5 Outdoor Activities to Stay
Cool This Summer
Summer is here and many of us have spent far too much time in our houses. To get fresh air without getting overheated, early activities and water activities are wonderful choices. Additionally, you and your family can try getting on the water as well as in the water.
Sprinkler Hurdles and Races
Set up the lawn sprinkler and create challenges to get small children excited about running through the water. Be aware that this cold water on warm skin can be a jolt. You may have to walk them through it slowly to start.
Be ready to stand under the dripping water and show just how good it can feel to cool off. If your sprinkler is a spinner that squirts instead of an oscillator, create a circle around the sprinkler head with another hose so nobody gets too close. A direct stream of water off a spinner can hurt. Of course, everyone will need to be wearing waterproof sunscreen.
Do a Frozen Shirt Challenge
Get a coup of large, button-front shirts and soak them in a sink. Fold them simply and place them in the freezer. Let them solidify for an hour or so, then bring them out and let your children race each other to
- get their arms in the shirt
- get the buttons done up
Time in a frozen shirt will really cool down your little ones, and you can put one on yourself while you play outdoors with them.
Make a Date for an Early Hike
Getting out early in the day is critical to getting enough exercise before the heat is too much to bear. Make a date with a friend to catch the sunrise at a nearby park or on an easy hiking trail. One person can bring the bug spray while the other person brings the muffins and coffee.
Make sure that everyone has a cold bottle of water and a pair of binoculars. An early morning hike is a wonderful time to see many animals at their most active. They feel the heat too, and since they cannot hide away in an air-conditioned space, they manage it by avoiding activity when it gets too hot. Be careful and keep an eye out for movement. You may see raccoons along a creek, but you may also see a skunk.
Work Out in the Water
Once you have hiked, find a body of water or a pool where you can stretch out and relax. If it is too warm to walk or hike where you live, consider getting in a temperate pool and doing some walking or hiking along the side. Once you are accustomed to what the buoyancy does to your balance, you can start jogging in place.
The pool is also a terrific place to stretch your back, hip, and legs. Stand along the edge in waist-deep water and place your toes close to the wall. Grip the edge of the pool and push your bottom back, stretching your mid-back, hips, and legs. Come back to standing and widen your stance until you feel the stretch in your inner thighs. Once there is a slight feeling of stretch, place your left elbow on the pool edge and slowly twist at the waist, stretching your hips and low back. Switch sides to stay even, then do a bit more walking.
Get On the Water
If there are rivers and lakes in your area, consider investing in a floating or lightweight kayak. You can get kayaks for children and adults, and many inflatables come with a pump for fast floating fun. Because the water will be calmer in the morning, do your best to get out early and get in some practice paddling.
If your closest body of water is a pool, consider investing in an epoxy paddle board. You can use a paddleboard to build core strength and balance while you stretch, do yoga, or just paddle your way across the pool. You can also take your board onto open water when the opportunity arises for even more summer fun!
Water is not a necessity for cooling summer fun, but it helps. Visit your local community pool, turn on the sprinklers in your yard, or put a kiddie pool on the patio. While you are out in the heat, pay special attention to your pulse points to stay comfy. Keep your ankles, knees, wrists, elbows, and neck nice and cool.