15 Ways to Make the Most Out of Warm-Weather Weekdays

by Mikey Rox on 20 May 2011 3 comments
Photo: Evil Erin

As someone who works from home all year round, I look forward to the spring and summer months.

During the wintertime, I hibernate — and that doesn’t bode well for my sanity.

But as soon as the sun starts shining and the temp starts rising, I’m out and about as much as possible. Even (and especially) after a hard day’s work.

To get you out of the house more, here are some of the things I like (and would like) to do on weekdays that allow me to soak up the rays and feel better the next day.

1. Join a Team Sport

Every city I’ve lived in has had adult rec leagues that offer team activities like kickball, dodgeball, soccer, mini golf, ultimate Frisbee, and more. I’m currently playing two sports on the NYSSC leagues. It’s a great way to keep moving and make new friends. My kickball team is currently in first place. Albeit, no thanks to me. Pssh, I'm not hurting myself for fleeting glory.

2. Cooks Meals in Advance

When it’s warm outside, I don’t want to spend my nights in front of a hot stove. To free up my time, I grill lots of chicken breasts on a Sunday morning, cut them up, and store the bite-sized pieces in a container in the fridge or freezer. When I’m ready to eat, I can pull out the container and make quick Caesar salads, quesadillas, or chicken-salad sandwiches. As I’m saving time, I’m also saving money. Heating up your home every night — especially when it’s hot out — makes your air conditioner work harder to keep it cool, which costs more money. Cooking one day a week saves you five days of unnecessary AC overdrive.

3. Grill Your Dinner

If you don’t want to spend your Sundays making a week’s worth of meals, that’s all right. I don’t always have time for that, either — and there’s nothing like food, fresh and hot. Whenever I have a chance to grill, I light it up. Burgers, shrimp, steak, baked potatoes, corn-on-the-cob… what doesn’t taste good from the grill? Quick, easy, and delicious — if you have the gas kind, that is. Charcoal grills are a waste of time and money. You can tell Weber I said that, too.

4. Exercise Outside

When May rolls around, I put my gym membership on hold. There’s no need to spend time sweating inside when I can save my monthly membership fee and sweat outside instead. Or, if you’re a true entrepreneur, you can forgo putting the membership on hold and lease it to someone who wants short-term access to your gym. I’ve done it before and it worked out beautifully.

5. Open the Blinds and Windows

Maybe you don’t have time to get outside. Fair enough. Bring the sights and sounds inside by opening the blinds and windows. Turn on some Calypso and shake your thang. (See also: 8 Tasks You Shouldn't Skip During Spring Cleaning)

6. Take Your Dogs to the Park

My dogs love going to the run. I don’t mind going either, because the one that we frequent has a bar. In my opinion, there’s no better way to chill out than having fun with my babies while sipping on a few beers.

7. Treat Yourself to Refreshments on a Patio

Sometimes, of course, I need a moment to unwind by myself. When I’m not taking my babies out, I like to visit a bistro around the corner that has outdoor seating and incredible happy hour specials like $4 glasses of house wine before 8 p.m.

8. Plan a Picnic

Turn off the TV, pack a basket, and find a shady spot at the park. The park is much less crowded during the week, so you’ll finally be able to relax. My go-to picnic dishes include chilled steamed shrimp, a fruit and cheese platter, and crusty bread with olive oil. A cool piece of lemon meringue pie helps satisfy that sweet tooth, too.

9. Catch a Free Event

Great activities are not limited to the weekends. Look at your local events calendar, and you’ll find plenty to do Monday through Friday. My all-time favorite is an outdoor movie series, which usually kicks off sometime in June, with each movie beginning at dusk once a week until mid-to-late August. Bring along a fold-up chair and a bag of snacks and you’ve got yourself a good, cheap night out that won’t leave you with a headache the next day.

10. Make Some Extra Cash

Search Craigslist for people in need of dog walkers, errand runners, or yard help. You’ll get your daily recommended allowance of vitamin D while making a few bucks in the process.

11. Run Errands Close to Home

There’s a misconception about New York City that everything is convenient. It’s not. The nearest post office is seven blocks away from me, and my bank is another five blocks away from that. That may not seem like an arduous trek, but just wait until the wind, rain, snow, and slush arrive. When it’s nice out, though, I like to walk to run my errands. I list what I need to do ahead of time then map it so I’m accomplishing my tasks efficiently. I feel even better when I break a sweat — because that’s means less time exercising. Which I hate (but have) to do.

12. Volunteer to Clean Up Your Neighborhood

Every neighborhood needs maintenance. Maybe not your own little slice of heaven, but I bet there’s something you could volunteer to beautify. Break out a broom and sweep the sidewalk. Pull the weeds out of a neighbor's potted plants. Help pick up trash near the church. All of these activities will keep your blood pumping and win you points with the old lady next door.

13. Wash Your Car

Why pay $20 to have your car washed? Unless, of course, there’s a whole bunch of home-from-college hotties doin’ the washin’. Yes, please. Barring that exception, grab your bucket, soap, and sponge and attack your Crud Mobile the old-fashioned way — with your bare hands and some elbow grease. But check the weather first. Nothing burns more than busting your hump scrubbing those hubcabs just have ‘em rained on three hours later.

14. Take Up Stargazing

I see no stars in the city — and that makes this idea all the more appealing. If you live somewhere where the halogen lights don’t keep you up at night, buy (or borrow) a telescope and search for signs of intelligent life. Lord knows I haven’t spotted any in a while.

15. Invest in a Hammock

Tie it to two trees and hop in. In your backyard. In the park. On your roof (if it comes with its own stand). Just remember that safety comes first, OK? I will not be held responsible for your silliness.

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A small garden is also a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Also, the near free vegetables are healthy eating.

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#4 - great time to go for a walk after work!

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I grilled out on Tuesday evening, and it was awesome! Plus, I had delicious grilled leftovers.

Another way I enjoy the outdoors during the week is biking to work. It's pretty hot in the evening, but when I leave for work in the morning, the air is fresh and cool. And if I can leave the house a little early, I can take my time to soak up the morning ride. It's a truly refreshing part of my routine. http://blog.mangomoney.com/cheap-fun/time-to-ride

Also, I love taking my dog out for a long walk when I get home from work. He loves to play basketball (it's true!) so we go to parks with courts, but I'm super jealous of your park bar. Sounds fun!