If you live in Massachusetts, you know what a beautiful thing it is when all the snow has melted and the flowers begin to bloom. Everything begins to feel a little brighter, everyone seems to glow a little, and the outdoors becomes more inviting. The warmer months in New England are a great time to get outside and move your body in a joyful way. That’s why we have compiled a few great things to do outside in Massachusetts!
But first, what is joyful movement?
Joyful movement is the term coined by Intuitive Eating authors Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S and Elyse Resche, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S, FAND. It comes from the ninth principle of Intuitive Eating: Movement - Feel the Difference. This is also something that is covered in the Jumpstart to Intuitive Eating!
One of the distinguishing factors of joyful movement is that it is not about weight loss. For many, the main motivation behind movement is to change the size and shape of their bodies. However, this can lead to over-exercise, and even the resentment of an exercise routine altogether. This is why it’s so important to take a hard look at the intention behind movement. Is it bringing you joy, or does it feel like a chore?
Joyful movement allows you to move out of care and respect for your body - not because you dislike it and want to change it. It allows you to tune into your body to discover how it feels during different types of movement.
Below, we have gathered a few things to do outside in Massachusetts that can encourage joyful movement. Grab a friend or maybe some headphones, and maybe you’ll discover something new this summer.
10 Things to Do Outside in Massachusetts
This old rail road has been given a new life as a paved/groomed trail. It goes for miles and it’s well-covered with trees, so it’s a great spot to bring your bike and get riding.
Put your game face on and hit the 8-hole disc golf course in Peabody. This is a great way to get some movement in while enjoying an activity with friends. Never disc golfed before? Pick up some inexpensive discs here.
Whether you are our neighbor on the north shore or you live in Boston, you know what a beautiful thing a northeastern beach day is. Lay on the beach and soak up some vitamin D, take a walk, or dive through the waves this summer.
As the tallest waterfall in Massachusetts, this one won’t disappoint. Get some joyful movement in with a 2.1 mile hike to the falls with family or friends.
There’s something unique about being able to kayak through the middle of the city. Whether you’re one to sit at the front of the boat and steer the ship or sit in the back and *pretend* to paddle (guilty), this is a great way to get moving on a sunny day.
Walden Pond opens in the summer and is a great place to swim in open water or to take a float and relax on the water. There are even trails that surround the pond that you can walk on.
In the summers, the Esplanade Association puts on a whole host of activities that involve movement. One of the most popular is their yoga class that takes place right on the riverbank!
If running is something that’s up your alley, there are a number of running clubs in Massachusetts and the surrounding areas that are open to the public. If there’s one thing we know, it’s the value of community. Find yours!
Depending on the time of the summer, Russel Orchards is open for strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, and currant picking. Walk around the gorgeous open space, and take a bag of berries home to make a summer recipe!
Name a better family activity - we’ll wait. Take a stroll around the zoo while learning about monkeys, birds, and more!
We encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to ways to enjoy movement this summer. Movement does not have to mean going to the gym or an hour long walk. It can be anything that gets you up and outside. As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do outside in Massachusetts!
Of course, it’s important to assess what joyful movement means to you and where it can fit into your life. It is also always worth talking to your dietitian or therapist about your relationship with movement. Drop us a line and see how we can best support you!