If you have had your vaccines and you’re ready to venture back out “in the world” you are just in time for Great Outdoors Month, which is celebrated by the National Park Service every June. Find your park and plan your summer adventure. Many national parks are expecting an especially busy season in 2021. A little trip planning can ensure that your only surprises are happy ones. To help everyone have a great experience, National Park Service rangers share their top 10 insider tips to #PlanLikeAParkRanger.

Getting out in the great outdoors is terrific for both your mental and your physical health, and if you are one of the folks who packed on pandemic pounds, you aren’t alone. Surveys say that the average US person gained 15 pounds during lock down. For many people, it wasn’t so much about how much they ate as it was about decreased activity levels. If you identify with this, then hikes, bikes, and other outdoor activities will help get you back in shape. In most parks and  trails, you can go mask-free, but pack one just in case.

Try these great outdoor resources, too:

  • Park Finder – Whether you’re looking for a specific activity or trying to locate a park near you, use the filters to narrow your search and begin your next adventure.
  • Find Your Next Trail – Explore more than 200,000 curated trails – including wheelchair-friendly trails – throughout the nation for hiking, trail running, dog walking, biking, and mountain biking
  • 11 of America’s Best National Park Beaches – Need some sun and surf in your travel plans? NPCA staff highlight top beach vacation spots at national parks around the country.

Here are a few outdoor fitness activity posts from our archives that might help:

• The fitness benefits of hiking – Hiking helps you connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors, so it is good for both your physical and mental health. It’s a relatively low-cost activity that can be enjoyed alone or with others. You can engage at your comfort level – short hikes on local trails and parks or more adventurous and challenging day-long or weekend hikes further afield. It’s a great way to build endurance and strength.

• Running for Beginners – It’s a simple sport, but if you haven’t been a runner, there are some tricks to making this activity work well for you. We offer some great guides to get started.

• Jumping rope provides a great aerobic workout – An inexpensive, portable aerobic exercise that you can do anywhere – you just need a rope, sneakers and a flat surface. It provides a great workout which, when done properly at moderate to high intensity, can yield calorie-burning benefits on par with running or spinning. Oh, and did we mention that it’s fun?

• Don’t let seasonal hazards put a damper on your fitness activities – outdoor exercising has some risks and hazards, too. We offer tips to protect yourself from stronger sunlight and extreme heat so that your fitness activities will be safe and fun.

• Wellness coaching helps health resolutions stick! – Health & wellness coaching may be the secret to helping you stick with your health resolution and your fitness goals.

• Having a workout buddy can keep you on track. it can keep you motivated, focused and engaged. It might even bring out your competitive spirit, leading you to achieve more. Learn why a fitness buddy or group can help bolster your workouts.




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