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Here's to You: As temps get warmer, head for outdoors

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Have you been to a park lately? If the answer is no, then what are you waiting for? Let's get outside and explore the treasure chest of exercise that awaits you in the park as the weather gets warmer and warmer now that spring has finally arrived.

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The park is a relaxed atmosphere where all are invited, so grab your mitt and join a softball game. Or bring a friend and a Frisbee and have some fun in the sun. Get a few friends together and start a pick-up game on the court. Try tennis or horseshoes -- or explore your volleyball skills in the sand.

Maybe team sports aren't your thing. Maybe you prefer your time outside to be all your own. So take a hike, ride your bike or go inline skating along the trail. Go for a long walk -- maybe even a run. Spending time outside where you can think about all that is on your mind is a great thing to do -- it's amazing what green grass, lush trees and beautiful landscape can solve.

Try the playground equipment, too. That's right -- get on the swings, climb the jungle gym and jump around. Play like a kid and feel like a kid. There are many websites where you can explore playground workouts and interval training to do while using playground equipment.

Take a hike. Get out in nature and explore the winding paths, the tall trees, the scenic world below the treetops. Or step it up and try a cross-country run over logs and under branches. Take a scenic route along the lake and test your balance and coordination with inline skating or even skateboarding.

If water is more your speed, swimming is a great low-impact cardio workout. Or get on the water and try kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding. Get on the water.

Get out into the parks this spring and summer and open the treasure chest of exercise in a park near you. Also check out all that the Parks and Recreation Department has going on this summer and take an active role in having a treasure of your own.

Samantha Parker is events coordinator for the Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department.

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