As the year rapidly speeds by, we are leaving winter behind and the bright colors, glorious smells, and ample opportunities to be active are in sight for the upcoming spring. Springtime is arguably one of the best seasons to be active and to be outdoors. With cool weather, both indoors and outdoors are our playgrounds for a short while. Thanks to great weather, we are able to be active, but also to explore more things in terms of how we can stay fit and healthy.

Whether spending time with your friends or family, or even alone, the spring offers a great chance for us to be busy, and to keep up with our health and fitness goals. Take a look at some of these popular springtime activities that you can try – all of which will help you change up the monotony of winter activities, and let you explore the world around you a little bit more.

Go Cycling
One of the easiest ways to explore, get active, enjoy the outdoors, and the company of others, all while sticking to your health and fitness goals, is to dust off that bicycle that has been locked up since winter and hop back on board. Because riding a bicycle is considered an aerobic exercise, it is easy on the joints and is also great for your cardiovascular health. A short bike ride allows you to burn the same number of calories with a short, intense workout as you can exercising at a longer, more leisurely pace.

Take a Hike
Get up and get moving – it is as simple as that. Even if you are not close to any significant mountains or hills, walking is one of the best activities for low impact, effective exercise. Take in the beauty of springtime as you wander through the woods, and increase your cardiovascular health as you do it. See the sights, soak up the sun, and stay active. Being one with nature is a great way to clear the mind, press the reset, and to do it in the healthiest way possible.

Plan a Picnic
It is fun, it is easy, and it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, while spending quality time with someone you deem special. Pack a healthy lunch, and try walking to the best picnic spot; doing all of this is putting you on the right track for mental and physical health, all in one day.

Grow a Garden
Believe it or not, gardening can be a great form of exercise. Not only is it therapeutic, but can be a little strenuous. With constant moving, pulling, twisting, turning, and use of the entire body, planting a garden is no walk in the park. Not only that, but once the garden is up and running, planting healthy foods means you will have your own supply to choose from in your health and fitness journey. Planting in the spring means a bountiful fall to come.

Frolic in the Park
Parks are great places to stay active. With such wide open spaces, there is an abundance of things to do – walk, run, skip, hop, jump, whatever you desire. Many parks come equipped with trails to keep you active for ample amounts of time, and they also let you soak in the sun and fresh air. It is free, fun, and it can keep you active for a substantial amount of time.

Go to the Zoo
Zoos are often great to go and check out, especially during the spring, as this is usually when most animals give birth to their tiny little new offspring. Walking around the zoo is a workout within itself, especially in the hot sun. You may burn more calories than you think, so it is important to stay hydrated, as it is whenever you participate in any spring activity. The zoo helps you sweat mentally and physically, learning about the animals and getting your workout in too.

Swing a Club
Talk about working up an easy sweat this spring. The warm weather makes hitting a few golf balls the perfect time of the year. Whether it is a full 18 holes or just a day at the range, golf means you will be exerting yourself physically, over and over, and contributing to your own workout.

Savor a Seasonal Meal
Fruits and vegetables are at peak quality during the spring season. Treat your friends and family to a nice meal with the finest and freshest ingredients. Take a trip to the local farmer’s market or grocery store and hand pick your foods together. Make the meal a family affair, with everyone involved. A healthy springtime meal can include anything from a nice colorful salad to an array of fruits, fish, and grains.

This spring, however you choose to be active, you should always aim to benefit most in terms of your overall health and well-being. You can increase your heart rate and break a sweat in a number of fun and exciting ways! Use the spring to explore, to be healthy, and to get moving. Always stay hydrated, and aim for at least 30 minutes of activity each day.

It’s time to get outdoors in Missouri! Whether you’re interested in sailing through the treetops on a zipline ride, hiking or biking a rugged trail, or slowly making your way down a crystal-clear stream, the Show-Me State has adventure for you. Here are some outdoor fun ideas for you: https://www.visitmo.com/trip-ideas/find-outdoor-adventure-in-missouri

Carmen Keith, MD, IFMCP

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