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June: National Great Outdoors Month 2020

Connecting to nature and getting some exercise is good for the mind, body and soul. Your chances for adventure are as numerous as the stars in the sky.

By: Sylvia Slezak | Jun 2020

Scenic View of Smoky Mountains National Park Scenic View of Smoky Mountains National Park photo by csp_DaveAllen

June is Great Outdoors Month, a month-long celebration of the outdoors encouraging everyone to embrace the outdoor spirit of America and head outside into the natural world. Whether you hike, bike, camp, explore a park, or play a game in your own backyard, going outside can be a great way to discover nature and learn about the environment.

On May 29th President Donald J. Trump proclaimed June 2020 as Great Outdoors Month, stating that "exploring the great outdoors provides adventurers of all ages endless opportunities to create lifelong memories." Trump urged "all Americans to explore the great outdoors while acting as stewards of our lands and waters."

Great Outdoors Month began in 1998 as Great Outdoors Week with a presidential proclamation from President Clinton, and has continued to grow under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations into a month-long celebration of the outdoors. Since 2008, governors from across the country have joined in designating June as a month to celebrate the great outdoors.

Check out our list of ways you can enjoy the great outdoors not only in June, but year-round.

Woman riding a bike
Woman riding a bike photo by csp_blasbike

Biking is a great way to stay healthy—physically and mentally—while living in a socially-distanced world. Riding your bike allows you to see the world in new and unexpected ways, it improves your health, and reduces stress levels. Take advantage of the amazing climate, stunning scenery and a culture that values and encourages outdoor activities.

Couple boating on a lake
Couple boating on a lake photo by csp_mg7

Boating fun can go a long way towards reducing stress. It is a great family activity that provides countless hours of excitement and creates lifetime memories. Taking your kids out on the water helps to connect with nature and build a deeper relationship with each other.

Family camping near a lake
Family camping near a lake photo by csp_eppic

Camping can help you disconnect from technology, reconnect with nature, and revitalize relationships. When you go with family or friends, you have a chance to talk and visit without distractions. Camping also provides an opportunity for the novice ones to learn how to pitch a tent, how to build a fire, read a compass, and more.

Family canoeing
Family canoeing photo by csp_eric1513

Canoeing/Kayaking can be peaceful and meditative or it can be exhilarating, depending on where and how you do it. They are both a low impact activity that can improve your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. You will be able to travel to sights and enjoy sceneries that only a very small percentage of people are able to access.

Grandfather and grandson fishing
Grandfather and grandson fishing photo by csp_pressmaster

Fishing requires much focus and awareness, and thus takes your mind off internal conflict and stress, similar to meditation. It helps to reduce anxiety, fight off depression, and promote relaxation. Sharing a fishing experience helps strengthen relationships with family and friends.

Group of three people hiking
Group of three people hiking photo by csp_logoboom

Hiking outdoors has plenty of perks, like fresh air, nice views, and the sounds and smells of nature. It is a powerful cardio workout that can boost your mood, help control your weight, improve balance, and lower your risk of heart disease, among other things. Whether it be on a nature trail, park, or beach, get out and take in what nature has to offer.

Father and son jet skiing
Father and son jet skiing photo by csp_hwahl3

Jet Skiing blends fun with exercise and helps you bring out your adventurous side. You'll be building strength, burning calories, boosting cardiovascular health, and improving concentration while enjoying the water along the way.

Mountain climbers on their way to Grand Teton, WY
Mountain climbers on their way to Grand Teton, WY photo by csp_gelyngfjell

Mountain Climbing will let you see places that very few get to see. It will teach you patience, persistence, gratitude, how to be positive, and to be prepared for change. Every mountain you climb will teach you at least one important lesson. This outdoor adventure can be the greatest and the worst thing you ever do in life, but in the end of it all, you usually end up wanting more of it no matter what.

Man snorkeling in clear waters
Man snorkeling in clear waters photo by csp_Dmosreg

Snorkeling is a fun way to explore and discover the underwater geography while floating close to the surface. Enjoy and appreciate ocean life as you maneuver around coral reefs and marine life.

Surfer riding a wave
Surfer riding a wave photo by csp_jrphoto

Surfing is great exercise that not only strengthens your immune system but it also helps your mental health by taking away stress. When you surf, you work out all of your major muscle groups. Many surfers find it easier to spend hours on the water than to work out at the gym.

Young girl water skiing
Young girl water skiing photo by csp_noonie

Water Skiing may seem like it isn't all that difficult ‒ simply slap on some skis and hang on ‒ but it is one of the most exhilarating water sports that touts a number of wonderful health benefits beyond the adrenaline rush. If you love the outdoors, the water, going to the beach or surfing, water skiing is an extension of that.

Celebrate the legacy of our parks, public lands, and waters. There is much to enjoy outside this time of the year, and doing so with family is always memorable. No matter your preferred mode of enjoying the great outdoors – hiking, biking, canoeing to name a few – nature is calling.

Check out our Things to Do Outdoors section in the city nearest you at and discover more opportunities to get outside.


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