5 Fresh-Air Activities to Put a Spring in Your Fitness Plan

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Winter overstayed its welcome this year. As the icy grip the cold weather held over our lives is finally relinquished, we can look forward to sunny summer days spent poolside and on the beach. But winter’s extended stay may have caused an extended waistline, too.

Forced to hunker down and stuck inside, you may be wanting to shed a few pounds that are just as overdue for departure as winter was. Even if that isn’t the case and you sweat it out in a crowded gym, it is time to take that fitness outdoors. No matter what your goals are, it is time to get up, get moving, and enjoy the sunshine. Here are five ways to get active this spring.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

1. Get in the (garden) game

It’s time to get your hands and knees dirty, because with the last of the freezes gone from the forecast, it is finally time to start planting your garden. Fitness most likely isn’t the reason most gardeners start out, but it is a factor worth considering. Getting your garden ready can force you to do some seriously heavy lifting. Clearing away debris, digging, hauling dirt, mulching, and planting will have you moving and working your muscles. Plus, a garden requires sustained attention — flower beds need to be weeded, and hedges clipped.

This isn’t the kind workout that will torch a lot of calories, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. ”It’s not just exercise for exercise itself, which can become tedious,” Katherine Brown, the executive director of the Southside Community Land Trust, said in an interview with CNN. ”It’s exercise that has a context, that reinforces the limberness of your limbs and the use of your hands. You’ve got a motivation for why you want to grip. You’re not just gripping a ball, you want to pull a weed.”

For anyone who has the space, gardening could improve the health of their kitchen table, too. To eat the crispest vegetables possible or to season a dish with some seriously fresh herbs, grow your own!

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