The weather is finally getting warmer, which means it's time to mix it up a little and move a few of your workouts from the confines of the gym to the great outdoors. Here are five ways to get in shape—and breathe in some fresh air while you do it—this spring.

Walk the walk. Exercising outdoors offers even more health benefits than working out indoors. Hiking and walking in the fresh air have a greater positive effect on mental health than exercising indoors. Just five minutes of outdoor activity can improve mood, reduce stress and increase self-esteem.

TIP: take a walk after lunch for a more productive afternoon.

Join a sports league. Spring is the perfect time to make your workout more social. Sign up for a team sport to make new friends and have more fun while you exercise. 

Hit the beach. Ok, ok, so we don’t have any beaches in Nevada. But, since many of us will head south at some point during the season, this outdoor option is filled with significant benefits. Did you know that running on the beach takes almost 1.6 times more energy than running on a track or other hard surface? And, with the birds, sunlight, and ocean breeze to keep you relaxed, you won’t even notice the difference—except in how you look.

Become a volunteer. Sign up for some physically strenuous volunteer work that exercises both your muscles and soul. During the spring season, there are lots of outdoor volunteer activities to participate in, from cleaning up a neighborhood park to building houses or volunteering as a dog walker at an animal shelter.

Ride your bike or walk to work. Depending on where you live and how far away your job is, switching to a bike or an occasional walk to work once or twice a week, can be a great way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

So, put some spring into your steps this season. You’ll be happy you did!


Sources: AARP.com, mentalfloss.com, springinyourstep.net