Author: Mark Sevenoff

Outdoor Summer Vacation Ideas for the Family

Looking for something a little different to do with your family this summer? How about investing some time and energy into developing a skill that you can all enjoy together? Learning and having adventures together are guaranteed to make meaningful memories with your loved ones—and there are usually plenty of laughs along the way. Here are a few of our favorite activities that make for great family vacations, and some even include a pastime that you can enjoy together all year round!

Mountain Biking

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It might be obvious, but this is our favorite activity. Intimidating to some, but loved by many, mountain biking is the perfect way to bring your family together and keep everyone happy and healthy for a lifetime! Kids and adults of all ages get a thrill out of cycling through deserts, canyons, forests, and mountains. Beginners and experienced cyclists can find a great summer adventure with Western Spirit, and if you’ve got a group of mixed abilities, we can accommodate that as well. Our family trips provide lots of additional activities along the way, including fishing, hiking, and swimming. A trip together can ignite or deepen your connection to mountain biking, which will continue to bring challenge and adventure to you and your family for years to come.

River Trips

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River trips are another great way to get your family together outside this summer. If you’ve got some experience on the water, but could use some help getting your gear and provisions together, check out an outfitter like Ceiba Adventures. They operate out of Flagstaff, AZ and can set you up with the whole shebang—everything you need to take your family through the Grand Canyon.

If you’re looking for a more intense and guided river trip, Canyon Voyages Adventure Co takes groups on awesome guided day trips. They’re based in Moab and they join us on our river kayak and mountain bike combo trip. From the Green River to the White Rim, this trip is the best way to see the canyons from every angle. This trip isn’t specifically designed for families with young kids so if you’re looking to get your little ones on the river, try one of Canyon Voyages’ day trips from Moab.

Rock Climbing and Mountaineering

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Immerse yourself in natural history and geology, while using your mind and strength to defy gravity. Sounds like a great way to bring the family together, right? Everybody brings something different to their first rock climbing experiences. Asking for more than brute strength, families are often surprised at how naturally their kids take to scrambling up sandstone. For adults, with or without prior rock climbing experience, guided trips provide all the support, equipment, and education you need to have fun, rewarding, and safe climbing experiences. Moab Cliffs and Canyons has unique trips centered around “Rockaneering,” which combines their favorite aspects of rock climbing, canyoneering, and mountaineering into family friendly excursions.

So get outside this summer! Let nature be the backdrop for your photos and memories together. Contact our team with questions here.

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10 Health Benefits of Cycling

In case you haven’t heard, this cycling thing is pretty good for you. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially, spending some good time spinning on two wheels is sure to improve your quality of life. Here’s how:

Fresh Air

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Getting outside is a surefire way to keep your system functioning optimally. Fresh air in your lungs and a little sun on your skin increases levels of vitamin D and invigorates your cardiovascular system.

Weight Management

This might be an obvious one, but cycling burns calories and regulates your energy and appetite. Cycling is especially great for weight management because cycling workouts tend to be longer than others, like running or weight lifting. Working out for a longer period of time at varied levels of intensity helps to keep your body in fat-burning mode for longer, including after your workout.

Stress Management

Stress reduction is a by-product of many of the other benefits on this list—and it’s an important thing to consider in our busy, technology-ridden lives. Any form of exercise is known to reduce stress by balancing brain chemistry and increasing physical well-being.  Cycling in particular is a great stress buster because it is achievable and attainable for people of varying levels of fitness. Cycling provides significantly less physical impact to your body than other sports like running, making it a perfect activity to ease into.

Social Bonding

Cycling is awesome because you can do it alone or with friends. If you need some time to yourself, head out for a quiet ride. Or, if you’re feeling like a more social interaction, plan a trip with friends, or just a morning ride to a favorite restaurant for brunch. Connecting with friends and family in this different context helps to deepen relationships and create meaningful bonds.

Strength Development

Cycling makes you strong! The leg workout might be most obvious, but cycling is actually a pretty comprehensive workout. If you pay attention (and want to improve) you can increase core strength, and even your upper body. It’s great cross training for other sports, like running, swimming, and skiing.

Sense of Accomplishment

There’s nothing like making it to the top of a hill on a bike to make you feel accomplished! The tasks in your life may be a little more complicated to tackle, so why not build a few hill climbs into your days, your weeks, your summer?

Endorphin Boost

It’s no secret that exercise sends feel-good chemicals to your brain. Endorphins released by exercise improve mood, decrease stress, and increase our capacity for connection with others. Once again, these benefits last long after your ride is finished.

Time away

Stepping away from your desk, your phone, your family, and the laundry can all help you return to your tasks with a fresh mind and more balanced perspective. This will make you more effective in all areas of your life, and prevent the accumulation of stress over time. It’s simple, really. Just a little bike break goes a long way.

Mental Agility

Just like crossword puzzles and adult coloring engage different parts of your brain, focusing your mind on physical coordination helps to keep it balanced and healthy as you age. Cycling keeps your brain connections firing on all cylinders.

Perseverance

In case you ever question your ability to grow and improve, to stick with a challenge, or to learn something new, you can always hop on your bike and track your progress. I would venture to say it’s impossible to commit to regular training and not see changes in your experience on and off your bike. These little rewards can keep us going through the challenges in life, and remind us of what we are capable of!

So plan your trip, start your training program, hop on your bike, and get ready to see the ripples through all aspects of your health.

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