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14 Exciting Hobbies to Boost Your Mental and Physical Health This Summer


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Summer is just around the corner and, with it, plenty of opportunities to take on new hobbies, sports, and activities. When it comes to choosing how to spend your time off, some options can bring on greater benefits than others - from improving your mental and physical well-being to sharpening your cognitive abilities. 

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most beneficial activities you can explore - solo, with friends, or with family - as the days become warmer and sunnier. Ready to take on a new challenge? Let’s dive in!


If you are looking for a fun, engaging activity that has also been proven to sharpen your mind and boost problem-solving skills, look no further than chess! This classic game has been seen to enhance memory, concentration, and strategic thinking, making it a perfect mental workout. 

You can play chess online through specialized platforms, where you’ll find opponents of all skill levels. Alternatively, you can join a local chess club to experience in-person matches and enjoy social interaction. 

One of the greatest benefits of chess? Getting started is simple: all you’ll need to do is learn the basic rules, find skilled adversaries, and practice regularly!

Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles provide an excellent way to unwind and relax while also improving cognitive skills. According to studies, regular puzzle solving enhances visual-spatial reasoning, short-term memory, and problem-solving abilities - it can also protect your mind against cognitive aging, reduce stress, and promote feelings of accomplishment!

To get started, select a puzzle size that suits your skill level - beginners might opt for 500-piece puzzles, while experienced solvers can tackle 1000 pieces or more. 

To make this activity more engaging, play in the garden or in a cozy setting, choose themes that interest you, like nature or famous artworks, and play with your family and friends.

Bird Watching

Bird watching is a fantastic activity that brings together relaxation and excitement - and, it allows you to combine your love for nature with memory.boosting activities! Observing birds in their natural habitat has been seen to enhance focus, patience, and knowledge about ecosystems. 

To get started, simply buy a pair of good binoculars and a bird guide for your region. You can also consider joining local bird watching groups or participating in events organized by organizations like the Audubon Society to enrich your experience


Gardening provides a wonderful retreat from the hustle of daily life. Not only does it provide physical exercise and strengthen your connection with nature - but, in a Japanese study, it has also been seen that gardening can reduce stress, fear, anger, and sadness. It can also improve blood pressure, help you shed weight in excess, and protect cardiovascular health. 

If you are unsure how to get started, you may consider taking care of indoor or potted plants, to then design and develop a full-scale garden. Working at it with your family or choosing an urban garden can also help you strengthen your community ties!

Painting and Pottery Making

Painting and pottery making are creative activities that allow you to enhance your imaginative skills while also promoting relaxation and mental clarity. These artistic hobbies also improve problem-solving skills, enhance emotional expression, and reduce stress. 

You don’t need to be an expert to start - simple watercolor sets or pottery-making kits will provide all you need to start bringinging to life your own creations. 

An added benefit to this activity? You can get your whole family involved to spend quality time together!


Swimming is a low-impact exercise that offers a full-body workout, strengthens muscles, and boosts cardiovascular health. You can practice at a local pool or even in the sea if you live by the coast. 

It can be particularly beneficial for those with joint issues, but the benefits of this sport extend far beyond improved physical health! It allows you to reconnect with nature, find other passionate swimmers at a local club, and build relationships. Get started by setting achievable goals or working with a trainer to improve your form!

Hiking and Trekking

Hiking and trekking represent an excellent source of cardiovascular exercise - and these activities have also been seen to boost mental clarity, reduce stress, and improve endurance! 

To get started, pick trails suited to your fitness level and begin by exploring the local natural areas and national parks around you. Many apps like AllTrails offer detailed maps and reviews that can help you plan your first trips. You could also consider joining local hiking clubs that organize group hikes. Being able to rely on a group can also help you access a wealth of shared knowledge on gear, itinerary, local wildlife, and above all, safety. 

While shorter hikes can be completed with just simple, comfortable clothes, consider investing in good hiking boots and a backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, and a first-aid kit. Gradually increase the difficulty of your hikes to build endurance and consider guided trekking tours to expand your knowledge base.


Yoga is an age-old practice that has been seen to enhance flexibility, strength, stress reduction, and mental clarity. Besides the unparalleled mental and physical health benefits this discipline can bring, one of the greatest advantages of yoga is that it has extremely low entry barriers.

To begin, simply search for beginner-friendly classes at local studios or online platforms like YouTube, Yoga with Adriene, or dedicated apps like Yoga Studio. Many fitness centers offer yoga sessions tailored to different experience levels and personal preferences. 

While you don’t need much equipment to get started, consider improving your experience by investing in a good yoga mat and comfortable clothing. 

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is an excellent sport and pastime, able to improve physical strength, problem-solving skills, and mental resilience. While not everyone may have rock climbing facilities within easy reach, there’s more than one option worth exploring. 

For example, you could start by visiting a local climbing gym where you can take introductory lessons. These gyms provide the necessary gear and instruction in a controlled environment, so that you won’t have to worry about your safety or form.

As you progress, you should consider joining a climbing club to meet other enthusiasts, learn about outdoor climbing spots, and find some of the hidden gems around your local area. 


Archery is a fun sport that allows you to cultivate focus, precision, and physical coordination. You can get started by visiting a local archery range that also provides everything you need, such as equipment and training. 

Look for introductory courses that teach the basics of stance, aim, and safety, then you may consider joining an archery club to improve your skills and build social relationships. While you may require some equipment to get started, you can avoid steep financial commitments by opting for entry-levels or second-hand gear. And remember, it’s all about having fun!


Meditation may not be a sport as such, but its benefits should not be overlooked! This practice has been seen to be able to enhance mental clarity, emotional stability, and stress reduction. 

To start, find a quiet space and set aside a few minutes each day for practice. Guided meditation apps like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer can also help you get started by providing structured sessions guided by specialists. 

If you prefer a more personal experience, many local wellness centers offer meditation classes or workshops. While it may take you some time to get the hang of it, the benefits of meditation become apparent within days!


Dance classes or courses are an excellent way to improve your physical fitness, mood, and social connection. And, you’ll be able to choose among a wide range of styles and types, from traditional dancing to hip hop, swing, and rock and roll. 

To get started, simply explore various styles by attending beginner classes at local studios or community centers. If you prefer to get started by yourself, online platforms like YouTube, Just Dance, or specialized apps offer tutorials for different dance genres. 

Don’t forget that dancing is a shareable, social activity, so make sure to find your partner or group and get started!


Journaling has been seen to help with enhancing self-awareness, emotional clarity, and creativity. You can use journaling to note down your mood and emotions, record events, and jot it down thoughts and ideas. And, there’s no rules you have to stick to! 

Begin by selecting a notebook or digital platform that feels comfortable to you, then set aside some time each day or week to write about your thoughts, experiences, and aspirations. You don’t have to write long paragraphs - even just a few annotations can help you free up your mental space and boost general well-being!

Reading - Nothing Beats a Good Book!

Reading enhances knowledge and vocabulary, stimulates imagination, and improves cognitive function - so, it’s true, nothing beats a good book! Whether you are into thrillers, romance, classic novels, or biographies, start by choosing genres and authors that interest you and get reading!

Are you looking for inspiration? Libraries and bookstores often have curated recommendations - alternatively, apps like Goodreads help track your reading and discover new books. Even one page a day can offer a world of benefits!

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