Soak up the Sun on the Longest Day of the Year

An older woman eats cereal out of a yellow bowl, a man in a t shirt drinks out of a black water bottle and a young woman jogs at night

The summer solstice marks the official start of summer and it is also the longest day of the year. In the Midwest region of the U.S., we’ll see about 15 hours of daylight on June 21.

Here’s 15 Healthy Things to do with 15 Hours of Daylight on the Longest Day of the Year

1. Watch the sunrise

Wake up naturally with the sun to start your day off right. The sun’s light is a natural signal to your body that it’s time to wake up and get going.

2. Meditate

Take the quiet time in the morning as soon as you wake up, to reflect and meditate. Sit in a comfortable position and bring your attention to your breath as you soak in the morning sounds around you. Start the longest day of the year with a clear and healthy mindset.

3. Go on a morning jog or bike ride

Starting the day with exercise will help with an active mindset for the rest of the day. It will help your body wake up and keep you going with natural energy all day.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast

Starting the day off right with nutritious food will set you up for success to crush those other 14 hours of daylight on the longest day of the year. Aim to eat foods that will give you energy and fill you up like eggs, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, chia seeds, fruit, and nuts.

5. Walk your dog

Not only is this a good way to cool down after your morning workout, but it will help get Fido moving too. Walking your dog will help them maintain a healthy weight and body condition, keep their joints moving and functional and help regulate their digestive health. Plus, man’s best friend is the perfect workout partner to keep you motivated.

6. Ride your bike or walk to work

Switching up your method of transportation from four wheels to two or your own feet is a great way stay active even more throughout the day and bring natural energy with you to work.

7. Go kayaking

15 hours of daylight could mean 15 hours of hot summer sun. Kayaking will engage your core, arms and legs. Cool off and get a great full-body workout in all while enjoying the outdoors during a kayak trip. All you need to bring with you is a cooler and some friends to paddle with.

8. Plant flowers or a vegetable garden

Take advantage of the long day by planting some flowers that encourage pollinators to buzz by or starting a vegetable, fruit and herb garden that you can reap the benefits of all summer and into fall.

9. Go swimming

Head to the pool to cool things down again while also soaking in some vitamin D from the sun’s rays. Swimming laps or just playing some pool games will build endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness without impact stress on the body.

10. Eat lunch outside

Grab lunch outside on a patio or head out to the park for a picnic with some friends to bask in some more sunlight. This will break up your day with fresh air if you happen to work indoors all day.

11. Pick fruits and veggies from a local farm

While you’re waiting for your newly propagated garden to grow, head to your local farm and see what’s in season and what they have to share. Take the “farm to table” method literally this summer. This is also a great way to support local businesses and know your food is coming from a source just down the road.

12. Stretch or practice yoga outside in the sun

Grab a mat and let the sun warm up your muscles for a nice stretch to help your body recover from a big day of activities. Try some beginner moves like triangle posehalf moon pose or downward dog.

13. Read a book under a shady tree or on a quiet park bench

Take advantage of the natural reading light outside and get a good summer read in.

14. Play an outdoor game

Outdoor games like kickball, corn hole, tag or mini golf are a great way to stay active while having fun. They can also get the whole family involved for a summer activity.

15. Watch the sunset

As the day comes to a close, wind down as the sun does. Try to turn off all screens – phones, TVs and tablets, at least 30 minutes before bedtime so your body and mind can naturally prepare for rest.