Mountain Biking in SpainWe all know that to live a long and vibrant life we need to exercise on a regular basis in order to keep a whole host of medical conditions at bay.

Fortunately, for those of us living in Spain, the weather provides us with the perfect year round opportunity to get outside and make full use of the environment we now call home.

No matter your age, there is a fantastic choice of activities that you can engage in that will not only keep you fit and healthy, but also give you the chance to meet other expats (and locals), which can sometimes be a challenge when settling in a new country.

Below you will find a list of just a handful of sporting activities that you may wish to try and some links to local groups and clubs up and down the country.

Nordic WalkingIf you're interested in a form of exercise that won't take its toll on your joints, and works well regardless of your current fitness level, you can't go far wrong with Nordic walking. You may not have heard of Nordic walking, but it is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to its suitability for all ages and the fact that it actually exercises your whole body, unlike ordinary walking for example.

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic walking originated among the community of cross-country skiers, who weren't getting the full body workout they needed once the snow had disappeared. They use walking poles that have been designed specifically to work the upper body by propelling you forward as you walk. This means you use both your bottom half and your top half as you walk, effectively and comfortably. The idea behind the poles, when used properly, is that they take the weight off your knees and lower body joints which has the advantage of making you feel lighter on your feet and capable of walking further.

running-in-the-heatYou may find it surprising, but many people are less keen on outdoor exercise during the summer than you would expect. If you're a runner for example, the heat and humidity affect your body rapidly, so that running your normal distance at your usual pace becomes a real challenge. Your body is having to work overtime to adapt to the conditions, and you may well struggle to hit your running goals. With this in mind, we've put together some useful tips that can help you adapt to the heat and run to the best of your ability.

1. The most obvious solution if you're struggling to run through the heat is to alter the time of your run. By running at cooler times of the day you'll manage to avoid the heat, while the air quality will be better. The down side is that you may encounter higher humidity. If you do have to run through the heat, adjust your route. Run in the shade or on the shadier side of the road. Choose a park, and avoid the road where possible, because asphalt and concrete tend to retain heat. Running in the morning can give you a boost that you'll enjoy throughout the day.