Five Reasons to Get Outside

Taking a photo in nature

The sun is staying out a bit longer each day – and so can you! Getting fresh air is good for your lungs, your skin and your mind.

Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline gave some starter tips for getting active as the summer months draw closer. “A 10-minute walk can boost energy, clear your mind, and raise spirits, especially when you walk outdoors,” they noted.  "We have fantastic opportunities in our county to get outside and move more, with hundreds of miles of trails that are ‘right outside the door’ of homes in nearly all neighborhoods." 

Earlier this year, the Commissioners introduced Fresh Air, Self-Care Chesco - a campaign that encourages residents of all ages to practice effective self-care for better health and wellness through easy outdoor activity. All county resources for Fresh Air, Self-Care Chesco can be found on the County's website, including an interactive trail guide that shows you where your nearest easy-walk trails are.

Want some additional ideas for outdoor activities this spring? Your friends at the Y encourage you to try one of the following - and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunshine!

  1. Birding
    Birdwatching is a fun and easy hobby to get into. It can be done anywhere; just step outside your house, or venture into a green space nearby, such as Stroud Preserve.

    Birding is great on your own or as a group activity. Local birding groups are plentiful and are a great way to find friends - or an experienced birder to show you the ropes. Interested in birdwatching? Check out the Valley Forge Audubon Society's list of birding hotspots in Chester County where you can see a variety of species.

  2. Geocaching
    Looking for a fun, exciting hobby that’s easily accessible? Try geocaching - a recreational scavenger hunt where you find hidden object using GPS coordinates. Not only does your body stay active as you hunt for treasure and gather clues - but so does your mind - as you rely on your problem-solving and observation skills.

    Geocaching is a great way to stay socially active, too. You can work with fellow geocachers or compete against one another. The PA Department of Conservation and National Resources (DCNR) provides more information about geocaching to get you started on your journey. 

  3. Strolling the grounds
    Being surrounded by the beauty of nature is good for your physical and mental health. That's why we highly recommend taking a walk through a nearby garden or arboretum.

    If you haven't already visited Longwood Gardens, you simply must go. The botanical garden in Kennett Square is famous for their artful horticultural displays. Longwood Gardens also features exhibits and programs that run throughout the year - and is the perfect place to spend a sunny day.

    Jenkins Arboretum is open to the public, every day, free of charge! It has year-long programming with an educational bent. Explore nature, listen to botanical lectures, attend yoga classes and go on bird walks.

    Also free to the public is Stoneleigh in Villanova. This public garden was once a private residence and now features 42 acres of walkways, gardens and a large variety of trees - plus tours and events.

    Chanticleer in Wanye celebrates the beauty of nature with thoughtfully planned landscapes. Adirondack chairs and other seating types are nestled throughout - providing an opportunity to rest, meditate or sketch the beauty around you (bring your sketch pad). 

  4. Golfing
    Golf is a low-impact sport that still can provide a good workout. Being outdoors on the greens can be relaxing - and promotes socialization. Many business deals have been wrapped up on the greens! 

    If 18 holes sounds like too much for you, consider taking a golf lesson, visiting the driving range or focusing on your putting skills with a round of mini golf. You are never too old to have fun at Rossi's Golf Center in Exton, Markie's in Phoenixville or Boulder Falls in Downingtown.
  5. Shopping
    Whether you need to buy groceries or you just want to window shop, there are outdoor shopping options for you nearby.

    To stock your pantry while getting some fresh air, try a local farmer's market. If you are in the mood for window-shopping, visit one of the many charming towns in Chesco - such as West Chester and Kennett Square.