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This blog starts from a simple claim: We would all benefit from spending more time outside. That is to say, we’re all bound to be enriched and cheered up by the fresh air, the natural light and the lovely landscape that awaits us just beyond our comfort zones. So you may consider this blog a crash course in how to have a summer period that’s all about healthy fun and great memories.

Living with... cabin fever?

Haemophilia or not, many of us have become experts in indoor activities lately. We’ve discovered new dishes in the kitchen, jigsaw puzzles and crocheting, video calls with friends, on-demand home entertainment and doing pushups next to our couches.

But many of us are beginning to miss things like fresh air, sunlight, bird song, trees and flowers, observing ducklings in the pond – and the company of friends!

The good news?

Fortunately, those things are still there, waiting for us just outside the window, or down the street, or across town.

It’s also worth pointing out that it is totally possible to have a summer full of outdoor fun while promoting your health and managing haemophilia – and without spending hours on the road or a fortune on accommodation.

Let’s get started!

Open your eyes and ears

No matter where you live, we bet there are parts of your country you haven’t explored fully yet. It’s not too late!

Here’s an injunction to get exploring.

Pretend to be a tourist in your own country

“Pretend to be a tourist in your own country"

In order to have the full enjoyment of being a tourist in your own country, try to see it with totally new eyes. That means: Forget everything you know already – if possible. Pack a few essentials (or all the picnic accessories you like, if the sun is out) and treat yourself and family to a day trip you’ll be grateful for.

Don’t be held back by factor refrigeration when making summer plans. But it’s always a good idea to check how hot it’s going to get outside and follow the precise guidelines  – or ask your doctor.

“Get lost in a city and ask for directions”

Not knowing where you are can be a thrilling experience and one we’re increasingly not used to thanks to GPS services on our phones. So while you’re out exploring unfamiliar parts of your country, allow yourself the luxury of getting lost somewhere urban and asking for help. You’ll be surprised at how eager most people are to help you get back on track..

By the way, it goes for all the activities in this blog that you should be ready to self-apply first aid in case of a slow bleed. Bring a general first-aid kit and read the section on PRICE in this blog post carefully. Just in case.

“Go to the most beautiful place you know – and don’t post it on social media”

Have you ever thought of how much of life never makes it onto social media? It's got to be most of it, right? It’s just so much easier – for all of us, really – to only share moments that are fun and wonderful and not the boring or painful bits. As a result, our social-media avatars end up living the kinds of lives we can only dream of actually living ourselves.

Why not turn this upside down by going off-the-grid and offline for a few idyllic hours? Walk or ride your bike – if possible – to a gorgeous location where the atmosphere relaxes and energises you at the same time. And then just sit there and breathe it all in – without letting anyone on social media know!

“Learn to spot 10 local birds”

Ornithologists are some of the most passionate and dedicated people in the world. You may not be one of them (yet?). But try to photograph and look up 5-10 birds native to your area, and you will probably wonder why you never paid attention to them before.

Once you know them by sight, learn to distinguish them by sound as well. Search for them on YouTube to speed up your learning.

Time to get your body involved – and your friends

Having taken in the outdoors with your eyes and ears, it’s time to get your body more involved. Let’s start with an activity that’s just made for summer!

“Run through the sprinklers like a 8-year-old after eating ice-cream”

The headline sums it up pretty well. In fact, all there is to add is: Choose a warm day! And make sure your lawn is nicely horizontal so you minimise the risk of sliding on the wet grass.

If you’re above 8, feel free to begin by walking – sort of casually – through the sprinklers a few times in order to build up momentum. (Most grown-ups haven't allowed themselves this classic summer activity for many years. You might be a bit rusty at first.)


Skip stones at high altitude

“Skip stones at high altitude”

Achieving a beautiful chain of linked parabolas by skipping flat stones across the surface of a lake is one of those skills that must have delighted people since before the Stone Age. We include it here as it combines skill and fun in a unique way that appeals to all ages.

Why high altitude? Is throwing stones really different up in the mountains? Well, not really. However, if you live in a mountainous area, we suggest you walk or hike to your stone-skipping location. Get some exercise en route! That way you, er, kill two birds with one stone…

Also, pick a day when the weather is great and consider combining the activity with others in this blog – for instance, the one about taking some time off from social media.

“Go tenpin bowling in the garden using a volleyball and water bottles”

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old,” an author once said – “we grow old because we stop playing.” To test the claim, why not put it to practice with a few good friends on a hot summer’s day? Anyone can bowl, you’ll see. You can make your own rules.

We bet it’s going to make you – at least feel – younger, and give you a few hearty laughs, too. And last but not least, bowling in the garden is a great way to whet your appetite for the next activity…


Cook a meal on a bonfire or barbecue with friends

“Cook a meal on a bonfire or barbecue with friends”

Here's another activity that’s both ancient and timeless: Cooking outside. But why on earth is it that modern people enjoy demonstrating – several times each summer – that they don’t need machinery and electricity to cook a tasty meal?

It might have to do with the sense of real personal achievement and the rush freedom you get from cooking with fire under an open sky. Back-to-basics routines certainly beat alternatives when it comes to simplicity – and that might be good for the mind, especially if you’re living a busy life.

See you out there!

So that’s the plan! Go outside, delight your senses, use your body and spend time with your friends!

We hope the suggestions above will serve to remind you that the best things in life are still free.