Get active this summer and improve your health with outdoor activities, like walking, biking, swimming, kayaking, etc. If those activities don’t sound like you can manage or are just not practical for you, you can also try planting a fruit & veggie garden or doing outdoor arts and crafts with the kids.

Why Get Active?

Leading an active lifestyle is one of the primary ways to improve your health and prevent and control non-communicable diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions. It is clinically proven that being physically active enhances your quality of life both physically and mentally by lessening the effects of stress and improving mood, which decreases the risk of depression. Additionally, regular physical activity has been associated with better sleep quality, improved self-esteem, and energy level.

Research shows that being exposed to nature for just a few minutes will significantly affect your blood pressure, stress levels, and brain activity. As such, it’s reasonable to say outdoor exercises are more efficient in reducing psychological tension and blood pressure than indoor exercise.

Outdoor Activities to Improve your Health

We can think of a few great outdoor activities to get you started the healthy way this summer.

  1. Walking or Hiking: Walking or hiking helps to tone muscles within the lower body, and it could be simple as a slow walk to the park or to any point you want. It provides an awesome cardio workout that will help to improve heart health. If you walk or hike along a scenic view, nature will be your stress-reducing mantra.
  2. Yoga: Yoga is a great way to kick-start your day. You can use apps or online videos to guide you with a simple routine daily. Yoga allows you to exercise your body and mind, which is ideal for overall health.
  3. Biking: This activity is great in groups, but you can always opt to do it alone. It helps to improve coordination.
  4. Kayaking: Kayaking improves both mental and physical well-being. If you choose to paddle on the calm water, it provides even more serenity and considerably reduces stress.
  5. Swimming: As a low-impact activity, swimming is ideal for persons who must avoid overexerting themselves. Swimming, especially floating, induces relaxation and de-stressing.
  6. Gardening: Gardening is a massive mood booster. Furthermore, A 2006 study revealed that gardening could lower the risk of dementia by 36%, and it is a great form of aerobic exercise.
  7. Outdoor arts & crafts and games with the family: This activity provides the perfect opportunity for fun and family bonding, particularly with small children. It’s a great way to pull them away from the screens and help them to appreciate physical activity and nature.

The Sioux Center Health family hopes that we’ve inspired you and your family to get up and go get active this summer to instill and improve healthy physical habits.

References

Five outdoor activities to improve your health. (2020, July 17). Parks Blog. https://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/five-outdoor-activities-improve-health/

9 Easy Outdoor Activities To Boost Your Wellbeing | AllWork.Space. (2020, June 10). AllWork.Space. https://allwork.space/2020/06/9-easy-outdoor-activities-to-boost-your-wellbeing/

‌Hayes, K. (2017, June 14). 5 Health Benefits of Gardening and Planting. AARP. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/health-benefits-of-gardening-fd.html