Whenever it’s warm and sunny out, I try to take advantage of it! The sun does my body and soul some good- gives some color to the skin, infuses the body with vitamin D, and improves overall mood.
This past summer I made it my goal to embark on more outdoor adventures- a day outside is never a day wasted! Here are some of the things I did this summer…
One weekend a friend and I went hiking at Great Falls, located near the VA/MD border. We hiked part of the Billy Goat Trail that loops around Bear Island- plenty of rock hopping, and a steep rock wall to climb when you reach a certain point! The views of the rushing waters of the Potomac were amazing. That day we hiked for half a day, around 4 miles total.
So once the community pool opened, I wanted to swim more for cardio- it was actually my first time ever swimming for exercise and not for play (even though I only went twice). Swimming is probably one of the best ways to get full body cardio- and it’s so difficult when you first begin if you’re not a regular swimmer! The first time it took me an entire hour to swim a full 10 round laps, and I took a break in between each lap. The second time around I completed my 10 laps in a half hour. I was drained by the end, but I felt so accomplished.
I’ve always been drawn to natural water; maybe I used to be a mermaid. One Saturday I woke up at 5am for a meeting that ended up being postponed, so I had a whole morning to myself! I spontaneously decided to go kayaking by myself at a local man-made lake, Lake Needwood in Gaithersburg, MD. A small artificial lake is better than no lake at all. I rented a one-seater kayak and spent an hour paddling on the water, appreciating the silence and tranquility. It was one of the most refreshing Saturday mornings I’ve ever had!
One sunny afternoon my buddy Nick took me out to a driving range for my first time golfing- the traditional way (aka, not mini golfing, and not at Topgolf). He had golf clubs already, and we got a basket each full of golf balls for practicing our swings. Nick taught me how to properly swing a golf club (no wonder I sucked at hitting the ball the last time I went to Topgolf), and by the end I had some pretty good hits! It was super hot out that day, so I worked up a good sweat. I had always thought golfing seemed boring, but after that experience, I can see how satisfying and therapeutic it can be. Go with an experienced friend and give it a try!
5. Horseback Riding
When I took a solo trip to Tobago, I went on a swim & trail ride with the Healing With Horses Foundation, an organization based in the small coastal village of Buccoo. All their horses are rescues. They run a camp for disabled kids, free of charge to the families, made possible by their trail ride business.
On the trail we rode through the forest, then on the beach, even taking our horses for a swim in the sea! A truly unforgettable experience. If you’ve never tried horseback riding I highly suggest it- not only do you get to bond with a majestic animal, but you also exercise! You’re working your core muscles to maintain an upright posture while riding.
What did you do to stay active outdoors this past summer? Leave a comment!