Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Summer in Michigan. Get Outside!

It is supposed to be pretty hot this weekend. People who have never lived in Michigan think it sounds strange for it to be hot in Michigan, but the temperature does creep up above 90° on occasion. Of course, I do not want to sound like I am complaining. It may be hot and humid, but that is okay. My garden grows better when the temperature is 90° than it does when it is 20°. This time of year, I can go outside without wearing a coat, hat, mittens, and snow boots.

Sometimes in February, I wonder why I live up here in the frozen north. Growing up, I swore I would never live north of Kentucky. However, after my first summer in Michigan, I was hooked. We may have a few days when it is uncomfortably hot, but the rest of the time, the summer weather is glorious!

Michigan has a lot to offer any time of year, but the summer is especially nice. The scenery is beautiful, and there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and be active. For example, the summer weather is perfect for gardening. Whether you want to grow fruits and vegetables, or flowers and ornamentals, getting outside and digging in the dirt helps exercise your heart, build muscle, and relieve stress! Find out more about gardening in Michigan here:

Four of the five Great Lakes touch Michigan, and there are numerous inland lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. All of that water provides plenty of space for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. Swimming is a terrific non-impact aerobic activity for those of us whose knees and ankles will not let us run. (Benefits of Swimming) Canoeing and kayaking (also known as paddling) have health benefits beyond just building upper body strength. (Benefits of Paddling)

If water sports are not your thing, you may want to dust off the bicycle, put air in the tires, put on a helmet, and go for a ride. Some people like to ride on the road. Others, like me, prefer to ride on a trail. Michigan has many trails for bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles. Do you want to find a trail near you? Check out Trail Link.

If you want something a little bit slower paced, you might want to think about hiking. Michigan has plenty of state parks and state forests with hiking trails. I personally enjoy hiking. It is a great way for me to be outside and enjoy the scenery and the wildlife. When you go hiking, be sure to bring a camera to capture the beauty around you. Take a look at this website to find a hiking trail.

What if you do not like to garden, you can’t swim, you don’t own a boat or a bicycle, and there are no hiking trails close by? What then? Well, just get outside and walk! This is the time of year to be outside! Find a safe place near you to walk, and enjoy the weather.

What types of outdoor activities do you like? Do you enjoy one of the ones mentioned above, or do you prefer something else? Let me know. I would love to hear what other people are doing to be active in this beautiful Michigan summer!

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