7 Ways to Be Active This Spring

With spring right around the corner and longer days, it’s almost time to break out your shorts and get moving again. Whether it’s planting a garden, going for a run, or taking a walk around your neighborhood, there are plenty of activities to keep you moving and active outside this spring.

The Department of Health and Human Services defines physical activity as “actions that involve movement of the body and use energy”. Remember, getting any type of physical activity is always better than none. The Department of Health and Human Services notes that like healthy eating, physical activity is important for health and well being, as physical activity:

  • Increases energy
  • Improves sleep
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Strengthens bones
  • Improves immunity
  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Relieves anxiety and depression
  • Reduces risk of chronic diseases

The benefits of being outside does not stop with the benefits listed above. Being physically active outside in the spring in Maine however helps you make vitamin D. Vitamin D can be found in foods such as fish and fortified foods, but it can also be created by our body from direct sunlight on our skin.  It is estimated that almost half of U.S. adults are deficient in vitamin D.  By spending more time in the sunlight during the spring, your body is able to create more vitamin D, which helps our bodies function properly.


No matter what you like, there are many ways to be active outdoors.  The Department of Health and Human Services provides weekly guidelines for physical activity (which can be found in the table below):

Examples of Moderate & Vigorous-Intensity Physical Activity

Moderate Physical Activity

2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week


30 minutes every day for at least five days a week

Vigorous-Intensity Physical Activity

1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week


15 minutes every day for at least five days a week

Walking quickly

Jogging or running


Swimming laps

Pushing a lawn mower

Riding a bike on hills

Water aerobics

Playing basketball

Riding a bike on level ground

Playing soccer


For more examples of moderate and vigorous intensity physical activities, visit the General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity chart from the CDC.

Finding the motivation or drive to be active again can especially be tough after a long winter of being cooped up inside.  Below are a few tips to get yourself moving this spring:

  1. Reflect on the “why.”  Why do you want to be active this spring?  To improve your health? To have more energy? To lose weight? Discovering your “why” will motivate you to keep going and to set goals.
  2. Set reasonable goals.  It’s OK to start small.  At first, it may be difficult to stay active for longer periods of time, so gradually increasing the time, frequency, and intensity of your physical activity is key to meeting your goals..
  3. Schedule your activities around your energy levels. If late afternoons work better for you, then schedule your activity for late afternoons. If you have more energy in the mornings, schedule your activity then.
  4. Team up! Reach out to friends and family who are interested in being active  with you. Having someone to be physically active with can keep you more accountable and to stay motivated.
  5. Find time throughout the day to get outside and be active.  Try leaving your computer or phone during lunch breaks to go outside for a walk. Try walking more, instead of driving. Park further away from destinations to make time for more walking.
  6. Check out local parks and trails around you with the Trail Activities: Bureau of Parks and Lands.
  7. Lastly, before beginning any exercise plan, it is important that you check with your health care provider to make sure the goals you set are okay for you.


by Alex Bosse, Nutrition Education Professional