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Exercise Doesn't Have to Mean the Gym

In most parts of the country, we stay cooped up inside for most of the winter. When spring finally arrives, most of us can't wait to finally get outside and enjoy ourselves. And that's good, because one of the things we can do outdoors when the weather's nice is exercise. And because of newfound enthusiasm, we might even get a better workout. Here are a few things you can do to get a workout in the great outdoors.

Swim. Take the kids to the pool for a good time and get a great workout at the same time. If that's not a win-win, I don't know what is! Many community pools have an area for kids to splash and play while the adults swim laps. Of course, you'll be sure not to leave any child that doesn’t know how to swim unsupervised. And when you’re done with your laps, nobody says you can't splash with the kids too.

Volleyball can be played at the beach or in your back yard. All you need is a ball and a net. You can even join an organized league and meet new friends.

Take a Hike. Hiking lets you enjoy nature and fresh air while getting a great workout. Consider bringing along the whole family and enjoying some quality time together.

Biking's great exercise and in these days of high gas prices can also be a great way to save some money - just run some of your errands with the bike instead of the car. The bike paths that are popping up everywhere can make biking safer, and might even let you take your bike to work. Be sure to always wear a helmet, and if you decide to go off-road, then use all the appropriate safety gear.

Go for a walk. You might think walking's not much exercise, but if you move along a brisk pace, it can be a decent workout. If you need to work harder, go to the beach and walk in the soft sand, or find a steep hill and walk up that. For even more difficulty, you can strap on a pack and put some weights in it.

Try Yoga. Nobody says you have to stay stuck in your living room or yoga studio while practicing. Head out to the backyard or even your local park and commune with nature while becoming one with the universe.

So get outside and have some fun and some great workouts!

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