Every year we spend the winter cooped up where it’s warm. When spring rolls around, we can’t wait to get outside. Getting outdoors can not only battle spring fever, it can also get you up and moving. Exercising outdoors can give you a better workout and burn more calories than the machines at the gym. As spring approaches, if you want to get outdoors and get in shape, here are some great activities you can do.

* Walking. Not only is walking a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine after being cooped up all winter, it’s also great exercise if you do it right. For an optimal workout, walk for an hour a day at least three days a week. You should also alter your pace during the walk, i.e. go as fast as you can for a minute, then a slower pace for a minute, etc. This will get your heart pumping without having to do a hard workout. If you’re bored of walking around your neighborhood, why not visit a nature park or zoo.

* Yoga. Sure, nowadays yoga is done in your living room or in a gym, but this art was made to be done in the great outdoors. So tote your yoga mat to the park or just to the backyard. This can give you a workout and calm your nerves at the same time.

* Swimming. Want to get a fantastic full body workout while your kids are playing? Then take them down to the community pool. Many pools have an area for kids to splash and play while the adults swim laps. Just make sure not to leave any child that doesn’t know how to swim without adult supervision. And when you’re done with your laps, maybe you can splash and play with your kids too.

* Volleyball. This sport doesn’t have to be played inside with a ref; you can play at a sand volleyball court, or just set up a net in your back yard. Volleyball is a great way to socialize with your friends, or to meet new people by joining a league.

* Biking. More and more cities and towns are putting in bike paths. These are a great way to get a work out without risking serious injury by biking on rough terrain. However, if you’re up for a challenge, there are probably paths through woods, hills, mountains, or some other difficult, but rewarding terrain. Just be sure to wear proper safety equipment no matter where you’re biking.

* Hiking. If you want to get out and go, and you’re up for an adventure, why don’t you take the family and go for a hike. You can experience nature, get a great workout, get some fresh air, and spend some quality bonding time with your family.

So what are you waiting for? Get out of your artificial lighting and into the great outdoors for a workout and a fun time too.