Spring into Action!

Spring is the season to get outside and get moving!

Spring is here and there are outdoor activities that can get you, your family and friends moving toward a more physically active life style. Spring is a time for rebirth and new starts. Why not make a vow to be more physically active? It is recommended that a person be physically active for at least one hour per day. Be creative and think of activities that you can do outdoors that will increase your heart rate and also stretch and strengthen your muscles.

Cardiovascular activities are activities that will increase your heart rate. The first activities that come to mind are power walking, running or bicycling. There are numerous bike trails that a family or group of friends can enjoy, many of which can be found at www.michigantrails.com. The Michigan trails site provides trail maps, a directory and information about various trail systems throughout the state as well as volunteer opportunities and tours.

If a bicycle tour sounds interesting, July 14-20, 2012 is the date of the 21st Annual Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance Michigander Bicycle Tour. Experienced and beginner cyclist of all ages can enjoy this bicycling adventure.

Some people may think they need to go to a gym and lift weights as a method for building and maintaining muscle strength, but there are endless activities that can build or maintain muscle strength. One activity is gardening. Gardening is less expensive than joining a gym and the results are both physically and financially rewarding. Raking, shoveling and bending down to plant seeds and plants and pull weeds is much more creative than lifting or curling a metal weight. Harvesting the vegetables and fruits and then being able to eat them is a double bonus!

Collecting maple sap to make maple sugar is another springtime activity. Carrying gallons of sap to the boiler is no easy task! It takes a while to collect enough sap to boil down to make one gallon of syrup. Perhaps you could plan a neighborhood activity next season if you do not have enough maple trees on your property? The Maple Syrup Assocaition provides information on how to make maple syrup at home and what supplies are needed.

Another springtime favorite activity is flying kites. There are many different kites these days—single line, dual line, quad line, diamond shape, delta, parafoil and cellular too. Kite flying requires some physical activity especially if one chooses a stunt kite with dual lines! The dual line kites require some arm and leg motion and strength to keep them in flight. To see the variety of kites available, you can attend The Great Lakes Kite Festival which is scheduled for May 20-22, 2012 in Grand Haven, Mich. on the shore of Lake Michigan.

There are numerous types of physical activities you can do to keep active. If none of these interest you, there is always spring cleaning your house. Washing walls and ceilings will work those muscles. Some other websites that can help give you some ideas to get you moving are the Pure Michigan or NFL’s Play 60 websites.

The goal is to find something that will motivate and interest you enough to make a lifestyle change that involves 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Move into action and motivate your family and friends to move with you! Get out there and enjoy spring!

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