Things to Do Outside When You Need to Get Away from the House

Stuck indoors, bored, and unable to figure out what will get you out of this rut? We understand, which is why we’ve put together a list of our favorite outdoor activities that will get you outside and give you much-needed doses of sunshine, clean air, and positive energy.

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Going outside may not only liven up a drab day, but it also has several positive health effects: A 2018 meta-analysis of 143 research published in the journal Environmental Research connected exposure to greenspace to a host of health benefits, including lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Additional studies back up the benefits of being outside for mental wellness. A 2019 review published in the journal Science Advances found that spending time in nature can improve pleasure, subjective well-being, cognitive performance, memory, attention, imagination, and creativity while reducing mental suffering.

To put it briefly, leaving your house has several benefits. Additionally, you may enjoy all the wonders of nature without circling about or squandering valuable free time thinking of creative ways to get outside on a regular basis if you have a handy list of outdoor activities at your disposal.

For a comprehensive list of enjoyable outdoor activities, we polled people who like the great outdoors. These are some really wonderful outdoor activities, ranging from al fresco exercise regimens to suggestions for little work breaks in the fresh air. Let this article serve as a source of inspiration for your outdoor pursuits!

1. Get ready for an introspective stroll through the outdoors.

Are you agitated or distracted? Put on your footwear, go outdoors, and walk about. Walking is not only a great low-impact workout, but taking a deliberate stroll in a natural environment may also help you de-stress. A 2020 research published in Environment and Behavior revealed that persons with chronic stress reduced their cortisol levels more when they walked outside for 40 minutes than when they walked on a treadmill or viewed nature programs on TV. Additionally, many felt that their mood had improved more thereafter.

To get the most out of your stroll, focus on the here and now, taking in all that you hear and see. Ronna Schneberger is a trainer and guide for ANFT forest treatment in Alberta, Canada. She draws attention to the attention restoration hypothesis, which holds that captivating natural features, such cascading waterfalls or winding trails, can elicit involuntary attention, or the act of merely seeing something without purposefully focusing on it. This facilitates the rest and recovery of our direct attention, which is what we employ to purposefully focus. Thus, you can enhance your capacity to focus on a work later on by paying attention to what’s going on outside.

When your mind is racing in the middle of a hectic workday, this might be quite helpful. According to Schneberger, “even for 15 minutes, taking a walk during lunch or sitting outside and just taking it all in can make a world of a difference.”

2. Look up at the stars.

One of those underappreciated outdoor pursuits with a lot to offer is stargazing: it’s accessible, cost-free, and can be very soothing. The creator of Sleeping Rainbow Adventures Tours in Torrey, Utah, is Mason McCord. As a guide at Zion National Park, he initially became interested in astronomy, and it has since been one of his favorite outdoor activities.

Try to avoid as much as possible being near city lights and turn off any artificial light sources, such as headlights from cars, for the best experience. To ensure that you can lie on the ground comfortably, bring a yoga mat or blanket. After giving your eyes some time to acclimate to the darkness, observe the sky overhead.

You can prepare ahead of time if you’d want to add a bit extra activity to the experience. To find out more about what you’re looking at and to find out about forthcoming celestial phenomena like eclipses and meteor showers, download a stargazing app (McCord uses Star Walk 2).

3. Go after fireflies.

Do you recall how wonderful the great outdoors used to feel as a child? On a summer night, capture part of that wonder by putting fireflies in a jar and watching them for a short while before releasing them. During a recent trip to South Dakota, Montana-based certified personal trainer Katie Pierson and her two children engaged in this activity. She asks, “Who knew bugs could be so much fun?” Additionally, this is one of those fun outdoor activities that may foster in your children a love of the natural world. Plus, it’s totally free!

4. Take a spin after cleaning your bike.

Make riding one among your favorite outdoor hobbies if you want to combine low-impact fitness with spending time in nature. Rose Conry, an outdoor trip organizer and registered nurse in Denver, finds that riding a bike gives her an other viewpoint and may also double as a social activity when she goes with friends or family. She continues, “riding a bike is a convenient and environmentally friendly way to get to work and run errands.”

Are you dying to get out on the bike trails? Seeking out a local cycling organization can help you meet and gain knowledge from more seasoned cyclists, as previously stated. To locate clubs in your area, use the club search tool provided by USA Cycling.

5. Arrange for an adventurous date outside.

Reviving the romance on your next date night may be achieved by adding a surprise element. Author of Done with Dating: 7 Steps to Finding Your Person and professional mental health counselor Samantha Burns, MA, LMHC, is located in Boston. And organizing an outdoor thrill-seeking date at an amusement park or zip line and ropes course is one way to do this. Burns advises, “Make sure to encourage and support your partner if they find it difficult or frightening.” Seek out opportunities for physical contact along the way, she continues. Consider giving hugs, high fives, kisses, and handshakes.

Water activities are an additional choice! If you live close to a body of water, such as a lake, river, reservoir, or the ocean, think about renting a stand-up paddleboard and giving it a try. Engaging in conversation and getting to know your spouse better is made possible by exercise, which also produces dopamine, the happy hormone neurotransmitter. Additionally, as Burns states: “Now you can associate this energized mood with your partner.”

6. Have fun in your backyard.

You don’t need to go to a National Park or any other distant place to fight the heat and have a great time—all you need is a little preparation and a willingness to have fun!

A one such method? Follow Pierson’s lead and throw a slip-and-slide in your backyard. That’s right, the traditional pastime of slithering and sliding on a slippery tarp. Pierson spent $15 at the grocery store for her slide, which she installed in the yard with a hose and has since seen a lot of usage from both children and adults.

We assure you that this is a timeless outdoor pastime that will delight all members of the family, regardless of age! Zipped down the slide may be rather thrilling and pleasant on a hot day. To try it out for yourself, here’s a highly rated choice (Amazon, $40).

7. Set up a tent and start roasting marshmallows.

Camping is one of the best outdoor activities you can undertake to truly get in touch with nature. “Camping and tending to a fire and being in a beautiful place where it’s all around brings me peace and quiet,” McCord adds. McCord enjoys scattered camping, which is usually more remote, on territory that is either under the management of the Bureau of territory Management or a national forest, as opposed to often visiting campsites. “I simply enjoy venturing to a more remote location,” he remarks. “The entire area is yours—it’s more like an extension of the seclusion and contemplative quality of nature.” Completely unfamiliar with it? Check out our beginner’s guide to camping and think about packing these highly recommended items for your upcoming vacation.

8. Have a round of disc golf or mini golf.

When the time comes for a date night, choose an outdoor mini golf course or disc golf (a particular kind of frisbee game) course in your neighborhood and take your significant other. According to Burns, engaging in either activity “is a great way to create opportunities for flirtatious competition.” “You can up the ante by placing some bets, like who will pay for the ice cream afterward or [where] to go on a second date!” Playing a round of mini or disc golf outside may be enjoyable even when it’s not a romantic occasion.