The worst thing you can do for your health—both mental and physical—is succumb to the stereotype that geeks and nerds are basement dwellers who never go outside.
Even if you have a sunlight lamp on your office desk or workstation, and even if you do regular at-home workouts, it’s still better to go out in the sun every once in a while if you can.
But summoning the willpower to dip outside can be tough, especially when you don’t have a reason to go. Walking aimlessly around the neighborhood may not appeal, and I’m right there with you.
That’s why you should consider picking up one or two outdoor activities that you can look forward to. Here are some fun things to do outside that aren’t just entertaining, but good for your health!
If you like scavenger hunts, you’ll love geocaching. A geocache is a small container that’s been hidden somewhere, and your goal is to track down its GPS coordinates to see what’s inside.
The Geocaching website has a list of geocaches, and you can filter the list to all the geocaches near you. All you need is a GPS-enabled smartphone and a geocaching app (there are free ones).
2. Pokemon Go
Remember Pokemon Go? The hype has definitely died down since its debut in 2016, but plenty of people are still playing it—and it’s still a really fun reason to go out and explore.
This augmented reality mobile game uses your phone’s GPS and camera to project different Pokemon in real-world locations. You track them down and use Poke Balls to catch them. And there are other features to keep you engaged, like gyms and raids.
But the whole point is to get you wandering around and catching Pokemon in the wild to grow your collection. It’s highly addictive 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 but not entirely intense, disc golf is an excellent option—if you have a disc golf course near you.
Disc golf is like normal golf, except instead of hitting a ball into a hole using a club, you’re trying to throw a frisbee disc into a chain basket in as few throws as possible.
You can play alone, but it’s more fun if you bring a companion or two along for some friendly competition!
4. Drone Flying
If you miss the days of RC cars, then it’s time for you to go out and buy a drone (sometimes called a quadcopter).
Pocket drones can be bought on Amazon for as little as $30 these days, which are super portable and allow you to get into the hobby for very little money and very little commitment.
Once you outgrow pocket drones, you can graduate to high-speed drones or camera-equipped drones, which are more expensive but still affordable—and a lot more fun.
5. 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 feeling of a tranquil breeze in your hair as you maneuver a kite high overhead. Perfect for any afternoon out in the sun!
Ever wish you could bring medieval-fantasy action to real-life? Then live-action roleplay (LARP) could be the outdoor activity for you. It might sound corny on paper, but you’d be surprised how many people are actually into LARPing—and not just “geeks”!
All you need to do is find a local LARPing group near you. They’ll tell you all about it and help you get started. We also have a quick primer to LARPing, if you want to know more before diving in.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? One who’s wanted to try playing a fictional sport in real-life? You wouldn’t be the first. Hundreds of people around the country have adapted the famous wizarding sport of Quidditch to be playable on actual fields.
It’s one of the wackiest sports out there, but it’s a lot of fun—even if you’ve never read the books or watched the movies. You’ll need to find a local Quidditch group to get started, which may or may not exist depending on where you live.
8. Photo Walk
If you like photography and want to practice taking photos, there’s nothing better than a photo walk.
What’s a photo walk? Grab your camera and a hula hoop. Head over to an open area in your neighborhood, or visit a nearby park. Throw the hula hoop into the air and wait for it to land. Go stand inside of it. Now take five different photos, then repeat.
Photo walks are best with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, but you can do them with your smartphone camera—especially if you have one of the newer phones with a killer lens. Photo walks are a great way to build your skills and confidence, all while getting some sunshine.
9. Lawn Games
If you have a lawn, you can play lawn games. Even if you live in an apartment complex, you may be able to find a shared space that you can use for games. And if you have a backyard? Ideal!
Lawn games include the well-known cornhole and ladder toss, but there are plenty of others too. Have you ever tried giant Jenga? Or giant Connect Four? If you want to get active, you can even play a lawn sport like Spikeball (also called roundnet).
A lot of these lawn games don’t actually require much space. Get creative and play wherever you can. Or use it as an excuse to take a trip to the beach and play in the sand!
While gardening may not be a viable option if you don’t have the space for it or the right location for sunlight, it can be an awesomely therapeutic hobby that gets you outside every day.
Yes, gardening can be quite a commitment, but it doesn’t have to be! Start with one plant to learn the process, then add more as you feel comfortable. Choose “easy” plants that don’t take as much work.
The best thing about gardening is that you can eventually eat what grows—and home-grown fruits and vegetables taste so much better than what you can get at the local supermarket.