Outdoor activities that students can enjoy

It’s no secret that spending time outdoors has many benefits, such as soothing mental and physical injuries. Unfortunately, many students still spend most of their time indoors. Over time, we become even less eager to venture outside our homes and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. More than ever, it is crucial that we expose ourselves to our planet and all it has to offer, especially outdoor activities!

Spending quality time outdoors has been shown to improve focus and mood while reducing stress levels. Plus, participating in the outdoors can provide much-needed exercise, promote a healthy sleep schedule, and increase your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D, an essential nutrient that helps your body obtain vital minerals. Being outdoors can also be a social activity that allows you to connect with more people in your community.

Since being outdoors is practically a prescription for better health, you should feel inclined to put down your cell phone and soak up the sun. I’ve compiled a list of the best outdoor activities for students that are both enjoyable and healthy. These activities will not only allow you to come into contact with yourself but also with nature.

1. Hiking

Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities that students can participate in because it can improve mental and physical health, which all students can benefit from. For example, hiking is great for your cardiovascular health because it has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Even a light hike can improve your endurance, aerobic fitness, balance, and muscle building capacity. Likewise, hiking can benefit your mental health by relieving stress, boosting your self-esteem, and improving the quality of your sleep.

Also, don’t feel like you have to start your hike with a huge and difficult trail; rather, it is best to start with easy paths that give your body time to adjust to this new activity. Once you’ve given your body a chance to become more familiar with hiking, you’ll be able to walk longer, faster, and harder without feeling completely out of breath.

2. Fruit picking

Whether you are doing this activity alone or in a group, selecting your own fresh, seasonal produce is a great way to relax and surround yourself with nature. Personally, I like to go apple picking with my family on weekends, when I have the most free time. I have noticed that fruit picking has dramatically reduced my stress level and allowed me to get in touch with the beautiful people around me.

I would recommend finding a local farm in your area – a quick google search will make this possible. When you engage in fruit picking, not only will you be able to nourish your body with healthy foods, but you will also be supporting local farms with your purchases. Not to mention that in most farms, entry and parking are completely free. Don’t miss the opportunity to harvest your own healthy fruits and vegetables.

3. Swimming

It’s a great activity that can be as strenuous or as calm as you want it to be. If you don’t feel like swimming long laps in the pool, you can just dip your feet in the water and bask in the glow of the sun. Swimming is not only an amazing exercise, but also a very relaxing and inexpensive activity.

For students, finding a pool to swim in is usually not a difficult task. If you don’t have an easily accessible pool on your campus, you can do some research to determine where the nearest community pool is in your area. A body of water, such as a lake, river, pond, or ocean, is another viable option if you live nearby. If none of these resources are feasible for you, you can buy a kiddie pool for as little as $ 10 on Amazon and recreate your favorite childhood memories.

4. Painting and other outdoor artistic activities

Painting is definitely a relaxing project that can reassure you and help you feel more grounded. Grab an easel, paint, and canvas and step outside. If you don’t feel like painting, there are many other art activities you can enjoy outdoors, such as knitting, drawing, scrapbooking, and jewelry making. Painting outdoors can help freshen your mind and boost your creativity. It will allow you to breathe some fresh air, hear birdsong and feel a gentle breeze on your face. In other words, you will become more in touch with your surroundings.

I would recommend placing your easel in front of a naturalistic scene that you admire. Once you’ve found a spot you like, draw it and then paint it, trying to incorporate as much detail as possible into your artwork. Being outside, as opposed to a restrictive confined space, will increase your awareness of the world.

5. Yoga

Yoga is popular for a reason. I have been practicing outdoor yoga since I was in college and am happy to say that each session has tremendously improved both my mood and my flexibility. Yoga itself has many benefits, but when combined with the outdoors, the benefits become even more evident. Practicing yoga in an outdoor setting puts you in tune with nature, which results in a state of relaxation and renewal. It also increases your focus and replenishes any depleted energy. Not to mention that when you practice yoga outdoors, you will never encounter the obstacle of competing for floor space. Physically, practicing yoga outdoors improves your balance and coordination.

If you are used to practicing your yoga indoors, changing your setting will allow you to push your limits, which will also boost your self-confidence. That being said, what are you waiting for? Grab a rug, slip on your sneakers and step out into the dazzling world we call our home.

Trying out some of these outdoor activities can be the perfect way to improve your physical and mental health before the start of the new school semester.