Switching things up: I’d like for you not to be sitting at your computer reading, but outside enjoying the sunshine and hopefully experiencing something awesome! Get out and soak up the Vitamin D! We aren’t as lucky as other areas, so go out and get some rays to help with your daily dose.
**Here are the TOP 10 ways to incorporate the great outdoors into your life:
1. Go for a hike! Bel Air is surrounded by amazing trails and areas to smell the fresh air: Ma and Pa Trail, Rocks State Park, Susquehanna Park… the list goes on.
Local Parks: http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/parks_rec/parks.cfm
State Parks: http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/parks.html#ha
• Rocks State Park (Jarrettsville) (410) 557-7994. At Rocks State Park, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and picnic areas are all available.
• Susquehanna State Park (Jarrettsville) (410) 557-7994. Susquehanna State Park offers bike, horse, and hiking paths, boat launches, campsites, canoeing, fishing, and picnic areas.
• Palmer State Park (Dublin) (410) 557-7994. Not well known, but a great spot for nature’s photography.
2. Create your own bootcamp! Let’s face it, the word “bootcamp” can scare off some people but instead of fearing a word perhaps embrace it instead. Put together just about 4-5 exercises to create intervals, then based on your experience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) set your time. Please ensure that you warm up those muscles first before busting out into your own heart thumping workout. Adjust the interval accordingly by measuring your ability to talk. If you are out of breath and unable to get any words out: extend your rest time. Keep your feet moving—DO NOT STOP MOVING. Think simple toe taps, Frankensteins (opposite hand to opposite foot), etc. Here’s a great example of a beginner’s bootcamp:
– Inch Worms (walk hands out to plank position, then walk feet in)
– Squat Thrust (Squat down, put hands in between legs onto the ground, jump OR step back, and then come back up and smile!)
– Jumping Jacks
–Interval 15 seconds for each/30 seconds off after last exercise
3. Hit the pavement for a run! There are so many races all over. Check out http://www.charmcityrun.com/belair for local races.
4. Farmer’s Market—Wake up early on Saturday morning and enjoy some healthy local foods! There are so many vendors and lots of dogs too!!! http://www.belairfarmersmarket.com/. Here are some other local markets: http://www.harfordfarms.com/farmMarket.php.
5. Volunteer for Susquehanna Wildlife Society: http://www.susquehannockwildlife.org/how-to-help/
6. Kayaking/Tubing. Don’t forget your life vest and waterproof bag for your keys!
Places to kayak/tube: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/rocks.asp
Tubing in Baltimore County (Monkton): http://www.bikestuff.net/ (The little café is super cute with lots of healthy vegan/vegetarian options!)
7. Go for a picnic. Pack up the car/or backpacks (see No. 1).
8. Read a book outside. Find a tree or a great chair. Put your feet up. Or, just plop your bum down on a towel. Enlighten yourself and relax. Continually pursue growth. Yes, I’m telling you to sit and relax.
I’m a huge nerd. Some of my favorite books just in case you need an idea: “In Defense of Food” and “Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, “Merle’s Door” by Ted Kerasote, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein, “Chet and Bernie Mystery Series” by Spencer Quinn, “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova, “Finally Winsome” by Jennifer Carle (all proceeds from her dog books go to local animal shelters), “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “Great Expecations” and “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, and all of Barbara Kingsolver’s books (especially “Prodigal Summer”).
Feel free to share more books.
9. Volunteer at your local farm. Every farmer loves a helping hand. I’ve had some wonderful times soaking up sunshine while learning all about planting, farming, and picking fresh produce with Rousedale Farm and Sweetaire Farm! I love digging in dirt! There are plenty of places around Harford County, and you can even ask the farmers at the market!
10. Walk a homeless dog! I’m all about dogs and their wiggles. If you don’t have a companion of your own, you can volunteer at the local animal shelter. http://www.harfordshelter.org/
Or, some friends of mine have a great program (http://www.petucationtraining.com/-KT0N.php) where you can help a homeless dog by taking them to a Pack Walk in Baltimore City. It is a great opportunity to help get a dog adopted out. Check out their website for participating shelters/rescues.
Ok, now get your butt outside.