It seems like we all have an inherent love for summer activities. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of summer vacations as children, or maybe it’s the warm weather that makes us instinctively want to go outside. Even though the United States is still largely limited in what citizens can do given the state of the coronavirus, this summer is sure to bring a welcome change from recent months. While we should still be practicing social distancing, there is plenty we can do to participate in summer activities.

With gyms still being largely closed or limited in their operation, it can feel difficult to keep up with your fitness, let alone come up with fun summer plans. You might have felt yourself becoming bored with an at-home exercise routine, or dreading going for the same jog around the block. Now that school is out and with the additional pressure of the quarantine keeping them apart from their friends, your children are probably itching to get outside as much as you are. The coronavirus has certainly made planning activities a bit more complicated and it might be hard to think of ways to stay active outdoors while maintaining CDC recommendations. However, it is not impossible to stay active, stay safe, and stay cool at the same time.

Swimming in public pools might not be possible right now. Even with gyms taking precautions as they reopen, many have wisely opted to keep their pools closed for the time being. However, water sports are still possible this summer. Take a day trip up to the mountains with a kayak or canoe. Kayaking and canoeing are great ways to stay cool on hot summer days when you need to get out of the house. Best of all, you can do it with just a small group to help keep up with CDC guidelines. Just remember to take an experienced person with you to make sure you stay safe.

An early morning hike can be a great way to feel connected with nature and beat the heat of the midday sun. You might find that your mind has felt cluttered with the current state of the world. Getting up before the crack of dawn can sound tiring, but many people find that the quiet and solitude of an early morning hike is freeing and exhilarating. Plus, who doesn’t love a good sunrise? Are you more of a night owl than a morning person? Try switching a morning hike out with a starry night hike. Bring your partner or your family and learn about the stars, planets, and constellations. You might even get lucky and see a shooting star!

Wakeboarding is a thrilling sport to try out this summer. If you don’t happen to own a boat, you may be able to rent one from your local lakefront. Wakeboarding is a great way to work your core and your legs. It’s also a great way to stay cool and learn something new! While it might take some getting used to, wakeboarding is a fun and active sport that will have you staying outside and active all summer long.

If you aren’t keen on water sports, summer is also a great time to take up biking. While it might not seem like a way to cool off, the rush of a bike down a hill is certainly thrilling and creates a natural air conditioner. If you don’t prefer road biking, or if you need a change of scenery, take your bike up to a local hiking trail and take a ride there instead. Mountain rides are some of the most beautiful, and they are a fun way to connect with nature and learn what your area has to offer. If you are looking to stay out of the heat, make sure to take a ride early in the morning to avoid the inevitable heatwave of the afternoon hours.

If you don’t have the means to take a day away, there are plenty of things to do at home as well. Some of us might have younger children who might not be ready for a day-long hike or perhaps you live in an area where trails are not easily accessible. Don’t worry, you can still stay active and keep the family involved. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned water gun fight to keep your heart rate up and keep the kids entertained. Try building obstacle courses in the back yard using cardboard boxes to give yourself some fun places to hide while you wage your water war. Playing with the family is sure to bring good memories in a time that can otherwise be seen as restrictive and scary for young children.

If you are looking for something more adventurous to fill your time, look into geocaching. Geocaching is a bit like a scavenger hunt, but with higher stakes. While some caches are filled with small trinkets, others have been known to have larger prizes and complicated puzzles to challenge you. It’s also a great way to get some exercise as you hike to the locations. Be sure to bring something to fill the geocache before you leave. If you’d like, you can make a geocaching excursion part of a hike or bike.

Social distancing might still be in effect, but you can still get plenty of active exercise. Even though we are all still trying to be distant, water sports are not out of the question. If you are unable to use a pool, a lake or a river is a great place to spend the day out in the sunshine and try out some new sports like wakeboarding and kayaking. Taking hike with your family or with a friend can also be a wonderful way to spend the day while still getting plenty of fresh air and even staying cool. The mountain air is usually much cooler during the day, so even if you happen to miss peak morning hours, you should still be able to escape the summer heat for a little while. Keeping cool this summer might require a little creativity, but you can still stay active and beat the heat.

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