We are fortunate to live in Colorado where we are surrounded by National Parks and other exquisite destinations with miles of countless adventures just waiting for us! Are you looking to save on a monthly gym membership by spicing up your daily exercise routine this summer? If so, I challenge you to start thinking about moving your favorite indoor activities to the outdoors this summer. By doing so, you can also incorporate a greater amount of active outdoor family and friend time on the weekends!
Think about the activities you enjoy doing indoors and think about how you can move the activity outdoors for a greater terrain variety and challenge, less time driving to the gym every day and even a larger increase in endorphin levels from Vitamin D. Our bodies need the “sunshine vitamin” because we don’t produce it naturally. Did you know that as little as twenty minutes outside is enough exposure for an average adult? When you are Vitamin D deficient then you might suffer from a slight depression. However, when you combine physical movement and a safe exposure to sunlight, then you have an automatic recipe for happiness.
If you enjoy walking then try a few beginner hikes in your local area. If you enjoy being in the water then try paddle boarding, kayaking and rafting. Even if you are a winter sport snowboarder you can keep the same stance and try wakeboarding or go sandboarding at the Great Dunes National Park.
Active Social Time with Friends and Family
Outdoor activities are a great way stay active with your family and friends on the weekends. If you enjoy having your own time to dedicate to your workouts during the busy work week, then I am not saying to give that time up. However, try getting your family and friends on board with you during the weekends. You won’t ever have to hear the phrase “I’m bored” from your kids again. In fact, they might replace any whining with silent napping on the way home. Win for them, win for you!
If you want to get a group of friends or family together for a reunion then why not go camping at a National Park this year? There can be something for all ages and activity levels! Plus, if you have tech-savvy teenagers, this is a great way to encourage them to take a break from technology channels and spend quality time with the family.
Out of the four National Parks within the state of Colorado, how many have you or your family and friends visited? In case you want to brag about visiting all four, below is a list of each park and its location. Some of these locations are not necessarily easy for all Coloradans to visit, so I would urge you to look into some local parks with a variety of activities, as well.
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Montrose (102 Elk Creek, Gunnison, CO 81230)
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Mosca (11999 Hwy. 150, Mosca, CO 81146)
- Mesa Verde National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site near Cortez (Highway 160, Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330)
- Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park and Grand Lake (1000 Hwy. 36, Estes Park, CO 80517)
Written by: Mallory McCormick – Weigh and Win Health Coach