“Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again…” Gustav Mahler

Ladies and gentlemen despite the yoyo temperatures spring is here! Now that the pollen has pretty much subsided it is time for hiking, biking, running and spring recreational sports. Despite announcing my retirement from softball last year, I may just pull a Tom Brady and end up back on the mound for the Zion Hill Baptist softball team.

No matter what your fitness pleasure it is time to get out in the great outdoors. Springtime is the season of renewal, why not renew your passion for health and fitness with some different outdoor activities? Here are five options for springtime activities to get you moving again:

— Get in the gardening game: While gardening is not a traditional “fitness” activity it is an activity that can get you moving. Digging, hoeing, planting and weeding all utilize multiple muscle groups. Plus, the healthy fruits and veggies that you harvest will come in handy for planning healthy meals for you and your family.

— Play on the playground: This might sound a little crazy but find a playground and swing, climb the monkey bars and head down the slides. You might get a few strange looks but who cares?

— Join a pick-up league: Pick-up leagues exist for just about anything. Basketball, softball, soccer and the latest craze, pickleball, are just a few options. Check the local paper, Facebook or recreation department websites to see what is up in your community.

— Get swinging: Hit a batting cage or driving range and hit a few balls. Swinging is good exercise for your upper and lower body, and it will improve your hand-eye coordination.

— Start your spring training: Spring training is not just for the Yankees and Red Sox; you can use the spring to get in shape for your favorite competition. Whether you are a runner, biker, walker or play a summer sport, use the spring to train and get ready to compete. That way when June rolls around you are ahead of the game.

— Take your regular routine outdoors: There is nothing wrong with your at-home Yoga or favorite online in-home exercise program but when the sun is out why not move it outdoors? Most people who don’t get at least 15 minutes of sunshine a day run the risk of having a vitamin D deficiency. In the coronavirus era the more vitamin D the better!

— Start cycling: Spin classes are cool but why not take your two wheeling on the road? Cycling is easy on the joints and is a great cardio workout. Also riding gets your farther along than walking or running so you can take advantage of more change of scenery.

These are just a few ideas to get you “springing’ into action this spring. Whatever you do, make sure you stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and if at all possible find a workout buddy to keep you company and keep you motivated. Here’s to hoping that spring 2023 is the best ever!

Kathy Hansen has more than 30 years experience in the health and fitness field. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].