5 ways to put a spring into your step

With the winter behind us, the change in weather offers a great opportunity for us to get outside and be more active. It's very easy to hide away during the winter months, especially when it is dark and drizzly outside, but with longer days ahead, it's a great chance to introduce different ways of getting fit and healthy to your life.

You might want to just get out and be on your own for a while, or you may prefer to exercise with friends, but these popular springtime exercise ideas can really help to blow away the cobwebs left by the long winter.

1. Get on your bike

One of the easiest ways of getting more exercise either with friends or on your own is to go cycling. You don't even need to cycle for miles on end, just a peddle around a local park or a few streets near your home will be enough to raise your heart rate, while it's also a good way of spending some quality time with friends and family.

Cycling is easy on your joints and an aerobic exercise, and it's also excellent for your cardiovascular health. You can also burn calories quickly if you exercise in short, intense periods. Alternatively, you can burn roughly the same by cycling at a leisurely pace over a longer period of time.

2. Head out for a walk

The simplest form of exercise there is, is just putting one foot in front of the other. Walking is one of the best activities going for a low-impact but effective work-out. It's also a great way of allowing yourself to switch off and relax, especially if you walk through the countryside or some woods with your family and friends.

3. Try some gardening

Gardening is a great form of exercise as you can be moving constantly, twisting, turning and pulling, using your entire body. It can be a little strenuous, so as a result can feel like a proper work-out by the time you're finished. An added bonus is you can grow your own healthy foods to help you improve your overall fitness, too.

4. Head to the park

Whether you're planning a kick-around, to run around after your little ones or even just a wander with the family mutt, a day at the park is great for all the family. It's fun, free and can keep you active for a lengthy period of time - it's little wonder they can get so busy when the sun comes out! You may even want to take a picnic with you, too.

5. Head to a theme park

Nobody likes going to theme parks when it's pouring with rain, but with an improvement in the weather it becomes an attractive and fun day out for all the family. Of course the rides are the main attraction, but you may just find yourself walking for miles from ride to ride for a healthy boost, and chances are you won't even notice until you head home.

These are just some ideas for increasing the activity in your life, but there are all kinds of options available to you to help your overall health and wellbeing. Just aim to get your breathing rate up a little and a mild sweat on for around 30 minutes a day - and most importantly, get out and have some fun. However, you should remember to keep yourself hydrated and if you haven't exercised for a while, don't start off with a hugely intensive routine. Instead, look to build up gradually into it, but start off slowly, and don't forget the sunscreen as the temperatures rise.