National Friendship Day is coming up on August 7. Marked each year on the 1st Sunday in August, this is a day to celebrate friendship in all its forms. Friends are some of the most important people in our lives, there for us through thick and thin and helping us to grow into our best selves.
In celebration of National Friendship Day, we decided to put together a list of fun and healthy activity ideas for you and your friends to enjoy this summer.
Take a hike together
Walking or hiking in nature has fantastic benefits for your physical and mental health. You’ll get your heartrate up, boost your cardiovascular fitness, build muscle, and fend off depression, all while enjoying some beautiful scenery and seeing new places.
Taking a friend along gives you a great opportunity to spend some quality time together. You can talk while you walk, encourage each other if the hike gets tough, and celebrate together when you have completed the route.
Don’t forget to take a camera along to document your experience.
Go wild swimming
Wild swimming, or swimming outdoors in natural bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and oceans, is a wonderful and exhilarating experience. It’s fun, great exercise, and makes an interesting change from swimming laps in a pool.
However, wild swimming can also be dangerous and it’s essential to take a few basic precautions to keep yourself safe. One of the easiest ways to make wild swimming safer (and more fun) is to go with a friend.
You and the person or people you’re swimming with should be confident swimmers before attempting wild swimming in anything but shallow and calm water. Don’t stay in the water for too long, and warm up afterwards with a catch-up over a cup of coffee or tea.
If you love being in the water and you’re looking for a fun day out with a difference for your friendship group, why not try a water-based sport? Activities such as surfing, water-skiing, parasailing, rowing, diving, and sailing are all tremendously popular and great fun.
There are many clubs around the country and the world where complete beginners can have a go at these sports under the supervision of qualified instructors. Never attempt to do anything you have not been taught to do safely, as watersports can be dangerous.
Try a new activity together
Trying a new sport is a great way to keep your fitness routine from getting stale or boring. You might even surprise yourself by finding something unexpected that you really love. But trying something new by yourself can be daunting. So grab a friend or a group of friends and invite them along with you.
This might be joining a running club, trying out for an amateur sports team, or checking out a local dance class. Whatever you choose, it’s more fun with friends.
Train for a race
Many people have running a race (such as a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon) on their bucket lists. Far fewer of us get around to actually doing it. If you want to train for and complete a race, having a training and accountability partner is one of the best ways to ensure you see it through.
So rope in a friend who has a similar goal and train together, or ask a friend who is a more experienced runner to help you get ready for your race. Plan your training sessions together, put them in your diary, and keep them as you would any other appointment. It is far easier to motivate yourself to stick to your plan when somebody else is counting on you to show up.
Don’t forget to plan a celebration for after you both cross the finish line on race day!
There’s nothing more refreshing and delicious than freshly picked summer fruits. There are many pick-your-own farms where you can fill a box with strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, and more.
Why not plan a fruit-picking outing with a friend? You’ll get out in the sunshine, benefit from the physical movement involved, and be able to catch up while you stroll through the fruit fields. Afterwards, head home and turn your berries into jams, pies, smoothies, or just a healthy fruit salad.
Host a healthy dinner party
A dinner party does not have to entail lots of heavy or unhealthy food. If you love to cook and host, invite a group of friends over and cook a delicious and healthy meal for everyone. Think salads, cold soups, fish dishes, fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, and refreshing non-alcoholic drinks.
If you don’t want to cook everything yourself, make it a group effort. Contribute one course each, or ask everyone to bring a dish and make it a potluck.