5 creative ways to take your exercise outdoors

The results of our recent poll on Shine showed the majority of you are raring to get outside. And who could blame you? The temperatures are sending the thermometer's mercury skywards and flowers and babies seem to be popping up everywhere. The great outdoors is a pleasant place to be right now. Inspired by what the majority of you are hankering for right now, here are five outside-the-box ways to take your movement outdoors.

Hiking, as most of us come to realize at one point or another, is just walking with a scenic overlook. And surprisingly, no matter where you live, there are a plenty of hikes to take you through meadows, woodlands, and by waterfalls. Who knew? LocalHikes.com is an incredibly comprehensive site with lots of comments and advice direct from hikers who've taken the suggested trails. AmericanTrails.org is a well-organized compendium showing trails where you can walk, run or ride your horse or mountain bike. TrailLink.org has info on more than 30,000 trails nationwide, and is synced with Google Maps and Google biking directions. Site users can also upload photos so you can get a preview of your potential trail destination.

Taking your sun salutations outside can energize your practice in a deep way. Imagine, if you will, a sun salutation where you actually salute the sun. Pretty coo, huh? Check Meetup.com for yoga groups that take their yoga to parks and green spaces in urban areas. Or take your personal practice to your backyard or Central Park with this outdoor yoga series you can do on your own.

You can always go for a round of laps at your local gym, but why not get a group of friends together and seek out one of 1,000 swimming holes in the US? You'll likely have to hike to get to your hidden spot which will make the eventual arrival at a cool, hidden spring all the more delightful. Check out SwimmingHoles.org to see what's in your area.

When was the last time you settled yourself into a swing and pumped your legs until you were reaching the sky? Go to the playground with your kids, and instead of watching from the park bench, join in. Chase them, push them in the swing, throw a frisbee, kick a soccer ball. Watch the way your children are naturally physical and present in their bodies and embrace the fun of being active. No kids? Get together a group of friends on Sunday afternoon for a game of catch.

Team sports
Joining an informal sports league is a really great way to be physical and social at the same time. Often, practice extends into getting coffee or just hanging out, which, if you're looking for companionship as well as exercise, is a perfect pairing. Your local YMCA, Craigslist.org and Meetup.com are all good places to check for groups playing everything from bocce to soccer to softball to horseshoes.

When you're in the mood for something more than an outdoor jog, what do you guys do to fuse the fabulous weather with your workout?

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