Now that summer is in full gear, it’s the perfect time to gather your best girl pals (and guy pals) and venture on some mini expeditions.
Need some inspiration? Here are some of our top four favorite summer activities to help keep your body and mind healthy and happy.
Not only does hiking help strengthen your heart, bones, balance, and more, even just taking a long walk on the beach or in a park has its health benefits. If you love the outdoors and adore nature, hiking, and walking in general, are phenomenal ways to stay healthy while getting some girl time in. And did you know that walking seven or more hours a week reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 14%?! We find that an amazing fact and even more of a reason to put on those hiking boots this summer and hit the beaten path with your besties.
Check Out a Farmers Market
Fresh local asparagus, anyone? Farmers markets are a great way to get your walking in AND get your hands on some of the freshest fruit, vegetables and baked goods in the area. Most towns host farmers markets once a week during the summer, and some cities even extend them indoors in the wintertime. Farmers markets can inspire you to eat healthy, shop smarter, and encourage the support of local small businesses. So grab your cutest summer tote bag and hit your neighborhood farmers market for the ultimate daytime girl date. Don’t know if your town has a farmers market? Check out the National Farmers Market Directory to see if there’s one near you!
Kayaking and Canoeing
You don’t have to venture out into the deepest rivers of Canada to enjoy some low intensity kayaking or canoeing. Many urban areas offer kayaking in local lakes, or your local state park can be an option, too. Kayaking has been known to improve strength and flexibility, as well as heart health. And, according to Nutrition and Dietetic Technician (NDTR) and writer Sarah Garone, “This (kayaking) low-impact exercise is gentle on the joints, making it suitable for people with arthritis or those at risk of injury.” Since not everyone can hit the gym for a high-intensity workout for health or other reasons, canoeing or kayaking is a phenomenal way to stay fit without putting too much stress on the joints.
What better way to spend the weekend (or weeknight) than to dance the night away under the stars and to your favorite band or singer? Everyone knows that music can be a form of therapy, and attending a live concert is a fun way to bring girlfriends together while getting fresh air. In fact, listening to music, in general, stimulates dopamine production in the brain, which can help ease depression and anxiety for some people. For others, it can make them feel closer to others, and music can even help ease the sensation of pain. So, browse the web for some local outdoor concerts in your area and get ready to make lasting memories to your favorite jams.