With the weather getting better and the days getting longer, it’s the perfect time to get outside. Even if you don’t have a huge budget or tons of time, you can enjoy the outdoors while you work out. Nature-based activities tend to make people happier, so get outside and get fit. Here are a few ways to start today:


If you’re just getting on the fitness bandwagon, walking is a simple way to begin. You don’t have to commit to a rigorous routine. You can start by just taking 20 minutes to walk in your neighborhood. You should make sure you have a good pair of shoes to avoid injuries, but you don’t need to spend a fortune. Try an app like Map My Run to plan and keep track of distances and pacing. Start exploring close to home.


Even if you have a regular fitness routine, adding running can be a great way to get some fresh air and sun, while changing up your cardio and seeing parts of your world you don’t get to see on your commute. If you aren’t a runner, it’s important to make sure you have proper shoes or you could risk an injury. Stay motivated with a fast-paced playlist on your mobile device, as well as apps like RunKeeper. It’ll track your progress and allow you to be social and get support from your friends.


Yoga is definitely a portable exercise. When the weather is nice, there’s no reason to be stuck indoors trying to get your Zen on. Grab your yoga mat and find your center while getting some vitamin D. Download some yoga podcasts and follow along in the sun. What could be more Zen than outdoor yoga? You could also do a search and see if anyone in your city teaches tai chi classes outside.


Cycling is another perfect outdoor fitness activity for exploring your city or neighborhood. It’s a great way to get off the beaten path while getting some efficient, low-impact exercise. You do have to purchase equipment before you can start bicycling, but many cities now have bicycle collectives where you can purchase, rent or borrow used bicycles that have been refurbished.


Growing a garden can be relaxing, fulfilling and improve your nutrition. It can also be good exercise and give you a healthy dose of vitamin D from exposure to the sun. You can choose to garden vegetables or flowers, just pick a spot and start experimenting. You’ll spend a little money on seeds or seedlings, and you’ll need some soil to help you get started, but the initial investment isn’t too big. It’s definitely less expensive than new workout equipment, and you might get some tasty produce out of the deal.


Hiking is the outdoor exercise for you if you don’t want the exertion of running but do want the adventure of getting away from home. Hiking doesn’t have to be grueling. It can be easy as finding a national park or scenic area and spending an hour exploring the trails. As always, the right shoes will make all the difference, but if you aren’t climbing mountains or covering many miles, you can start with an affordable pair. If you want some treasure hunting adventure that will make you look at the world in a new way, spend a little extra on a GPS unit and try geocaching. It’s a great way to the kids outside and once you start, you’ll be hooked.

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