How to have fun in the summer on a low budget and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

summer funCredit: Emily Noordeloos

Summer is almost here! One of the biggest things people worry about during the summer is maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having fun at the same time. The best thing to do is keep yourself busy. Keeping yourself busy and occupied will help you pass the time quickly, and leave you less time sitting on the couch eating food out of boredom.  Staying active is one of the best ways to do this. Another problem with summers is that many people can't afford to do fun things.  It's best to try to do activities that cost little to nothing so that you can save money and maintain your healthy lifestyle at the same time! Here are some of my top activities that I would recommend to help keep your summer fun, interesting, and successful even if you can't travel!

summer beachCredit:

1. Take pictures.

Even if you aren't going on a wild vacation to a small tropical island of the coast, you can still take amazing photos whereever you live. If you have a functioning camera that works well for you, take pictures! Some ideas would be maybe taking a few small trips to different sites that interest you in and around your hometown and state. You could make a scrapbook of your summer pictures at the end of the summer and enjoy all the interesting places you found. Try exploring different camera angles and being more artistic with your photography if that's what interests you! You don't need to have awesome photo editing software either! There are many software programs available for free online, such as Picnik. Another popular photo- contest, if you will, is the Facebook 365 day challenge, in which you take a picture for every day, and post it in an album on your Facebook account. Taking pictures might not be everyone's forte, but it is something everyone can do, and it can be fun if you make the best of it!!

2. Take a walk in the park or ride a bike.

This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to have fun in the summer and it also promotes a healthier lifestyle. If you just need some fresh air in the summer, take a walk! There is a lot to discover just outside of your front door! You can do a lot more than just walk if you like, such as taking pictures or collecting things as well! It also might be nice to have an outdoor picnic! You could schedule one for once a week or every once in a while in the summer. Take a book to read, enjoy a nice lunch in the shade under a tree, or relax. There is so much to do outside that is free! Not to mention being around nature a little every week will help you feel less stressed, more at ease, and calm!

3. Start a collection!

One of the coolest hobbies some people pick up during the summer is collecting things! It can be anything you want to collect! Seashells, leaves, rocks, you name it. It doesn't even have to be something that you need to buy to collect. To keep yourself busy, document your findings. Take a picture of all of your additions to whatever you want to collect. You might even want to write a story about it. What story does each one of your knick knacks hold? Where did you find it? You might even want to keep the conversation going and tell others about your collection in an online blog! Collecting can be a fun way to spend the days!

4. Paint a picture!

You don't have to be a master painter to paint a picture, and you don't have to have a lot of money either. There are many different paint sets that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes! Painting is a good way to pass time and relieve stress. Even if you aren't an expert, you can appreciate the hard work that you did on the piece once completed, even if it isn't a grand masterpiece. If you really want to learn more, you could even go to the library and get some books on painting that could help you improve and master your skills. And don't think you have to be cooped up in your house to paint, go outside! The best subjects are live ones, and they are all around, outside. Paint a tree, or a plant, or maybe even your house! It might open you up to skills you didn't think you had before. Not everyone can be a Renaissance painter, but it can still be fun!

5.  Put together a jigsaw puzzle!

Jigsaw puzzles can be tough! If you are the kind of person that likes a challenge, a jigsaw puzzle can be a daily routine that you might enjoy. You don't have to solve the puzzle all in one day! You may want to set aside a little bit of time every day to work on your puzzle. And don't worry, puzzles are cheap, many can be bought at a local Dollar General store or the like. So, it wouldn't break your bank just to get one puzzle. If you don't like puzzles, maybe you want to set up a game night with you and your friends once a week! This could be a great way to spend the summers!

6. Read a book.

Although not so much an active activity, reading a book is so good for you. Pick out any book you like! The library is full of tons of books that you can read for free! This is something you can do without having to spend a penny! Find a new book or a genre that you really enjoy and dive in! Or maybe you want to write yourself a booklist for the summer filled with books you would like to read during the summer. A booklist might be a fun way to enjoy some peace and quiet for those of you who don't want to sit around the television all day.

7. Enjoy and outdoor activity!

If you want to stay active during the summer, you wanna make it fun! While a daily excercise routine is great, sometimes it can be way too tiring and exhausting everyday. A couple times a week, replace your daily workout with a fun, active outdoor activity that you can enjoy doing, such as frisbee or playing a sport with friends. Another interesting idea might be to gather a group of friends together and "invent" your own sport with common household objects. For instance, maybe you and your friends can make an awesome game with a household broom and empty soda cans. You make the rules! This can be a veyr enjoyable way to stay active.

8. Pay a visit to the local museums.

For those museums that have free admission, a day trip could be a fun way to get out of the house and enjoy a new atmosphere. Whether it is exploring an art exhibit or learning a little bit about the local history near you, it might inspire you to pursue other activities or even meet new people!

9. Make a home movie!

Even if you aren't a master film-maker, it might be fun just to work on a collaborative project in which you make a funny infomercial, short film, or just a daily live diary of your thoughts and concerns on things. Expressing yourself through multimedia can be something fun, new, and interesting if you are bored.  You don't even need an awesome software to edit your video; Windows Movie Maker, if you are a PC person, or the equivalent MAC program could work just as well. The object isn't to make a masterpiece, but maybe to make a video and enjoy the hard work that you put into it. You can even create a Youtube account and let other people comment on and view your video!

10.  Theme Day!

This is an idea I had that might be interesting. If you cannot travel during the summer, maybe you want to have a themed party or dinner with friends, such as Hawaiian themed. Pick a country or place that you would like to explore, and create a themed party with activities similar to what you would do if you were in that country and/or place. You don't have to have a lot of money to theme your party, either. You can let your inner-artist flow and make decorations and activities from scratch, or you could try places like the Dollar Store to enhance your atmosphere. Pick out some movies or other activities that are themed. Find some free recipes online and create a dinner that is themed to your place! The possibilities are endless, and it could be really interesting what you can create with a group of friends.

I hope you have enjoyed these 10 ideas for summer activities. Remember, you don't have to be rich to have fun! Keep yourself busy. Build a summer schedule that will be the most enjoyable for you, and who knows what you can accomplish! Just remember to enjoy your summer and keep on smiling even if you can't do everything you want, you can still have a good time!