This summer, as you're out enjoying the beautiful weather, don't forget about exercising.

It might be the last thing you're thinking about as the weather turns warmer — most people would rather hang out at the beach or enjoy the company of friends and family — but it's so important.

One of the most enjoyable ways you can exercise this summer is by going for a run outside. And the best time to do it is in the morning. Doing so will be sure you beat the heat — plus you'll be done early and have the rest of your day to enjoy those other fun things. 

The best part about running in the summer is it's good for the whole family. Running helps keep you in shape and makes for a good bonding experience if you run with family and friends. Summer running is also particularly helpful for teens who are planning to take part on their school cross country teams in the fall.

Another great reason to get out and run this summer is that it's great for your mental health. Running can boost confidence and helps produce endorphins, which can help relieve stress. Plus, you'll get some great one-on-one time out in nature. 

Families who are wanting to run together can do so on their own at one of Omaha's many great trails, or participate in local fun runs. Some people might not think the words "fun" and "run" belong together, but there are reasons you should enter an event like this. Doing so can be the kick start you or your youth need to motivate yourself toward a personal goal. 

The runs vary in length, but most are 10K, 5K or 3K. Some have obstacles courses or other fun elements to them, including bubbles or color spray. All ages and fitness levels are welcome. But no matter what, you'll have fun with family and friends and get some good exercise in. It's a win-win! To see a list of upcoming fun run races, visit the Omaha Running Club website.

Whether you're looking for a chance to reach a fitness goal, teach your children a healthy habit or enjoying time with friends and family this summer, get out and run!

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Angee (Henry) Nott is a former University of Nebraska track athlete who was a three-time Big 12 champion and a 10-time All-American. She was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. She has coached track and cross country at Boys Town High School since 2004, where she is also an English teacher. She continues to empower her students to reach their potential on the track and in the classroom.

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