Get Moving! Take Your Fitness Outside.

Since spring has finally arrived, we can turn our thoughts to things of summer: beaches, picnics and the great outdoors! The spring weather offers some wonderful opportunities for meeting our weekly exercise requirements unavailable during the cold winter months. The current recommendation for adults is two and a half hours a week of moderate cardiovascular exercise, and an hour of strength-building exercises.

While it can seem difficult to fit that much exercise into our schedules, it is surprisingly easy. Two and a half hours is the same amount of time you would spend watching a movie, but unlike a movie, it doesn’t need to be all at once. Did you know that you can break up your exercise into 10 or 15 minute increments? That short timeframe is easily fit into a lunch break or the evening. The benefits of doing so are clear: adults who exercise regularly experience lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. What can be more important than your health and happiness?

Exercising doesn’t need to be costly. Although gyms provide many benefits, such as equipment and diverse exercise options, they are not the only way to meet your exercise requirements. If you are a homeowner looking to get your house and yard looking beautiful, you can multitask. Provided you get your heart rate up, spring cleaning activities such as clearing out the debris in the flower beds, mowing, trimming bushes, cleaning gutters or washing windows all qualify as exercise! If you are looking for a more leisurely activity, there are still more outdoor possibilities, such as walking briskly around your neighborhood, biking, running, swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball, roller blading, soccer, baseball or football.

If you do not live in a neighborhood conducive for any of these activities, make use of one of my favorite things about the Cleveland area—the Metroparks! The Cleveland Metroparks is the largest system, and have parks within a short drive of most places in the greater Cleveland area from Westlake to Chagrin to Hinckley. The Lorain Metroparks have many locations throughout Lorain County. Summit Metroparks manages parks in Summit County. Although these organizations have different activities and websites, all Metroparks feature both paved and unpaved paths for biking, walking, running, hiking and horseback riding. Many paths also feature equipment for exercises and stretching. There are also plenty of sports fields. So go outside, enjoy the weather, and get that heart pumping!

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