It’s easy to get wrapped up in errands and household chores on your days off (So. Much. Laundry.) and even easier to be tempted to veg out in front of the TV and call it a staycation.
But studies show that spending time outdoors can help with depression, lowering blood pressure, and overall health and happiness.* And self-care is very important, especially when life’s challenges seem to be piling up.
The next time you get a break from the grind, resist the urge to spend all of your time cooped up inside and step out into nature.
Need a few suggestions? We’ve rounded up nine ways to make the most of the great outdoors any time of the year without spending a lot of money or doing any major travel. So, trade the screen time for sunscreen and head outside to try one these activities—the laundry can wait.
1. Take a hike
Take an afternoon off and have an adventure. Make a plan to discover new trails and be on the lookout for local wildlife. Taking kids along? Create a scavenger hunt to get them focused and involved.
And make sure you bring the essentials: navigation tools, sunscreen, a mini first aid kit and sustenance. XS™ Sports Twist Tubes or XS™ CocoWater Hydration Drink Mixes are great to add to your water bottle for refreshing and needed hydration. And XS™ Energy Bars or XS™ Sports Protein Bars are easy to pack and great fuel for the trail.
2. Camp out in your backyard
Transform your yard into a campsite with help from a few camping essentials: a bonfire, a tent, and all the supplies for making s’mores. And the best part about camping at home? You can still use the indoor bathroom to get ready for bed.
3. Get gardening
If you’ve maxed out on space for indoor plants, start digging up a spot in your yard. Planting some flowers you love or building a new raised herb garden are a few ways to make yard work less of a chore and much more enjoyable. Just don’t forget your sunscreen.
4. Watch the sunset or sunrise
If you usually take the sunrise for granted, get up early and drive to a scenic overlook to start your day off in the best way. Bring along a can of XS™ Energy Cafe Mocha to drink while you enjoy the view. Not a morning person? Head out to watch the sunset instead. Turn your trunk into a cozy nook full of blankets or bring along a few foldout chairs to get comfy while you watch. Feeling cute? Take a selfie and post it to share the joy!
5. Go on a picnic
No worries if you don’t have a wicker basket and a red-and-white checkered tablecloth. All you really need for a great picnic is a few sandwiches, snacks, cold beverages like XS™ Energy Drinks and, of course, the perfect spot on the grass. You could even make it an early morning or late dinner picnic and combine it with your sunrise/sunset adventure, too!
6. Play yard games
A little bocce ball, cornhole or lawn bowling are classic choices, but if you don’t have the supplies, make do with what you’ve got. Play capture the flag, plan a fun relay race through the yard or build an obstacle course with materials you already have at home. The point is to get outside and have some fun.
7. Workout outdoors
Give the stationary bikes and treadmills a rest and move your workout outside. You’ll not only get your daily steps in, you also get your vitamin D. Go for a bike ride or a jog through a park and soak up the scenery you can’t get from an indoor gym. Grab an XS™ Protein Pod and your water bottle for an after-workout snack.
8. Get in the water
If you’re enjoying warm weather, make a DIY slip-and-slide, swim a few laps in the pool, play water volleyball or just get in and float—the options for water activities are endless. If you have access to a beach, lake or river, try paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing or tubing. Again, don’t forget your sunscreen!
9. Play in the snow
Cold weather shouldn’t stop you from getting outside. Take full advantage of the snowy months with fun winter sports like skiing, snowboarding or tubing. Can’t make it to the slopes? Go sledding or ice skating at your neighborhood park or put on some ice grips and hit the trails for a hike.
With all of these outdoor ideas, you’ll never have to settle for a boring staycation again. But no need to wait until your next break from work! Add a few of these activities into your everyday routine to really reap the benefits.