The age of COVID has brought an increased awareness of the importance of outdoor activity. Outdoor excursions are important for keeping us grounded and healthy, but many people aren’t sure how to connect with nature.
Luckily, lakes both large and small are welcoming places, and there are endless possibilities to enjoy them. Don your lifejacket and set sail with these exciting lake activities worth getting out for.
Windsurfing and Paddle Boarding
Windsurfing and paddle boarding aren’t just ocean-based activities. You can do them at the lake, too! For those extra-windy days, a windsurfing board offers an intense, lively battle with the crisp lake breeze. Windsurfing is a strenuous, high-energy sport for those who want to tire themselves out in the best way.
If you’re more of a lower energy slow-workout type, inflatable paddle boards may be more your style of exercise. All you need to do is stand and paddle, taking in the sun, the air, and the beauty around you. Paddle boarding is a great workout to help strengthen your core muscles. It also helps you improve your balance.
Water Skiing and Tubing
You don’t have to be an expert in water sports to water ski or go tubing. If you have a friend with a motor boat, you can always break out the skis and skim along behind. This is perfect for the thrill-seeker and those days when you want to get some energy out. Feeling the rush of the wind in your hair can be invigorating!
For a less strenuous and more fun-focused exercise, you can always attach an inner tube instead. Nothing will have you yearning for more like an exhilarating tube ride on a beautiful day at the lake. Want an even more relaxed vibe? Just float around the lake without being tethered to a boat and see where the wind takes you.
Motor Boating and Jet Skiing
With access to a motor boat, you can ride as far as you want without exercise of any kind. This way, you can spend your time admiring your surroundings instead of exerting yourself. Explore the lake shoreline and hidden coves you may not have found otherwise.
Jet skis are smaller but also provide that freedom – they are to motor boats as motorcycles are to cars. Try whatever water vehicle you can; you might find that renting one of these is preferable to human-powered equipment.
Fishing and Frogging
Some times in our lives require a more restful weekend activity. If this is the case for you, consider fishing or frogging! All you need to fish is a rod and some bait. You can settle anywhere you want on the shore, a dock, or on a boat.
Frogging requires just your eyes and a net as you search for the little amphibious critters. Seeking these animals (and releasing them afterward) provides something to occupy your mind if you have trouble relaxing otherwise.
Row Boating, Canoeing, or Kayaking
Taking a human-powered boat out on the water is another way to ensure a peaceful outing for yourself. Row boat, canoe, and kayak rentals are often the most popular, common, and affordable choices for this very reason.
Being on a boat is a prime opportunity to do some fishing. But you can also just relax and enjoy the rippling water. Here you can do many activities you’d normally do on land as well, like bird watching, poetry writing, or reading a good book.
You are not out of luck if you have no equipment – this may even be your ideal situation! All you truly need to get as much out of the water as you want to is a swimsuit. You can do laps, explore the shallow waters, or swim as far along the shore as you can.
It is, of course, recommended to have a friend nearby for the sake of safety. And always be sure to gauge the water’s depth before diving in. Pay close attention to all posted signs and notices regarding water safety.
Relaxing on the Beach
Don’t worry if you consider yourself a landlubber. There are plenty of things to do on the lakeshore. Consider setting up a spot on the beach to read your favorite book or soak up some rays. Always remember the sunscreen, and don’t forget to reapply frequently.
Want a more social experience? Set up a net and invite some friends to play sports like beach volleyball on a sunny day. Once you’ve worn yourself out, you can find a nice shady spot under a tree to take a nap.
Having a Picnic or Barbeque
On a particularly beautiful weekend, consider breaking out the picnic basket and inviting your friends and loved ones to join you. There is no setting for a carefree picnic gathering quite like a cool summer lake at sunset.
You don’t have to be fancy. Pick up some ready-to-eat salads, sandwiches, and desserts at your local deli. Those who are cooking-inclined can prepare exciting dishes for everyone to try, and you can roast s’mores at the campfire. Weekend barbeques often occupy our childhood memories for a reason, so get out to make some more!
Camping on the Shore
Once the sun has set and everybody has eaten, camping brings the night to a peaceful close. The sounds of crickets, frogs, and lapping waves are soothers of the soul and amazing for a good night’s rest.
If you spend most of your time keeping up with the rat race, camping provides a life-changing contrast. You won’t regret putting the effort into creating this night by the lake even if you never set foot in the water.
Spending time outside doesn’t have to be a chore even if your focus is more often on your indoor activities. It’s important to find the perfect balance so you can truly appreciate the world outside.
Regardless of whether you’re nature-minded or not, getting outdoors has a profoundly beneficial effect on your mental health. So head to the lake and breathe in the fresh air – you’ll be happy you did.