Health Benefits Of Playing Outdoors And Outdoor Family Adventures

by ForSomethingMore
(Last Updated On: April 6, 2021)
there are so many benefits of playing outdoors
Playing outdoors benefits your health! (Photo Credit)
By Savannah Smith

Throughout the United States, there are many beautiful destinations to explore by yourself, with your family, or with a group of friends. However, nothing beats a good bonding experience like an outdoor family adventure. From hiking, biking, and swimming, to exploring the top of a mountain and then recharging in a beautiful rooftop restaurant at the end of the day, the options are endless. Not only does getting outdoors while traveling help you to learn more about the area and to become more in tune with the culture of the destination, but there are also real health benefits of playing outdoors. Here are a few places to visit with spectacular outdoor activities, and the health benefits you might experience from embarking on these various adventures! If you have questions or comments about any of this, feel free to leave them below.

Kayaking And Paddleboarding The Intracoastal Waterway South Carolina

Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach bring in thousands of families each year, all looking to experience the perfect beach getaway. While many scurry to the more well-known attractions, shops, and the beach, some are keen to explore a different side of the Grand Strand. The side the locals love is the Intracoastal Waterway.

The waterway is filled with boats, kayaks, paddleboards, anglers, and much more year-round. Of all these fun water activities you can take part in, it’s likely you’ll have trouble choosing just one! But don’t worry, there are several watersports companies that will let you rent out the equipment or even schedule a tour with one of their guides. And what that means is you’ll be able to try as many as you’d like. From kayaking and paddleboarding, their guides will lead you through the twisting and winding pockets within the waterway that few normally explore. It is the perfect way to sit back, relax, take in a bit of fresh air, and of course, experience the benefits of playing outdoors!

Myrtle beach is one place to go to experience the benefits of playing outdoors
A day of kayaking near North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on the Inlet

Health Benefits Of Playing Outdoors – Being On The Water

One of the obvious benefits of being outside and on the water is the amount of Vitamin D your body will produce while you’re paddling around in the sunshine. Of course, make sure to put on a high-quality suncream, and you’ll be good to go. Since Vitamin D helps boost your mood, it can naturally help with depression and much more. Water sports are helpful to partake in if you have joint aches, as it takes the weight off of your joints. In addition, a study showed that you can burn almost 500 calories every hour while kayaking as you increase your upper body muscle strength, and engage your core. Much to peoples’ surprise, kayaking and paddleboarding are both full-body exercises, as you use your legs and core to balance and your arms and back to paddle. 

Explore The Underground Cave In Put-In-Bay Ohio

While hiking is a popular choice for experiencing some of the benefits of playing outdoors, going in the opposite direction has its benefits too. Heading deep underground is far less popular, but it’s exhilarating in its own right. Perry’s Cave, located in Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, Ohio, lies 52 feet below the surface of Lake Erie. It is 208 ft long by 165 ft wide. The cave was created from centuries of calcium carbonate deposits dripping from the ceiling. While caving here is not nearly as strenuous as something like backpacking in Yellowstone National Park, it’s still a fantastic outdoor family adventure. You can explore the cave by booking a tour and setting out for an adventurous bit of spelunking with the family. The cave temperature stays around 50 degrees year-round, so you might want to carry a light jacket as well as wear comfortable walking shoes.

South Bass Island Cave
Crystals in South Bass Island Cave, Ohio

Health Benefits Of Playing Outdoors – Exploring New Areas

There have been studies that show exposure to natural environments is associated with mental health benefits. Those who are in a new environment are forced to overcome the effects of constant stimulation and become aware of their surroundings. The caves will certainly do this for you. And again, as they’re nice and cool, in the summertime this will be a great outdoor family adventure that won’t make you sweat. Further, the calm, cool, dark surroundings will help you mellow out on this underground adventure.

Horseback Riding On The Beach Georgia Or Florida

Experience two waterfront beachscapes on either St. Simons Island in Georgia or St. George Island in Florida. The former will allow you to experience the expansive Atlantic coast and the latter the Gulf of Mexico. In both places, you’ll become one with nature as you trot down the beach on a beautiful steadfast horse. And, with all the marine life in both areas, you’ll be able to experience the health benefits of playing outdoors in either of these two spots. These equine-based beach adventures will put your soul in sync with both your horse and the ocean. It is the perfect group activity for a family looking to spend time on the beach without having to go into the water.

horseback riding on the beach helps allow you to experience the health benefits of playing outdoors
Horseback Riding On St. Simons Island, Georgia

Health Benefits Of Playing Outdoors – Riding Horses

While it may feel like the horse is doing the majority of the work and you are just sitting as the rider, it actually takes quite strong core muscles to make sure you don’t fall off the horse. If you’re trying to improve your posture, this is a fun and engaging way to do it – no pun intended. Of course, all the fresh ocean air, as well as the soothing sound of the crashing waves, will relax your mind. Steering the horse will sharpen your problem-solving skills, and the whole experience will both literally and figuratively help you improve your balance.

Hiking Snowy Mountains In Colorado

While many people visit Steamboat Springs, Colorado to enjoy the ski season, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to participate in as a family other than skiing. For example spending a day at Fish Creek Falls hiking, biking, or even running the trails of the Rocky Mountains is one of the many ways you’ll be able to achieve that feeling of “a day well spent” in this scenic part of the U.S. There are many different trails in this area, so you can choose the one that best fits your families abilities. There are shorter options for those who have children in tow, and there are more strenuous options for those looking to experience the silvery, shimmering, frozen falls. But no matter which you choose, when you’re in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, you’ll experience loads of natural beauty.

Fish Creek Falls, Colorado in the winter
Winter hiking at Fish Creek Falls, Colorado (Photo Credit)

Health Benefits Of Playing Outdoors – Hiking In The Snow

Traditional hiking burns many calories especially if the temperature is high. Hiking through the snow burns even more. With all those “high-knees” you’ll have to do, a snowy hike will get you sweating in no time. In addition, the cold temperatures will require your body to keep itself warm, thus burning even more calories. The long and the short of it is that hiking in the snow is a vigorous activity!

Unplug For A While

Another health benefit of playing outdoors via. hiking is that you’ll be able to unpulug for a while. Even when traveling, it’s always possible to visit a local gym, but getting outdoors as a family, and getting away from the WIFI adds an additional mental health benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked. You’ll be bonding, burning calories, and making memories that you’ll have for a lifetime!

Benefits Of Playing Outdoors Abound

This list of places to go for outdoor family adventures and the health benefits of playing outdoors is not exhaustive. The point is, however, use this as your jumping-off point, and then let us know about others you discover along the way. And again, if you have any questions/comments about all this, feel free to leave them below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!


Savannah started her travel adventures in 2015 in Antigua, Guatemala. That trip struck a fire in her soul to always keep moving, visiting new places, and learning the culture and history of the areas she visited. Finding new ways to get outdoors with loved ones in a new place is her passion.  


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