10 Low-Cost Outdoor Activities That Can Elevate Your Mood

  • Time to read: 5 min.

In our day-to-day life, we spend a great deal of time listening to noise that numbs us; sirens, vehicles, television, dings on our cell phones. While these sounds are helpful to us to function day to day, they affect our moods.

Releasing the negative energy accumulated throughout our day and connecting with the outdoors regardless of the season is a great mini-vacation to regenerate us that does not need to cost a great deal of money.

10 Low Cost Activites

1. Hiking or Walking

Take your dog for a walk, go on an evening hike or take your kids to the park.

Hiking is one of my favorite low-cost outdoor activities that can elevate my mood because it’s such good exercise, and you get some fresh air at the same time!

I also like hiking in the winter when there are fewer bugs.

2. Cycling

Going for a ride is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. You can rent a bike if you do not have one.

Cycling helps me clear my head when I’m feeling overwhelmed by work stressors. I try to take the roads less traveled to enjoy the scenery and take in the nature around me.

Cycling is a low-cost activity, and it’s a great way to get some exercise.

3. Geo Caching

This low-cost activity is a great way to explore the world around you. Geocaching is an outdoor activity that involves using GPS coordinates to find hidden items or places of interest like old bottles, coins, and other treasures!

I love exploring new areas by Geo-Caching, so it’s always on my list when looking for things to do outside.

4. Picnic

Having a picnic is a low-cost activity that’s great for the whole family! It doesn’t matter where you are, and it could even just involve packing up some sandwiches and heading to your backyard or local park.

There isn’t any limit as longs it’s outside with nature. You get time together without distractions from electronics, so when everyone gets home, they’re more relaxed than before!

Have a multi-family picnic where each family brings something different like fruit salad, hummus & veggies on crackers, chips/dip. A frisbee or soccer ball could round out the day with a bit of exercise after eating.

5. Fishing

Ah, the sound of water gently gliding over the rocks as it makes its way downstream.

Fishing can be expensive if you buy all the bells and whistles or a simple, low-cost activity. Fishing with a pole and bait, not a fishing rod and reel is really low cost. The idea is to do something that gets you out of the house and into nature.

You can fish in any season, but it’s best to do it during summer when you have more daylight hours. Fishing is possible in the wintertime if there are ice fishing holes nearby that will keep you and your bait from freezing up. There isn’t any limit as longs it’s outside with nature.

6. Kite Flying

Kite Flying is a great outdoor activity that is a lot of fun and doesn’t cost much. Be careful to watch your surrounding and make sure no one walks into traffic while trying out some tricks.

Making a kite from scratch then taking it for a spin is also an option.  Watching the kite swirl in the sky or seeing how high it will fly is exhilarating. All the time keeping your head held high looking at the majesty of the blue sky above.

7. Gardening

Whether flowers or vegetables, indoor or outdoor, gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Gardening can be therapeutic and reduce stress levels, improve moods as well increase self-esteem. 

Plants produce oxygen, and the colors of flowers can help lift your spirits. In the months where there is little light or the clouds grey, indoor gardening can be a great way to stimulate your senses.

8. Wildlife watching

Whether bird watching, raccoon watching, wildlife watching is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Much like flowers in a garden, the colors of animals can help lift your spirits. Many animals are most active during dawn and dusk, so it’s worth getting up early for that perfect sunrise photo.

This activity can be done walking or if that is not possible due to weather or physical limitations, via a vehicle. Remember to give the animals space to keep you and them safe.  After all they are wildlife not loyal family pets.

9. Snowshoe

It’s winter. What can I do?

Snowshoeing is something you can do.  You can rent them to keep the cost down. It also allows you to explore the outdoors differently.

Snowshoeing is an excellent aerobic exercise for everyone. Snowshoes are easy on your joints, so it is a great activity for people who have arthritis or other joint problems. It’s important to have walking poles when snowshoeing as it helps maintain balance while providing extra stability.

Hearing the snow crunch underfoot, watching the snow glisten in the sun, and seeing your breath in front of you are all reasons to enjoy snowshoeing. Then there is the beauty of snow on the trees, icicles, and crisp air to enjoy.

Snowshoeing can be done in the mountains, your backyard, local park, or even in your neighborhood. If your looking for a good place to snowshoe in your area check out AllTrails as they have great suggestions.

10. Leaf peeping

Leaf what you say? Leaf peeping is a popular fall activity that you can do in different ways.

The most common way to leaf-peep would involve walking through the woods and fields with your family or friends on an autumn day, looking for colorful leaves scattered about from trees as you take pictures along this beautiful journey. Some may find it more relaxing to drive around various scenic routes.

There’s also another fall activity similar to leaf-peeping called leaf chasing. Leaf chasing involves running after fallen colored foliage before they’re blown away by the wind.

Another fun idea could include taking some walks at night when all those bright colors make it seem magical out there!

Final Thoughts

The above activities are low-cost and can elevate your mood. It is essential to get outside and balance your life with exercise and relaxation and the sounds of nature. Activities elevate your mood by releasing endorphins which have a positive effect on mood, and reduces pain.

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