Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts your week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

Moving our bodies is a wonderful way to practice self-care, boost our mood, alleviate anxiety, feel empowered and just have fun. (For me, exercise is non-negotiable.)

The important thing is to find movement that you enjoy. And keep it flexible. Moving your body is like attending to any other need you have: It takes listening to your body and honing in on how you feel.

Some days you might want something challenging and fast-paced. Other days, you might want something slow and soothing.

With temperatures rising, you also might want to take your movement outdoors. In fact, some research has found that moving your body in natural surroundings can be especially beneficial.

If it’s been a long time since you’ve used movement purely for pleasure (using it instead as a punishment for calories consumed or a weight-loss tool in general), think about what you loved to do as a child.

What were your favorite ways to move your body, which felt playful and fun? What just sounds like fun to you? What kinds of activities do you get lost in?

It’s also helpful to focus on what your body can do, and appreciate its amazing abilities. Often we beat ourselves up if we can’t move a certain way or run fast enough or finish an exercise (not so great for the body image).

But when you consider all the brain and muscle power that goes into just walking, you realize what a miracle movement truly is.

Here are some suggestions for moving your body and enjoying the great outdoors this spring:

  • Biking
  • Rollerblading
  • Walking
  • Hula-hooping
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Badminton
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Frisbee
  • Running
  • Golf
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai chi
  • Hiking
  • Stretching
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Paddle-board
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Skateboarding
  • Volleyball
  • Gardening

If you have a few favorites, you can vary your routine by discovering new trails, parks and other venues to enjoy your activities. For instance, you can practice Pilates in the park or yoga at the beach.

Again, the key is to enjoy yourself and focus on what your body can do.

What are your favorite outdoor activities to do in the springtime?