family get some extra fresh air and sunshine this summer!
Outdoor Activities to Enjoy Alone, with Friends, or with the Whole Family!
The next time you are deciding where to go out to eat, consider restaurants with beautiful patio spaces. Relax in the fresh air and sunshine while enjoying your delicious meal. If you are headed out for dinner, you might miss the sun but will thoroughly enjoy drinking a glass of wine while feeling the breeze in your hair in the moonlight.
If you’re eating in, dine on your balcony or in your backyard! Start your day with a cup of coffee and sunshine, or enjoy watching the sunset as you eat dinner and wind down after a long day. Have a picnic in the yard with the whole family, or make it a romantic date night under the stars. A change of scenery with some fresh air can do wonders for your mental health.
Take Your Workout Outside
Getting exercise is vital to your overall health! So why not get plenty of vitamin D with some fresh air and sunshine while you’re at it. We all love the gym and convenient at-home workout equipment, but it never hurts to change your routine sometimes. Here are a few ways to easily move your workout from the gym to the outdoors.
Find Outdoor Fitness Classes in Your City
If you enjoy fitness classes, find some that meet outdoors in your city. Check sites like LivingSocial or Groupon to see if there are any outdoor fitness classes or events in your city. Reach out to local gyms, community centers, or workout programs like Camp Gladiator to see what local outdoor classes they offer.
Give your treadmill the day off and take your workout outside! Take the scenic route while getting plenty of vitamin D with fresh air and sunshine. Walk, jog, or run at your local park, or, if you live near the lake or ocean, enjoy your morning run by the water. Explore a local nature trail or just take a brisk walk through your neighborhood. Taking time to focus on your overall health will pay off now and in the future.
While we all love the convenience of using a stationary bike at home, start biking outside a few times a week instead! Enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of nature while biking through a local park. Make it a family outing and bike to the park or beach.
If you enjoy playing tennis, find a local public tennis court to enjoy your sport while getting in a workout outside. Meet a friend for a friendly match, or make it a date day and challenge your partner to a game. Or, if you’ve always wanted to learn tennis, find a local tennis pro and start taking lessons!
While there are certain conveniences of swimming indoors at the gym, there are more benefits of swimming outside than inside. Soak in plenty of vitamin D and fresh air while getting a fantastic all-around workout. Something about swimming outside feels more like a fun day in the sun than a workout session.
Plan Fun Outdoor Activities
When was the last time you explored your city? Play the tourist role and explore new and fun outdoor activities in your city. Make it a whole weekend event or just a night out on the town! You may find some new favorite spots to take friends and family.
Get in a little extra workout while taking a walking tour of your city. You may learn something new about the city you call home while getting some fresh air and sunshine! Some cities offer Segway or bicycle tours for extra adventure and excitement.
Attend Outdoor Festivals and Concerts
Add culture and fun to your outdoor activities by attending a local festival or concert. From art and music to shopping and delicious food, enjoy the day outside with family and friends. You might enjoy it so much that it becomes an annual event! Check out sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Gilt City for deals on local events.
Visit Free Museums and Galleries
Check out free museums and galleries to explore in your city. Some offer seasonal outdoor exhibits to explore while enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Take the whole family or enjoy a leisurely day to yourself while taking in local art and history.
Family Activates: Zoo, Park, and Beach
Fresh air and sunshine are vital for children’s growth and development. Escape the hustle and bustle of your busy schedule and enjoy outdoor activities for the whole family! Plan a family day at the beach or lake! Build sandcastles, play in the water, and enjoy a day of fun in the sun with your favorite people! Pack a lunch for a day at the park or learn about the animals at your local zoo.
Plan a day away with friends at a local winery! Feel the sun on your face as you explore the beautiful vineyards and scenery. Enjoy tasting and comparing new wines while chatting and laughing with dear friends.
When was the last time you took time just to relax and unwind while getting some fresh air and sunshine? There is something so peaceful about the sun shining on your face, hearing the birds sing, and feeling the breeze blow through your hair. Take time to do something that relaxes you and enjoy the day outside.
Grab a book, find a comfy spot, and get lost in your reading. Take a break from technology and responsibility and just enjoy a very relaxing outdoor activity.
Whether you set up an easel on your balcony or let loose with some splatter paint in the backyard, let your creative side take over and relax and have fun!
Soak in plenty of vitamin D and let the warm sunshine help you completely relax while breathing in the fresh air. Listen to your favorite music, an audiobook, or the sounds of nature around you. Just remember to apply sunscreen before you enjoy the day outside for an extended period of time.
Explore a Local Garden or Green Space
According to New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, research shows, “Spending time around trees and looking at trees reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves mood.” The article goes on to state, “Green spaces in urban areas are just as important as rural forests.”
Visit a botanic garden, arboretum, or local green space and park in your city. Spend time admiring the beautiful flowers, plants, and trees while taking a relaxing stroll. Pack a picnic to enjoy while you relax on a blanket in the sun. Walk barefoot in the lush green grass and admire the beautiful nature around you.
Visit a Local Coffee Shop
Make a list of local coffee shops you want to visit and plan a coffee crawl throughout your city as a fun weekend outdoor activity! Try the shop’s specialty drink while relaxing on the patio. If possible, walk to each location for some added fresh air and sunshine.
Take a break and watch a movie outside! Grab your laptop or tablet and watch your favorite flick while relaxing in your backyard or at the park.
Many cities host outdoor movie screenings in the park or at specific downtown locations. Pack your favorite blanket or chairs, load up on snacks, and enjoy a movie under the stars. Or, hit the drive-in and watch the movie in the bed of your truck or set up a few camping chairs to enjoy the movie by moonlight.
Which outdoor activity will you try first? What are your favorite ways to get fresh air and sunshine? Comment below!