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With Memorial Day this past weekend, summer has arrived! If you are dragging on making summer plans and need some inspiration, we've compiled a list of 10 fun things to help keep you stay fit and active this summer - all with theme songs for your iPod. Get ready to be busy…
1. Mud On The Tires, Brad Paisley – Get out into the woods and get dirty! Riding around on ATVs, mountain bikes, or dirt bikes is a great way to relieve stress and get your adrenaline pumping. Fresh air is great for your lungs and the air in the woods is usually the freshest due to little or no development. Make sure to check for ticks when you exit the woods though … those pesky little buggers can be sneaky.
2. Saturday In The Park, Chicago – Do you have kids or are a kid at heart? Take a Saturday and visit your local town park. With lots of room to run and a playground for the kids, the activities are endless. Have a baseball game or soccer dual and pack lots of water to stay hydrated. You can also bring along a picnic lunch and blanket and spend some time eating and chatting under the shade of a tree. Remember to put on sunscreen to protect from harmful UV rays.
3. Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles – Never seen a sunrise? Make it a point to catch one over the summer this year. Get up and start your day bright and early with some quiet, peaceful time to yourself. Not only can the sun coming up over the horizon be inspirational, but the quiet time spent alone in the early morning will relax you and allow you to gather all of your thoughts together for the rest of the day. Experiencing the calm of the early morning with a nice cup of coffee can help you feel more productive and have a better attitude
4. Mountain Music, Alabama – Travel or hike through your local mountain range and spend some time camping. The natural surroundings are awe-inspiring and the fun little critters you will get to see can spark your interest in learning about the local wildlife. Camping is a great family outing and can even be used as a Team Building Getaway. Your local State Parks offer great opportunities for camping newbies who still need some form of running water and electricity, yet still cater to the experienced who seek more remote destinations. Don't forget some ace bandages, and other first aid supplies - just in case.
5. Against The Wind, Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band – Summer can offer some nice breezy days, perfect for kite flying or playing with gliding planes. If you are feeling more adventurous, try parasailing or hand-gliding. If attempting to find thrills by getting into the air yourself, make sure to work with a professional. Remember: safety first!
6. Fishing In the Dark, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – OK, so you don't HAVE to go fishing in the dark, but sometimes fish bite better during that time. Regardless of when you go, fishing is a fun sport, albeit a little gross due to the worms and hooked fish. Little kids love going, and if you have them it can be a fun bonding activity. Keep a first-aid kit handy, just in case someone gets pricked (or hooked) with a hook. Check with your local DEC about age limitations on fishing licenses and if you are of an age that needs one, invest in one. The fines for not having one cost much more.
7. On The Road Again, Willie Nelson – Take a trip! You don't have to go far, but spend some time sightseeing your local area in your vehicle. You can simply stop for ice cream or visit local tourist attractions. If you plan on taking a long trip, visit welcome centers to see what those areas offer. This activity is also a great learning experience for kids. Make sure to bring a map (or GPS) so as not to get lost, and remember to bring snacks and plenty of beverages as summer days in the car can get hot. Always make sure to have a roadside emergency kit on hand.
8. Bicycle Built For Two, an old standard circa 1892 – Ok, so you may not have a bicycle built for two, but if you do that is pretty cool in my book. Go for a bike ride this summer - the weather is perfect for it! This can offer quiet time, stress release and provides you with a great means of exercise. If you’re an athlete, get competitive with it and search out local charity races or triathlons. As a precaution (and to help keep your ride bearable) try to avoid biking during the hottest times of the day. Carry water, your ID and some cash (just in case), and don’t forget to wear your helmet.
9. The Boots Are Made For Walking, Nancy Sinatra – Get out and walk, run, or hike. You have two legs, which are great for something other than standing stationary while making a sandwich. Hiking is a fantastic way to see nature trails in the mountains. Mountains and wildlife refuges are beautiful places to visit and they come with an abundance of things to learn about. Fresh air is good for your lungs and new experiences are great for mental stimulation. Make sure to bring your camera along with a first-aid kit, water and a backpack with clean/dry socks and shoes in case you get wet to help avoid blisters (some blister Band-Aids may come in handy, if you don't wear the right shoes).
10. Sunshine and Summertime, Faith Hill – Go to the beach or the local pool. Spend some time outdoors in the cool water and chill out for a day or hey, even the 2 weeks of vacation you have saved up. Swimming is a great sport and family activity, plus in hot weather it is a great way to cool down your body temperature. Always follow safety guidelines, and if you are not familiar with the practice, keep a CPR kit with instructions around in the event of an emergency. Also, the sun reflects off of the water, giving you a double dose of UV rays, so make sure to bring along waterproof sunscreen and white t-shirts for the hottest and sunniest parts of the day.
Now that you have some great summer ideas, as well as a great soundtrack to go with them, what will you be planning to do to stay healthy and stay fit this summer? Gather inspiration from what seems to be plain-old everyday options and enjoy them this year!