One of the toughest things about being an adult in the summertime is that there never seems to be things to do. Sure, you can take the kids to a water park, but that can be expensive. Movies are great, but that can add up too, not to mention you will just be staring at a screen for two hours. If you are like a lot of adults, you wish you could spend more time outside and less time stuck behind a desk. 

It seemed like when we were children, summer was the ultimate holiday. It was the setting for all the best books and movies, when kids would have grand adventures and learn about themselves along the way. As an adult, summer seems more and more like a game of trying to stay out of the sun than going outdoors and enjoying the warm weather. To recapture the joy of summer and to keep yourself active this year, why not plan some outdoor activities to enjoy by yourself or with your family? 

  1. Hiking

 A summertime staple, hiking is one of the easiest ways to get yourself outside and enjoying nature. A good pair of shoes, workout clothes and a bottle of water is really all you need to get started on the more accessible trails. Just a mile of hiking on a steady incline can give your body the exercise it needs for the day. Hiking is a great way to bond with friends and enjoy nature. Just be careful of going on more advanced trails before you are ready, and always have a buddy and a fully charged cell phone with you in case something happens. 

  1. Kayaking

 If you live in a warmer area and are looking to beat the heat, why not head up to your local lake and give kayaking a try? Getting higher up in the mountains is already an excellent way to get to cooler air, but adding water sports on top of it makes it even better. Kayaking, rafting, and canoeing are all great exercise. Forget the rowing machine at the gym; this is the real thing! It’s also a great way to build team dynamics. If your kids have trouble working together, you can bet that they will have to learn quickly when trying to row together. It’s a great bonding experience both for you and for them, not to mention a great way to spend the afternoon out in the sunshine.

  1. Gardening

 If you aren’t much of an adventurer, or if you are just the type of person who prefers to stay close to home, gardening might be just the sort of outdoor activity for you. Gardening is a great way to keep your body moving and make your yard look beautiful. Consider planting bee-friendly flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees. A garden is a great way to get fresh produce on a regular basis and help the environment. Not to mention that kids love helping in the yard and getting a little dirt under their fingernails. If you want to make it extra special for them, try letting them have their own plants or their own plots in the garden for them to care for. This helps them learn how to care for things and gives them a sense of responsibility and pride, in addition to making sure you all go outside each day.

  1. Swimming

 Swimming is a childhood staple. There was absolutely no feeling like the first cannonball of summer as a kid. To recapture that joy, head on out to the local recreation center with the family for an affordable day at the pool. Swimming is an important skill to learn, and now is a great time to teach kids that haven’t learned yet while brushing up on your own swimming skills. If you want to take it one step further, you could consider signing up for advanced swimming lessons to learn how to swim more effectively. You might even want to look into diving lessons to go beyond what most people learn to do. Any form of swimming is a great way to stay active while doing a low impact exercise. Not to mention, it is a great way to bond with friends and family. 

  1. Rock Climbing

 If you’re looking for a thrill, rock climbing might be for you. This is great for couples and families looking to grow closer to each other, and builds trust and self-confidence. There is a lot of equipment involved, but many cities have rock climbing gyms that allow you to borrow equipment to give it a try. They also have experienced personnel to help you out if you get stuck, and a variety of difficulties to help you learn to climb effectively. If you find that it catches your fancy, ask about rock climbing classes you can take to get ready to climb in the great outdoors. With the snow melting off the mountains, summer is a great time to head up to a national park and give outdoor climbing a try. Just remember to bring a friend who is experienced!

 With the end of winter quickly approaching and spring on the way, it’s a great time to plan summer activities ahead of time, before the kids even have a chance to say that they’re bored. Including your friends and family is a great way to make sure that you are growing closer with them and helping them stay active too. If you are looking for activities to promote mindfulness, try bringing a journal on a nature walk and writing down your thoughts along the way. Always remember that when adventuring outside it is important to make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water, along with a fully charged cell phone and a buddy. While nature is a great place to reflect alone, it is always important to stay safe. If you do go out alone, make sure you tell someone where you will be and when you expect to be home. Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy some ultra-fun activities with those closest to you, and stay healthy and active while you do!

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