Summer is here, and that means warm weather, fun in the sun, and lots of taking advantage of what Mother Nature has to offer. Even if you’re not exactly the most outdoorsy person, getting out and exploring the wide blue yonder can have great effects on your overall health and heart health. According to the US National Forest Service, studies have shown that being out in nature, even on a limited basis, can decrease cortisol levels and reduce stress—and less stress is always good for heart health.
Read more: 4 Outdoor Activities to Try This Summer
If you need a few ideas to get you started, here are a few fun and easy outdoor activities to try this summer.
Immerse Yourself In Nature—It’s a Walk in the Park!
You don’t have to commit to a long, grueling hike to reap the benefits that getting outside can have on your overall health. According to Time Magazine, research has proven that even spending 20 minutes outside in your local park can have astounding benefits to your wellbeing. Take advantage of the balmy summer weather by finding a park near your office or place of work, and commit to having lunch at the park once or twice a month. Or try taking a stroll with friends at a park you haven’t visited yet. Getting out into nature shouldn’t be difficult—most cities and towns have a decent park or two to their name.
Related: The Get-Moving Walking Plan for Beginners
Hit the Beach! (Just Don’t Forget Sunscreen)
Studies show that even getting 20 minutes of sunshine can have a positive impact on our vitamin D levels. The beach is the perfect place to try out all kinds of summery activities. You could build a sandcastle, and if you feel confident enough, plenty of beaches offer sandcastle contests you could enter. Running on the beach, if you like to run, has particular benefits like increased endurance, higher resistance, and more. Plenty of beaches offer sailboat or kayak rentals, and depending on where you are, you may even be able to take surfing lessons! If that doesn’t sound totally radical to you, you can always just curl up under a beach umbrella with a nice book. No matter what you choose to do at the beach, always remember to wear enough sunscreen and reapply as needed.
Don’t Forget About Yard Games
If going to the beach or the park seems like too much of a hassle, there are always fun ways to take advantage of your own yard space. It doesn’t have to be football season to break out the cornhole set and toss the bags with a few friends in your backyard. Or, for a more high-culture experience, why not give croquet a whack? There are plenty of sets available online which come with instructions detailing how to play. If you’re not in the mood for mallets, you could also take up bocce ball. This game is similar to croquet, but instead of a mallet, you use your hands to roll the ball. There are so many yard games out there—and plenty that are fun for adults and kids alike. Why not host a cookout at your house and have each household in attendance bring over a fun yard game? You can learn new ways to pass the time and have lots of fun in the process.
These are just a few ideas to get you out of the house and engaged in activities to support heart health! For more fun ways to pass the time this summer, check out our Bucket List series of monthly heart health tips on Ubiquinol.org. You can also see how Ubiquinol can work for you by downloading our Ubiquinol Beginner’s Guide.