A day in the outdoors improves your muscle strength, enhances your circulation and increases your lung function. Spending time in the fresh air is more important than ever for people of all ages. Chances are, there are parks and preserves in your area that will allow you to spend a day communing with nature, for better health and improved mood. Here are just a few activity ideas for spending time outdoors.

Explore The Outdoors! 5 Fun Activities That Let You See and Enjoy Nature

– Hiking

All you need is a pair of sturdy walking shoes and a small pack for water, snacks, and sunscreen, and you can have a memorable hike with family or friends. Local parks, state parks, and wooded preserves are prime targets for hiking. A map, compass, and phone are good to have to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

– Bicycling

You can use your own bike or rent a few from a local vendor to experience a healthy, active day outdoors. It’s a good idea to plan your route in advance. Pack a lunch and some water, so you can stop at a pleasant spot along the way for a rest. A good performance tee shirt from a place like Over Under Clothing will help you to be more comfortable on your ride, whatever the weather.

– Horseback Riding

Horses are magnificent creatures with finely tuned instincts, and you will soon learn to communicate on a new, non-verbal level. Beginners can go to a reputable stable in their area that will supply an experienced guide to ensure you are comfortable on your mount. Children especially enjoy getting used to this “retro” method of transportation.

– Kayaking

Kayaking is an enjoyable activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Paddling techniques are easy to learn, and it’s likely that a rental outfitter is available somewhere nearby. Pack up your hat, sunscreen, water bottles and a snack, and you’re ready to enjoy an adventure on the water. Bring your camera to snap photos of sights you encounter along the way.

– Bird Watching

With a good book or an app about birds in your area, you can rack up a number of “sightings” in an afternoon. You can also download apps that have birdcalls, so you can more easily locate and identify the species on your route. Your smartphone will also allow you to take pictures of the birds you see if you need to do more research for identification.

Spending time outdoors has significant physical and mental benefits. It not only gets you off the couch and moving. It also helps to relieve stress and improve your outlook on life. Whether you spend the day with family, or companions, engaging in outdoor activities will improve your productivity during the day and also help you to sleep better at night.