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    Six Budget-Friendly Outdoor Activities for Spring

    With winter behind you and hot, humid summer months coming soon, now is the perfect time to go outside, breathe in some fresh air and reconnect with nature. Whether you're planning budget-friendly outdoor activities for yourself, a group of friends or the whole family, the following are six fun, healthy ways to enjoy the great outdoors:

    outdoor activities

    If you are looking for some excuses to get out of the house, there are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from that will make you feel healthier and won't break the bank.

    1. Have a Picnic in the Park
      Spending time in nature increases energy levels, decreases stress and helps the body fight disease, according to research from the University of Rochester. Take a picnic lunch to your favorite local park, fly kites, go for a nature walk and collect interesting flowers, leaves or rocks. Then, use your treasures to liven up your home, or save them for rainy-day craft projects.
    2. Visit a Local Farmers Market or Farm
      You can support local farmers while buying fresh fruits and vegetables, usually for less than what you would pay at a grocery store. Take the kids along and show them how to select ripe tomatoes or melons. Teaching children about the importance of balanced nutrition can set them up for a lifetime of healthier eating habits.
    3. Plant a Vegetable Garden
      If you have a green thumb, put it to good use and grow an assortment of your favorite fruits, vegetables and herbs. Not only will this keep your kitchen stocked with fresh foods, but it will also improve your mood. Gardening reduces stress, improves focus and even lessens symptoms of depression, according to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
    4. Go Jogging or Ride a Bike
      If you're tired of staring at gym walls, get your cardio outdoors instead. Several studies have shown that people who exercise in natural environments experience greater feelings of revitalization; decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression; and higher energy levels than those who work out indoors. They are also more likely to repeat the activity.
    5. Spend the Night Outside
      Whether you're planning a romantic evening or just want to get the kids out of the house, nothing beats sleeping under the stars. You don't have to go far. Visit a local park with campgrounds or pitch a tent in the yard. Build a fire, makes s'mores, tell ghost stories and look for shooting stars.
    6. Join an Intramural Team or Sports Club
      Socialize with friends, make new connections, indulge your competitive spirit and get some exercise by joining an organized sports team. Not only are you more likely to participate in physical activities if other people are counting on you to show up, but the networking opportunities can also boost your career's health.

    If you are looking for some excuses to get out of the house, there are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from that will make you feel healthier and won't break the bank.

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