As the weather heats up and COVID-19 restrictions loosen, now's the perfect time to start easing into safe summer activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that all vaccinated adults can now hold small gatherings without masks or social distancing. And with over 36 million vaccine doses administered in California thus far, gathering and fully enjoying the summer months is possible when executed with care.
Ready to start planning for your summer? Try this list of safe outdoor activities that you can enjoy with your loved ones in the coming months:
- Visit a local park. Play ultimate frisbee, enjoy a picnic, watch the sunset or have storytime with your kids or grandkids outdoors. Visiting a local park is an easy way to get out of the house, get fresh air and spend time with loved ones in a new setting.
- Take a trip to the beach. With so many people visiting California, beaches can be challenging at times, but by finding a beach site that’s off the beaten path you can still maintain distance from others and enjoy the summer weather.
- Go camping. We’re blessed to have an abundance of state parks nearby, and many have plenty of camping opportunities for all comfort levels. Camping is a great way to detach from work and our phones and appreciate nature with the ones we love.
- Find a unique hiking trail. Get some fresh air and exercise by challenging yourself with a new hiking trail — there are several around Santa Clara County to choose from.
- Barbecue. Throughout the summer, a great way to socialize and be outside is to have a barbecue. Summer holidays like the 4th of July serve as the perfect opportunity to get together and share your favorite summer recipes while catching up with loved ones face-to-face rather than just over Zoom.
Sharing a meal outdoors is an easy way to switch up your daily routine. Consider adding some of these delicious, healthy in-season foods to your summer meal plan:
- Avocados. Avocados are a superfood filled with healthy fats and vitamins. Perfect for summer gatherings, you can use avocados to make guacamole, in smoothies or as a topping on your favorite summer dish — the options are endless.
- Cauliflower. Packed with calcium, potassium and vitamin C, cauliflower lends itself well as a side dish or add-on to make your meal more nutritious. You can even substitute cauliflower for common staples like rice or mashed potatoes!
- Asparagus. Rich with folate and vitamin K, asparagus makes a great side to any summer barbecue. Grill it or steam it for a nutritious and tasty side.
- Berries. From strawberries to raspberries, summer berries are nutritious and delicious as is, or in smoothies and acai bowls. Start your day with a refreshing smoothie or add berries as sides to your meals — they’re packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and essential minerals!
- Kale. As a powerhouse food packed with potassium, Vitamin A, K and B-6, kale is perfect for summer salads and green juices. Not a kale fan? Try massaging it before use to bring out it’s sweetness. It will turn kale-haters into kale-lovers.
- Jicama. This is a versatile food that can pair well with any dish. Jicama provides a satisfying crunch, as well as some hydration on long summer days. Plus it’s packed with vital nutrients and can be used as chips, tortillas or cut into strips or slices to enjoy with hummus or other healthy dips.
As we round the corner on COVID-19, we can start to get back to some sense of normalcy this summer while adhering to state guidelines. Whatever summer activities you choose to enjoy, find ways to safely socialize and embrace fresh summer foods for a healthy, enjoyable season.
This article first appeared in the June 2021 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.