Everyday Summer Activities that Are Good for Your Health
Enjoy our list of everyday summer activities that are good for your health and wellness.
Summer is short in Vermont, and so every year we Vermonters try to make the most of it. We head to our famed Long Trail for a hiking excursion, we book a camp site at our favorite Vermont state park, and we get out the canoe or kayak for a paddle on a nearby lake or pond. Those are all fantastic activities for your health, but what if you want to do something less adventurous? In this article, we provide some suggestions for additional summer activities that are good for your health and wellness.
Mow the lawn: This may not seem like it would do much for your health, now that many people have riding lawn mowers. But consider the calories you burn doing the other tasks involved in having a great-looking lawn, such as trimming and using the walk-behind mower to get into the tight spots. Mowing the lawn burns 250 to 350 calories per hour – even more if you use a push mower.
Gardening: Spending time in the garden after dinner is a terrific way to calm your mind and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. That digging, hoeing, and bending gives your joints a low-impact workout and burns 200 to 400 calories per hour. As we explained in our article on building strength, the resistance training you get from pulling up stubborn weeds also helps build your muscles.
Take a walk: The health benefits of walking are well known, but you might shy away from going for a walk in the summer heat. Getting out for a stroll before breakfast takes advantage of the cooler morning temperatures and avoids the chance of getting caught in a thunderstorm later in the day.
Go berry picking: Walking about the berry patch is good exercise, along with bending and stretching to reach the ripest berries. Eating what you pick is also great for your health, as berries are loaded with antioxidants, fight inflammation, and add fiber to your diet. If you don’t have berries near you, here’s a list of Vermont pick your own locations.
Pack a picnic: Speaking of eating locally-grown berries, pack some to take with you on a picnic. Be sure to take along other Vermont-produced foods, such as cheeses and veggies. And don’t forget to include locally-made beverages in your basket. As for where to go for your picnic, many Vermont state parks have day use areas available without needing reservations. If you are 62 or older, the Green Mountain Passport is available at local town clerk offices and will get you into the day-use areas for free.
Visit a Farmer’s Market: To stock your picnic basket, make a trip to a farmer’s market where you can find a wide variety of locally-produced foods. While you’re there, pick up some fruits and vegetables for healthy summertime meals at home, too. Here’s a list of Vermont farmers markets.
Take a Swim: One of the healthiest summertime activities is swimming, burning 250 calories in just 30 minutes, while also building muscles in resistance training. It’s easy on your joints and helps you beat the summer heat. Check out these lists of Vermont swimming holes and beaches. Some Vermont state parks have swimming areas.
Visit Historic Sites: Vermont’s rich history is explained to visitors at sites across the state. To get the most health benefit, choose a location where you can walk around the grounds, such as Shelburne Museum, the Old Stone House Museum in Brownington, or the President Calvin Coolidge historic site in Plymouth Notch. Find more Vermont historic sites here.
Go Dancing: What could be a better way to cap off a perfect Vermont summer day than to dance under the stars? Dancing burns between 300 and 600 calories per hour, making it one of the best workouts. Build a fire in your backyard fire ring and put on your favorite music, or venture out to one of the many places in Vermont where you can dance to live music. Some Vermont towns have outdoor concerts during the summer, as do museums and resort areas.
We hope these suggestions inspire you to be active and get more out of your summer. If you’re feeling adventurous, please remember to participate in our Hike, Bike & Paddle Signature Event and share photos of your hiking, biking, paddling, and other summertime outdoor activities.