Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) was celebrated in the years following the Civil War and become an official federal holiday in the early 1970s. It is a patriotic holiday designated to remember the men and women in our military who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the country. Across the US there will be ceremonies and outdoor gatherings to remember these heroes.
The 3-day Memorial Day weekend is also a time for travel and an opportunity for friends and families to reconnect. In many places, it is considered the unofficial start to summer as the school year is wrapping up and pools & other outdoor activities are starting to open.
What do you have planned for Memorial Day? Do you have any family traditions for this holiday weekend or are you looking to try something new this year?
Quick Trip to Enjoy the Warmer Weather
Not only is the weather getting warmer across the country, but many of us have been working from home and unable to see family and friends. We feel that exercising outdoors can do wonders for your mental health.
What is your favorite outdoor activity? We have some ideas. First, have you ever taken the family camping? This can be the perfect way to “unplug” from smartphones and zoom calls. There is nothing better than reconnecting with friends around a campfire while snacking on smores or having coffee on a brisk morning in the mountains. Sound like fun, but you haven’t done this in a while? We can help you determine the camping essentials you need for a successful trip.
What goes well with camping? Have you ever tried fishing? Relax on or near the water, talk with family and friends, and potentially, bring home dinner. Sounds like a great way to spend a few days. Planning a fishing trip is easier than you think and could be exactly what you need this holiday weekend.
Get Outdoors – Closer to Home
You love the idea of getting out of the house to celebrate Memorial Day, but aren’t quite ready to travel? No problem – plenty of options close to home that you can enjoy. Find a hiking trail near you and enjoy the afternoon. Take some pictures of wildlife, get some exercise, enjoy some trail snacks, and “hit the reset button”. There are numerous benefits to hiking. Love the idea, but new to the game – you don’t need to stress, hiking is an easy activity to learn as a beginner.
What about hiking around a manicured field while chasing a small white ball? Some people refer to this activity as golf! Make a tee time. Text some buddies or leverage the long weekend to introduce you kids to the game. Many golf courses will run promotions for cheaper green fees over the holiday weekend, so it is a perfect time to dust off your clubs. If possible, take advantage of this time to get a little exercise on the course. This could be the summer you get the entire family hooked on the game. Memorial Day weekend is a great time to start your golf season.
Do you have a green thumb? Enjoy growing your own vegetables or working in your yard? Take some time over the holiday weekend to get that lawn looking great or add some new Geraniums or Impatiens in your flower beds. Who knows, maybe you could host a neighborhood cookout in the near future!
Be Safe – Get Refreshed, Not Sore
Many of us have been trapped inside for months. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to kickstart your “outside the house” activities for the year, but take it slow. Due to the pandemic, you may need to reacclimate yourself to physical exertion and other outdoor hazards.
The first thing to keep in mind is sun protection. Nothing can ruin a fun outdoor activity like getting a bad sunburn. You don’t want to join your June zoom calls looking like a lobster or with a peeling nose.
Next, be careful about the amount of physical activity you plan for the weekend, especially if you haven’t been able to exercise much recently. If you decide to try a hike, research the trail to understand how challenging it will be. If you love the idea of playing golf, make sure you stretch before you head up to the driving range. It is fine to be tired after your long holiday weekend, but you don’t want to be injured.
Plan for the activity you have scheduled. Camping, hiking, fishing, and golf all require specific equipment, but don’t forget about your shoes. Don’t make the mistake of going on a hike in sandals or trying to golf in flip flops. The right shoes can be the difference between an enjoyable afternoon and a painful memory.
Enjoy your holiday weekend activity but pay attention to your body. If you start to feel the heat of the sun on your skin, reapply suntan lotion or put on a hat. If you notice some lower back pain, stop for a moment, and do some stretching. We don’t believe in the “no pain, no gain” mantra.
At the end of each day or activity, assess how you feel. Do you have any unusual pain following your day fishing on the lake or working in your yard? Pay special attention to your back and your feet. They will typically be where you might feel discomfort. If your feet are giving you a hard time, you might want to invest in some new shoes or additional arch support.
Use your Memorial Day weekend to get refreshed, not sore.
Make the Most of Your 3-Day Weekend
Celebrate and remember our country’s heroes. Get out of the house and get some sun. Reconnect with friends and spend time enjoying your family. The last 15 months have been rough and many of us have been trapped inside our homes. It is time to breakout!
Rekindle your love for an old hobby or take you kids fishing for the first time. Teach your son to mow the grass (you might have to pay him) or show your daughter how to hit a driver down the fairway. Load up the van, pack the tent, and give camping a try. There is no wrong answer – we just hope you get the chance to get outside and truly enjoy the freedom that the heroes before us made possible.