Tyra James is the owner of Weigh of Life, 160 Columbus Ave., a personal trainer and regular columnist for FIT magazine.
You've been indoors most of the winter, with your faithful treadmill and iPod for company. And the you hear it -- the siren call of warmer weather calling you outside. Be wise and heed the call. Pleasant temperatures and delightful surroundings of your interest can not only motivate you to exercise, but help you enjoy it much more.
What should you do once you get outdoors?
* Walking -- some may think that walking is too pedestrian, but actually it's one of the best lifetime sports. The trick is to incorporate walking into your daily life and break the time into several spurts. Consider walking your children to school or to the bus stop. Walk quickly while running errands at lunchtime or take a stroll after dinner each evening. Remember to have good athletic shoes.
Pros: Walking is good for bone health and builds cardio endurance. Almost everyone can do it, regardless of fitness level.
Cons: You may not lose weight as fast as with some other forms of cardio.
* Jogging -- is terrific for your heart and lungs, and it improves your stamina. If you're trying to lose weight, you are on the right track by jogging because it burns calories quickly. The key is top start slowly then increase your time or distance by no more than 10 percent each week. Remember to have good pair of running shoes, and for women, a quality sports bra.
Pros: Running is a great cardio exercise. Studies show that running may be as effective as medication for treating depression in some people.
Cons: Running can be hard on muscles and joints and can cause injuries, such as shin splints and tendentious.
* Swimming -- is a wonderful cardio conditioner that helps tone arms, legs and is easy on the joints. Swimming will increase your stamina, help fight off diabetes, high blood pressure, and relieves stress.
Pros: Most people already know how to swim, it's also fun and refreshing.
Cons: Not everyone has easy access to pools, lakes or the ocean.
* Cycling -- is an excellent cardio exercise. While biking you can explore the different neighborhoods, parks, paths and trails in your community. Cycling uses the quadriceps so its a good way to get strong legs. It's important to make sure your bike is fitted properly to your body, otherwise, you'll put to much stress on your back and knees.
Pros: Biking is fun and it works different muscles than walking and running.
Cons: Bikes are expensive and you'll have to strength train for optimum fitness.
Remember try to choose the activity you love the most so that you'll stay consistent, and have some fun with your outdoor exercise plan.