The following post was written by Kim Krueger, who blogs at Fittin' Pretty and is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who's been looking outside lately and thinking, "FINALLY!" Winters are always brutal where I live, but this one was a real doozy. Honestly, I don't think I've ever been so excited to see grass again. Springtime begs for outdoor fitness. Whether you're heading out for a run or hike or just taking your bodyweight circuit to the backyard, working out in the great outdoors is as good for the soul as it is for the body. So ditch the gym, and treat yourself to a little fresh air along with those endorphins! When you do, you might need a little extra gear. Here are my top suggestions for what to bring to keep outdoor fitness safe, comfortable, and completely awesome.

  1. Layers: Spring weather can be a little hard to predict, especially when you're dressing for new temps. The general rule of thumb is to dress for 15 to 20 degrees warmer than it is. I'm obsessed with Albion Fit's Sweet Stripe Full Zip and Lululemon's Spring Forward Jacket.
  2. Gear-holding clothing: It's tempting to run out the door empty-handed rather than weighing yourself down with bulky items like your phone. But it's a bad idea to get too far from home without a way to call for help if you need it (knock on wood). You also want to find a way to stash your keys, money, and possibly some fuel. Luckily, you can find lots of fit gear with hidden pockets these days. This tank from Gracie's Gear has a large pocket on the chest for electronics, and this Skirt Sport Running Skirt boasts five sneaky pockets!
  3. Fuel to go: You might find that your body needs a little extra fuel to work out outside instead of inside a variable-controlled gym, especially if you're not used to it. I love Clif Shot Bloks — when I trained for a marathon, I had Amazon automatically ship me a box every month.
  4. Good tunes and earbuds that actually stay in: Spring is a perfect time to refresh your playlists. I put together this list last Spring, but I still love every single song on it! I'm all about listening to music while running, but there's nothing more frustrating than fumbling with loose earbuds while trying not to trip. I personally prefer buds with loops that go over the ear, like these, but take the time to find what works best for you. (Yurbuds Performance Earphones even have a twist lock to ensure they don't move!)
  5. A water carrier: Being outside takes hydration needs to a whole new level. There are plenty of different kinds of water carriers that could work for you, depending on what you're doing and for how long. I love my handheld water bottle for short runs and my three-bottle water belt for long runs.

BONUS: Creativity! The outdoors are one big gym if you know how to use it. Try some pull-ups on a (sturdy) tree branch, push-ups on a park bench, or bleacher step runs at the local high school. Playground equipment also offers endless options for fitness! (Wouldn't it be cool if your local park had these?) The gym is out, and the outdoors are in! Enjoy!