Brought to you by Cheshire Medical Center

The proven benefits of an active lifestyle include better sleep, weight stability, lower stress levels and better mental health, less chronic pain, and many more than we can list here.

Most people sustain physical activity as part of a lifestyle (rather than an on & off gym habit) when we take part in a range of activities we enjoy. So here are a few out-of-the- box ways to get moving during warmer weather:

CREATING WITH THE SCENERY

Take a walk in the name of art! Most of us have mobile phone cameras to capture landscapes and close-up nature photography. However, you can make fun art projects with found objects too. From collages and mosaics of many textures to mobiles and sculptures, you can turn treasures from your adventures into crafty creations.

STUDYING THE WORLD

There is so much to explore and learn about outside! Try logging sightings in a bird-watching app like Audobon, or Larkwire that turns learning bird sounds into a game. Leafsnap is a tree identification app from the Smithsonian Institution and iNaturalist from National Geographic Society has “missions” where you can add to crowdsourced observations used for science.

PRODUCE PICKING

Instead of hitting the grocery store for your fruit and vegetable needs, try picking your own at a local orchard or farm to get it right from the source. Each summer, Monadnock Table magazine posts a list of farms where you can get some steps in, soak up the scenery, and buy delicious food!

PLOGGING

‘Plogging’ is a Swedish term that refers to picking up litter as you explore the outdoors, so you can keep the countryside beautiful for years to come. Hit the streets and bike trails with gloves and a bag for a bit of exercise, and enjoy the knowledge you helped keep our corner of the world clean!

PICNICS AND PARTIES

Many locals think of picnicking as a romantic or solitary activity while hiking in local woods. But you can also gather your friends in a local park or garden with horseshoes, badminton, volleyball, or any number of games that will get everyone moving.