5 Activities to Find Your Feel Good This Summer
While there are things to enjoy in every season, there’s just something special about the summer. Clear blue skies, a soft breeze, and the sun shining on your skin. It's the perfect recipe for feeling good.
Summer and exploration go hand in hand. And while we might not always have the opportunity to travel far and explore new countries every year, there’s still plenty you can do at home.
Rain or shine, summer is the perfect time to get out and try something new, and expand your horizons - even if you’re on a tight budget.
To give you some inspiration, here are five simple ideas to try this summer to find your Feel Good!
Go solo camping
Camping is a great way to get out into nature. While it's lovely to relax around the fire with some loved ones, going out on your own offers a unique sensation that everyone should experience at least once.
Going solo camping can be a little bit nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before. If you’re a bit nervous, try finding a campsite close to home, and try it just for one night at first.
You’ll be amazed by how restored you’ll feel in the morning. While it might not offer the comforts of a king-size mattress, there’s nothing better than taking some time to get closer to nature, and waking up with the sun.
Take a dive a wild swimming
Swimming and the summer go together like fish and chips. It’s the perfect way to cool down in the heat and get some exercise in. However, finding the right pool can be difficult. Thanks to the school holidays, many are often too busy, as you find yourself spending more time dodging inflatables than actually swimming! Too often, a visit to the local swimming pool can be more stress than it's worth.
But who needs a swimming pool, when nature is all around us?
There's something so liberating about taking a dip into some water. It doesn't just feel good though - it does you good, too! Cold water immersion (and if it’s the UK, it will be cold) has been shown to improve your mood, help reduce inflammation, and support your immune system. (Knechtle, 2020)
Safety first though. Unless you’re experienced, never go wild swimming alone, and make sure to swim somewhere safe. Stay away from canals, urban rivers and stagnant lakes.
Tackle a cycle route
Cycling has become a common way to get around in cities, thanks to its affordability, convenience, and all of the benefits it brings to your health and the environment.
It shouldn't always be about being practical though: it can be so much fun! Try finding a new cycle route you've never done before, and make a day of it. If you regularly cycle around town, try a more challenging route - something that has plenty of hills, or a long distance.
You don’t need to splash out on an expensive bike. If you don’t have one of your own, try borrowing one from a friend or family member - just make sure the tires are inflated and get a helmet too!
Okay, so you might see stars on a nightly basis…but unless you live somewhere very rural, you’re probably experiencing light pollution.
According to National Geographic, over 80 per cent of the world's population (and 99 per cent of Americans and Europeans) live under 'sky glow', a mild form of light pollution.
While things like streetlights are useful for getting around in everyday life, they aren’t quite as spectacular or romantic as having the moon and stars be your only light source.
Hiking is an amazing workout. It's a simple way to get in touch with nature and disconnect from your everyday worries. If you hike regularly though, doing the same local routes can start to become less challenging.
While there’s always the option to travel further afield for some new hikes, you can still get some more challenges from your favourites!
Rucking (military slang for ‘rucksack’) is an exercise that’s growing in popularity and is a great way to add some extra challenge to your hikes.
The premise is extremely simple. Add some weight to a backpack, strap it on, and hike as normal! The extra resistance forces your legs, back, core, and shoulders to work hard. It's a fantastic way to build functional strength, while not being crammed into a stuffy gym.
While you can buy fancy weight plates, all you really need is a backpack. You can stuff it with whatever you fancy (even with books or water bottles). Just don’t go too heavy! Don't add any more than 10 per cent of your body weight to your backpack (so if you're 70kg, the weight in your bag shouldn’t exceed 7kg).
Find your Feel Good moments
While it’s good to challenge yourself to try something new this summer, don’t give in to FOMO. Remember, social media can be deceiving - don’t compare your every day to someone's highlight reel!
Not every summer weekend has to be an adventure. Sometimes, you might just feel like making the most of the sun and spending some time in the garden with your family. A Feel Good summer might even just be chilling out on an armchair next to an open window, and reading a good book with a refreshing drink.
Knechtle B, Waśkiewicz Z, Sousa CV, Hill L, Nikolaidis PT. Cold Water Swimming-Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 2;17(23):8984. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17238984. PMID: 33276648; PMCID: PMC7730683.
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