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The worst thing you can do for your health—both mental and physical—is succumb to the stereotype of geeks and nerds being basement dwellers.
Even if you have a sunlight lamp for your office desk workstation, which you definitely should, it’s still better if you can go out in the sun every once in a while. But summoning the willpower to do so can be tough, especially if you don’t have a particular reason to go outside.
Here are a few interesting activities that you might want to consider taking up—if not for your health, then simply because they’re fun!
Geocaching is great if you like scavenger hunts. A geocache is a small container that somebody has hidden somewhere in the world, and your goal is to track down its GPS coordinates and see what’s inside. The Geocaching website has a list of geocaches, and you can filter them to ones near you. All you need is a GPS-enabled smartphone to play!
2. Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that uses the GPS and camera features of your smartphone to project various Pokemon in real-world locations. Your goal is to wander around and find them in the wild, then capture them for your collection. It’s highly addicting and a great way to get some light exercise into your daily routine.
3. Disc Golf
If you’re looking for an activity that’s a bit more physical, disc golf is an excellent option. Your goal is to get a frisbee into a basket in as few throws as possible, and there are entire disc golf courses with multiple “holes” (similar to traditional golf) that turn it into a competitive game.
4. Archery Tag
Archery tag is the most physical of the suggestions on this list, but also the most restrictive. If you don’t have an archery tag place near you, you’re out of luck. But if you do, it’s super fun! It’s similar to a paintball skirmish, except you shoot at each other using bows and marshmallow-tipped arrows. Bring lots of friends for maximum fun!
5. Drone Flying
If you miss the days of RC cars, then it’s time for you to go out and buy a drone (also called a quadcopter). Pocket drones can be bought on Amazon for as little as $30 these days, allowing you to get into the hobby for very cheap. Once you outgrow those, flying is even more fun with a camera-equipped drone, which are more expensive but still affordable.
6. Kite Flying
Looking for something a little less intense than drone flying? You could always fly kites instead. There are some really interesting ones on Amazon, and nothing beats the tranquility of a breeze in your hair as you maneuver your kite high overhead. Perfect for spring and autumn afternoons!
7. Photo Walk
If you have interest in photography but have always second-guessed whether it’s worth getting into, then you should try doing a few photo walks. Here’s what you do: grab your smartphone camera and a hula hoop, go visit a park or another open area, throw the hula hoop into the air, and go stand in it wherever it lands. Take photos, rinse, and repeat. It’s an awesome way to build your skills and confidence while getting a bit of sunshine.
While gardening isn’t an option if you don’t have the space for it, it’s extremely practical and therapeutic if you have a front lawn or backyard that gets sun throughout the day. It’s a commitment, but one with far-reaching benefits if you stick with it. And if you plant herbs or vegetables, you may even be able to grow tastier foods than what’s available at the local supermarket.
9. Bird Watching
What’s a calm activity you can do on a pleasant afternoon during bird season? Watch birds, of course! Grab a cheap pair of binoculars, head to the local park, plop down on a bench, and go to town. You’ll probably only spot the usual fare—serious birdwatching for rarer species requires a bit more commitment and know-how—but it’s a nice way to kill time anyway.
This one might seem a bit out there, but don’t knock it ’til you try it. Grab a notebook, a pencil, go outside, and make a map of your neighborhood! It can be as detailed as you want it to be, and it can be as true-to-life as you want it to be. The point is, it gets you outside and looking at the things around you that you may not have paid attention to before.
How often do you go outside? What’s your favorite way to take advantage of a sunny day? Let me know in the comments!