Exploring the Great Outdoors this Summer

Many Working diligently toward a degree or upgrading your skills with university courses are worthwhile endeavors.  Nevertheless, studying and writing assignments while also working, raising children, or carrying out other obligations can become a grind.  With the longer days of summer arriving, now is the ideal time to clear off your schedule, give your brain a break, and take advantage of the milder weather to focus on your physical health.  Maintaining your health is a worthwhile pursuit as well—without it, nothing else matters.

Fortunately, soul-soothing water activities abound over the Canadian summer.  Slap on the SPF and dig out your swim gear.  Outdoor community pools, hotels with swimming pools, or beautiful mountain lakes are waiting.  You can buy or rent kayaks, stand up paddleboards, canoes, or snorkeling gear.  Water is typically soothing to the senses and refreshing as temperatures rise.

Countless outdoor activities can also become family affairs.  Gearing up the kids with helmets, you can transport everyone’s mountain bikes with the aid of a bike rack and travel to some great forest trails.  Provincial parks have notoriously scenic cycle paths perfect for family excursions.  Most city parks also have paths suitable for the entire family to ride.  And by the end of the day, you may find you have the best sleep you’ve had in some time.

For a tougher challenging outdoor adventure, sign up for rock climbing courses at a local climbing gym.  Then, buy or rent gear, grab a willing buddy, and find a rock wall to scale.  Not only will this build muscles you may have forgotten about, but there is something incredibly satisfying about conquering a wall of rock—a nice contrast to conquering an assignment.  Use the inspirational words of T.  S.  Eliot: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

Hiking and walking are free other than the costly gas required to journey to recreational trails.  But if you’re lucky enough to live in a beautiful neighbourhood, a walk right outside your front door every day does wonders for your health and well-being.  For far away spots, car pool with friends and share the gas expense.  Each person can pick a different trail, mountain, or lake to explore every week.  Pack a healthy lunch and plenty of water for a satisfying outdoor meal in nature.

Even if you’re city-bound, it’s no excuse not to get outside.  Cities have plenty of designated park spaces where you can chill with a cool beverage and admire the skyline and tough city birds.  Throw on some headphones and play nature music to drown out the city noise.  Additionally, these park spaces may be near art galleries and museums which are great places to explore and soak up culture.

Many sporting goods businesses also offer running groups or kayaking tours.  Save up your cash and meet some new friends in the great Canadian outdoors.

Some outdoor sports require no preparation at all, although I would recommend some technical training for mountain biking.  Taking a swan dive over the handle bars of my mountain bike traversing down a challenging mountain trail taught me the value of this.  Bringing along a first aid kit is also an excellent idea.

Take a break from studying and get outside—you may exhibit rejuvenated energy and better focus with a well-oxygenated brain when you do return to your studies.