Getting outside more and enjoying the great outdoors in your downtime is a fantastic way to energise yourself and recharge. Too much time inside the home or office just makes you go stir crazy after a while, and sometimes it’s even oddly addictive.
If you’re into health and fitness, then getting outdoors more is an absolute must for a healthy body and mind.
If you’re into sustainable living, then getting outside means you’re not inside consuming resources, or not as many anyway.
Many people are downsizing their homes these days as they want to simplify their lives, and living in a smaller space with less possessions also tends to encourage people to get out more.
We all should take time out to enjoy what’s around us, get some exercise, breathe fresh air and also get a little sunlight.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are still activities and things you can door outdoors that don’t cost much money, so let’s go over a few ideas in this post.
Maybe some of the suggestions might seem obvious and generic, but even so, sometimes we need reminders that these things are there around us to enjoy.
Get Down To the Beach
If you’re lucky enough to have a nice beach nearby to where you live, how often do you go down there?
The best time to enjoy the beach is earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon, to avoid the heat of the day and high UV rays. We all need sunlight to survive, but obviously we don’t want to get fried out there.
Whether you’re swimming or not, just the feel of the sand between your toes, inhaling the salty sea breeze and the gentle rhythm of the waves is very therapeutic. It’s healthy for the mind, body and soul.
The beach is also free entertainment, and if you do enjoy swimming, then that’s awesome, low impact exercise that’s also invigorating.
You could even take your breakfast or early dinner down to the beach, or eat lunch by the seaside.
The beach really is one of the best places in the world to be.
Visit Your Local Park
Just about every town and city will have at least one nice park, or even a Botanical Gardens.
Once more, this is a totally free option to get outside, get some air, clear your head and be around nature.
If you have a dog, even better. It’s a great excuse for you and your puppy to get to the park and get some exercise together. Your pooch will love you for it and you’ll have a lot of fun watching them have fun.
Take a blanket, spread it out under a nice shady tree, lay down, close your eyes, focus on your breathing and simply just clear thoughts and stress from your body. We all need downtime like this. It’s vital for our health and wellness.
Often the local park won’t be too far from home, so there’s really no reason not to visit it regularly and take some time to unwind and live a less sedentary life in the process.
Go Somewhere for a Picnic
You could do it with your partner, you could do it with your friends. Picnics are relaxing and make for a great chill out session. And once again, you’ll be getting at one with nature and getting some much needed fresh air.
Your picnic could take place in either of the two locations mentioned above, or maybe there’s a local lake somewhere not too far away, or even a farm where you’re allowed to hang out, have some snacks and just take it easy.
Even better still, if you’re allowed to build a small fire to relax around, this will just add to the atmosphere and tranquillity; especially if you plan your picnic for late afternoon or dusk.
And leave the devices off or at home. Give yourself a chance to disconnect from technology for a few hours at least.
Explore a National Park
Not all of us are lucky enough to live in close proximity of a national park, hinterland or wilderness region, but if you are, make sure to get out there and take advantage of all nature has to offer occasionally.
Some areas cost money to enter while others are free. Just depends on where you are. Either way, it’s not going to cost much in admission and it’s well worth it for the experience.
There’s nothing quite like exploring a national park or wilderness, following a trail down to a waterfall. As you draw nearer, you can hear the sound of the running water, even if you can’t see it yet. You pick up the pace, now eager to get there and see it with your own eyes.
Being out in nature just simply revives you in every way imaginable. If you have a camera, take it with you, or use the camera on your smart phone or tablet.
This is another great location to take a picnic lunch, or maybe stop for lunch at a mountain cafe or restaurant.
Once again the results are fresh air, tranquillity, exercise, a little sunshine and an escape from everyday life.
How About a Night Out Stargazing?
You could either do this at a planetarium if there’s one in the area, or simply get outdoors at night, head out of the city away from bright lights and just enjoy looking up at the heavens and admiring the star-studded darkness of the universe.
You could spread a blanket out on the ground and just lie there, relaxed and at peace, gazing up at the sky. Or you could even lay on the hood or roof of your car.
Take a drink and some snacks with you, and warm clothes if the weather is chilly. Make a night of it, even camp out if you like.
If you have a DSLR camera and tripod, maybe even try your hand at some astrophotography.
Any excuse to get outdoors more is a good excuse.
Maybe bird watching doesn’t sound mega exciting, and it might not be for everyone, but there are a lot of beautiful birds out there, and you can practically do bird watching anywhere, even in the backyard of your home.
Make a bit of a game of it. See how many birds you can accurately identify. Have a competition with others who are with you. It’s a great educational activity for the kids too.
Once again you could take some photos of the birds you see and test out your photography skills. Try capturing a clear image of a bird in full flight.
Even Gardening Is Therapeutic
That’s right. To enjoy the great outdoors, you don’t even actually have to leave home. Spending time in the backyard is still being outside, and what better way to chill out and be at one with nature than doing some gardening?
If you grow your own veggie patch, then that’s even better. Not only are you outside tending to your home grown vegetables, you also experience the pleasure and satisfaction of producing your own fresh food and getting to eat the spoils.
Even if you’re not growing vegetables, just procuring and tending to shrubs and flowers is just as good for you on every level. You’re still involved in something natural, you’re still outside getting some sunshine and air, and it’s very relaxing.
Even a simple task like watering the lawn and gardens with a hose is super serene.
Go for a Bike Ride
It could be mountain bike riding, cruising the local streets on a road racer, or even a BMX bike. Once more you’re getting out, getting exercise, promoting the stimulation of feel good endorphins, de-stressing and just enjoying life away from the addiction of technology.
If you have the means and a couple of mountain bikes, take them out of town and ride some mountain trails. Really get amongst it, test your skills and just be at one with your surrounds.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
SUP is all the craze these days. It’s a calm and cruisy way to get outside, feel at peace out on the water and do some exercise that is very relaxing rather than strenuous.
Anywhere that there is a creek, stream, river, or even the ocean, you’ll often find somewhere hiring out stand up paddle boards on an hourly basis.
What better way to start the day than to get out there early just after the sun has peeked over the eastern horizon?
Explore your local waterways at your own pace, breath in deeply of the fresh morning air and let the soothing sounds of the water take you away to another place.
If you have downtime, then there’s really no excuse NOT to get outdoors more and just enjoy some of the really simple treats and treasures life and nature has to offer.
You don’t have to spend much money either. Most of the activities mentioned in this post are free, or really don’t cost very much.
Don’t spend your whole life inside glued to the TV or other modern technology. These things are great and have their place, but there’s a big, beautiful world out there, so make sure you make some time to get out there and see it often.