Get Outside Guide

  • By:  Stephanie Allen

Exercise and fresh air are an antidote for the blues, so get outside and just do it!

We all need fresh air and a change of scenery during this stressful time. Here are some ideas to get you out and moving:

Fun in the Sun

Turn your backyard into an oasis. Slather on some sunscreen and treat yourself to a new swimsuit to lay out and get some sun by the pool. You can even buy an adult-size inflatable pool at most major retailers. Or, purchase a fountain to listen to the soothing sounds of water. In fact, listening to water may even help reduce stress, so enjoy the peaceful quiet of your own private space.

Go Fish

Pack up a picnic and head to the piers for an afternoon of fishing. Salt water options include Pleasure House Point Natural Area and Croatan Beach Park in Virginia Beach. Some fresh water options include Northwest River Park in Chesapeake, Portsmouth City Park, Bennett's Creek Park in Suffolk, and more. Visit your city's parks & recreation website to find a list of fishing piers in your area.

Take a Hike

Head for the trails for some much-needed exercise. Visit to download a checklist of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals that can be found at the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. Or spend some time learning about local birds in season and practice identifying them along your hike. There are plenty of trails and terrains to choose from, for those looking for an easy stroll or those looking for a more challenging trek. Whichever you choose, just take a hike!

Find Buried Treasure

Have you ever heard of geocaching? People all over the world participate in this adventurous game by using a GPS to find hidden public treasures. Once found, you can sign the log book and replace the item, while others might even have trinkets for you to take home. There are plenty of gems to find throughout Hampton Roads, too. Download the app at to join in the virtual adventure. Difficulties vary.

Enjoy the Ride

Start a new healthy routine with a daily bike ride. It makes a great new addition to any morning routine or a peaceful way to wind down the evening with the sunset. The Cape Henry Trail offers multiple terrains. Or try the Newport News Park Bikeway for a 5-mile loop. There are plenty of trails to choose from, or you could even take a simple route through your neighborhood. Just get out and enjoy the ride!

Drive-By Celebrations

Trying to find a creative way to celebrate a birthday or graduation? Organize a drive-by celebration! Encourage friends and family to decorate their cars with balloons and ribbons and honk as they slowly pass by your home at the designated time to celebrate with you. Then, pick up any gifts at the curb and enjoy watching your personal parade pass on by. Make sure to return the favor, too!

Into the Water

Grab a kayak or canoe and head to the nearest lake. Kayaking is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the peace of the water. Local launches include Constant's Wharf & Marina in Suffolk, Pungo Ferry Landing Park in Virginia Beach, Ocean View Beach Park in Norfolk, and more. Or register for a kayak tour on Hoffler Creek at The best part? Out on the water it's easy to maintain social distancing. Get splashin'!

Moon and Stars

Take the family on a camping adventure. As of May 15, many campsites are now open (following state guidelines) and accepting reservations. Visit Isle of Wight Family Campground for wooded trails, a fishing pond, and a pool. The Virginia Beach KOA offers many fun amenities including a game arcade, bike rentals, and more. Whether in a tent, cabin, or an RV, there's nothing quite like sleeping under the moon and stars!

Yoga on the Lake

Eager to get back into a real yoga class? Join Juniper on the deck of Lake Ballard for a rejuvenating yoga class on June 20. Enjoy scenic views of the lake while practicing gentle stretches in a class setting. This class is beginner friendly, so it's the perfect opportunity to try something new if you've been wanting to try yoga, too. Visit to register. All proceeds benefit Hoffler Creek.

Stephanie Allen is the publisher's assistant for Tidewater Women & Tidewater Family. She is also a success coach helping creatives learn effective strategies for putting their work in front of others while making quality connections. Follow her on Facebook & Twitter for free tips and resources!


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