If you love getting out, the month of June - National Great Outdoors Month, is a perfect time. With schools on holiday and longer, warmer summer days peaking around the corner, June’s annual summer happenings include many healthy activities.
The Great Outdoors Month, officially designated in 2019, is an expansion program of the Great Outdoors Week. The Great Outdoors Month was designed to encourage people to make healthier choices – like finding new, enjoyable, and engaging outdoor activities.
The really good news is that spending time in nature doesn’t have to be expensive. The following offers several low-cost outdoor activities that are educational and fun while providing a healthy dose of the sun’s Vitamin D.
Checkout Some Incredible Birdwatching
Public and protected lands are located throughout the United States. Depending on one’s location, some of the rarest and most beautiful birds in the world inhabit the many millions of acres of U.S.-protected land.
The National Fish and Wildlife Service offers limitless bird watching opportunities for new or birdwatching enthusiasts. With more than 560 wildlife refuges nationwide, you might just get a chance a glimpse of a condor, a puffin, a spoonbill, or the country’s national symbol - the bald eagle.
Become a Volunteer for the U.S. Department of Interior
The Department of the Interior organizes volunteers annually. Individuals donate their skills and talents to a fantastic array of national parks, cultural sites, wildlife refuges, recreational areas, and fishing hatcheries.
One of the most meaningful benefits of spending time outdoors as a volunteer is that it offers you the opportunity to give back by helping to maintain some of the most scenic locations and historically significant places in the United States.
Pitch a Tent & Find Your Spot in Nature (The Backyard Works)
The National Park Service offers some epic campsites throughout the country that are affordable and usually just a few hours of driving from most locations. Camping is a great way to disconnect from the many tempting distractions in a digital world. It is the perfect opportunity to renew relationships with yourself, nature, and other family members or friends.
If backcountry wilderness is not your thing, look no further than your backyard. Don’t have a tent? Get creative and make a teepee instead with old sheets, blankets, or a tarp. If you have a fire-pit (a bar-b-que will do), elevate traditional S’mores with this recipe.
Become Resourceful & Plan a Staycation
With just a tiny bit of planning and ingenuity, a staycation offers similar benefits to a vacation; however, it does so without the financial burden or stress (and exhaustion) traditional travel often creates.
Remember, though, the purpose of the staycation is to disconnect from a routinized life that has become overwhelming or mundane. When planning your next staycation, search for outdoor activities that will help you renew your spirit, offer a belly laugh, and provide an affordable experience that can be shared with those you love and care about. Here are a few other healthy outdoor options -
- Grab (or rent) a bike and cruise around town. Stop at your favorite ice cream shop.
- Rent a projector (laptops may work) and create a backyard drive-in with a favorite movie. Invite the neighbors and friends to enjoy the show – but don’t forget the popcorn and bug spray.
Research has shown that nature is healing, and even simply viewing nature can reduce fatigue, depression, stress, and anger – which ultimately contributes to your overall well-being. The outdoors is a great way to take care of your financial health as well, as it offers many affordable, exciting choices.