Spring is in the air so time to put some in your step

SPRING is just around the corner.

The prospect of getting outside for some fresh air is an exciting one.

For some, winter is an excuse to exercise less while for others it’s sticking to the gym.

But with the weather brightening up, now is the time to start sampling the great outdoors again.

Research shows that exercising in the fresh air improves feelings of revitalisation and increases energy levels whilst decreasing tension and stress.

The outdoors also provides you with other health benefits such as topping up your vitamin D levels from the sunshine.

Step out for some heart-healthy exercise with these tips from the charity Heart Research UK:

l Don’t spend hours in the gym; take your workout to the park instead. Make use of the grassed areas and pathways to work up a sweat;

l Why not take a brisk walk or go for a jog in the park and enjoy the sights of the shrubs, trees and flower beds whilst listening to the birds sing. This will help relieve stress and clear your mind;

l Now that it’s getting lighter in the mornings why not walk or cycle to work, you will feel full of energy and in a better mood for the day ahead;

l Make a point of not taking the car on journeys of less than a mile by leaving the car at home if you need to go to the local shop. Adults should get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week, and a brisk walk to the shop and back will help you meet this recommendation;

l Get the whole family outdoors, go for a walk or a bike ride together and discover your local countryside. If you live in the city, pack up the car with a picnic and your walking boots and find somewhere new to explore at the weekend;

l Gardening is a relaxing hobby and a great way of getting some fresh air if you prefer to stick around the home. You can also take advantage of increasing your heart rate al fresco by washing the car or cleaning the outside windows.

For more information, contact (0113) 234 7474 or email lifestyle@heartresearch.org.uk