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Outdoor summer activities to keep you moving

July 6, 2023
3 minutes
Lifestyle Health & Wellness

In 2022, the National Park Service had 312 million recreational visitors–an increase of 5% from the number of recreational visitors in 2021. And, the United States hosts 6 of the 10 longest hiking trails in the world. There’s no shortage of places to explore and activities to try in the US.

But as temperatures rise, and more people are looking to spend time outdoors, it can be overwhelming to decide which activities to take part in.

So, what are some of the best outdoor summer activities to keep you moving?

How can you enjoy the weather, while also staying active and healthy?

In today’s article, we’ll be talking about outdoor summer activities to help improve your health and wellness. Keep reading to learn more.

Benefits of being outdoors

Getting outside feels great–and there’s science to explain why feeling the sun on your skin is so refreshing. Both your physical and mental health get a boost when you spend time doing outdoor exercise activities.

When it comes to physical wellness, the benefits of getting outside are numerous. Studies show that spending time in the great outdoors can boost sleep quality, reduce the risk of developing cancer, and can increase life expectancy. When combined with eating well and moving your body, spending time outdoors can be a fantastic addition to your wellness routine. 

Studies also show that some people feel more comfortable exercising when they’re outside, and simply spending time in nature can inspire people to get moving. When you spend time outdoors, your body’s stress levels naturally reduce. Cortisol levels (your body’s natural stress hormone that can contribute to weight gain when left unchecked) fall, as does heart rate. High levels of stress and cortisol can increase the risk of heart disease, and spending time outdoors is a fast and easy way to boost heart health. 

There are also many mental health benefits that come with spending time outdoors. Research shows that people who spend significant amounts of time outside have a lower risk of depression and are able to recover from stress more quickly than people who don’t spend much time outdoors. 

Another benefit of spending time outdoors: connection with others. In many towns and cities, outdoor spaces are natural places for people to gather and spend time together without having to plan ahead. The likelihood of running into a neighbor or making a new friend is usually higher in a natural outdoor space. 

Green outdoor spaces don’t just benefit people on a personal level–they’re also great for helping communities stay healthy. A study showed that when an effort is made to transform empty lots into green spaces, neighborhood crime goes down by 13%, and reports of feelings associated with depression in the community go down by 41%. The study also showed that neighbors tend to have better attitudes toward one another in clean, green neighborhoods. 

Outdoor summer activities for adults

Ready to take your movement outdoors, or just spend some time with loved ones in a green space? We’ve got you. Check out these ideas for enjoying the sunshine and boosting your mood with fresh air and open spaces. 


In a survey by the National Recreation and Park Association, Americans aged 18+ were asked what their favorite outdoor summer activity was. 

49% of them said going for a walk or hike.

Both activities require very little equipment to get started. They provide a convenient way to get active while also enjoying the weather.

Regular physical activity from walking or hiking can help:

  • Improve endurance
  • Increase energy levels
  • Reduce stress and tension
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Improve your sleep, mood, cognition, and memory 
  • Strengthen your bones, muscles, and immune system

With so many benefits, it’s hard not to see the attraction of walking or hiking. Try going for a walk in your local neighborhood or exploring a trail in your area. 


Whether you want to hit the trail or you’re looking to commute in an environmentally-friendly way, biking is a fantastic option to get where you need to go while enjoying the great outdoors. 

To boost the health benefits of cycling, get social. Joining a local biking group can be a great way to discover new trails, make friends, and become involved in your local community. 

Lawn Sports

Summer brings social gatherings like picnics, parties, and barbecues, and enjoying time outside. Suggesting lawn games can be a fun way to get moving while spending time with people in your community. 

Games like croquet, horseshoes, frisbee, and lawn darts can bring out your competitive spirit while allowing you to get exercise and spend time with loved ones. 

Visit the beach

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, 40% of people said their favorite summer activity was going to the beach.

It’s a great environment for embracing the warm weather, while also getting active at the same time. There are outdoor activities that kids can enjoy, and outdoor activities for adults to exercise, compete, and socialize with friends and family.

But what sort of activities?

A few ideas to keep you moving at the beach might include:

  • Volleyball - this can be a great way to socialize and work as a team while also getting aerobic exercise.
  • Swimming - as the fourth most popular sport in the United States, swimming hosts a wealth of benefits. Exercising in water may help people with arthritis improve the movement of their arthritic joints. And it can also improve mood and decrease the risk of chronic illness. 

There are a variety of different activities you can take part in while out in the water.

Whether you enjoy kayaking, canoeing with a friend, or water sports. All activities are a great way to get some aerobic exercise and enjoy the water and weather.

Kayaking and canoeing work many muscles in the body. They engage upper body muscles, legs, and even core muscles. This may result in an increase in muscle mass and strength and an improved ability to balance.

There’s an endless amount of water sports to try. From wakeboarding to water polo, participating in these activities can help improve mental and physical strength and increase confidence.

During summer, the weather is warm enough to enjoy the water and embrace nature. Although, we recommend protecting yourself with sunscreen and keeping cool by staying in the shade when you can, and drinking lots of water.

So, whether you decide to take up a new hobby like wakeboarding, or try out a new trail in your local area, it’s up to you to decide what outdoor summer activity you want to take part in.

Make sure to share this article with a friend, family member, or coworker you might want to go on a day trip with and try out some of these outdoor summer activities.

Evidation is here to help you get the data you need to boost your physical activity, understand how your lifestyle affects your health, and help you feel your best. Download the app today to get started.

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