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Get Up Close and Personal with the Outdoors

Try these fun, creative ways to spend time outside with the ones you love.

Get Up Close and Personal with the Outdoors

One of the easiest ways to increase your general wellness is to spend more time outside, enjoying the beauty and wonder of nature. Yes, you read that right – feeling better could be as simple as opening the door and heading into the great outdoors, whether it’s as small as your backyard or as majestic as a national park.

A recent study showed that spending just 20 minutes in a city park had wellness benefits on participants, who reported that their “life satisfaction” increased after visiting the park. You don’t need to go for a long run or miles-long hike to enjoy nature’s feel-good benefits; a walk around the block when you’re stressed, eating lunch al fresco, or enjoying your morning coffee on the patio are easy ways to reap the benefits of the great outdoors and recharge.

Current social distancing regulations have changed the way many of us enjoy life outside of our homes, but just because things are a little different right now doesn’t mean you have to stay inside 24/7. Summer is the perfect time to get creative, breathe in fresh, invigorating air, and have fun with your friends and family while still being responsible.

Go camping in the backyard. There’s no need to haul your camping equipment across the country. Set up a tent or two in your yard, roll out the sleeping bags, and fall asleep under the stars with the family. And yes, s’mores are required.

Visit a new park or hiking trail. You may already have go-to spots for hiking, biking, dog-walking, and wandering, so mix it up this summer and try something different! Take a drive and explore a new area on foot or by bike, then stop for ice cream on the way home.

Move Sunday dinner outside. Picnics are fun no matter your age, and the possibilities are endless. Try homemade pizzas and let each family member choose their own toppings. Be classic and grill kebabs, veggies, and burgers, or go old-school with pasta salad, sandwiches, and pie. Make it a weekly tradition and relish those cool, cloudless summer evenings alongside a delicious meal.

Throw a neighborhood movie night. Do you own a projector? Great! Consider your home the new drive-in theater. Pick a summer movie, invite your neighbors or friends, and set up socially distant viewing spots so everyone can spend time together without getting too close. Remind everyone to BYOS (bring your own snacks) and BYOB (bring your own blanket)!

Run relay races or plan a scavenger hunt. Challenge your kids to a scavenger hunt, leaving clever clues indoors and outdoors, or throw it back to your own childhood and play relay races, like balancing an egg on a spoon, a three-legged race, and more. Give books or craft kits as prizes to keep your kids occupied sans screens on long summer days.

Head off on a bike adventure. Seeing the world via two wheels is fun and a great way to keep active in the summertime. Whether you’re going hard or enjoying a low-key pedal around town, hitting the road on your bike is one of the best ways to take advantage of a beautiful summer day. Pro tip: Pack a picnic and stop at a scenic spot for a drink and a snack or pull over by a body of water and take a quick dip. Don’t forget to snap a few photos so you can remember these happy, vibrant moments for years to come.