Here in the UK we really do have to make the most of those warmer days, and as we move into May we're slowly starting to enjoy what spring has to offer. With the evenings getting lighter and the temperatures rising, we're seeing more and more opportunities to get active outdoors. But of course, today's internet-powered age risks the birth of an 'indoor' culture, and sometimes a little motivation to shake things up a bit can go a long way!

Making a conscious effort to excercise has huge benefits for our physical and mental health. No matter who we are or what our experience, the positive effects are there for our taking. One the best ways to spark some inspiration is to take part in an organised fundraising event. In recent years the popularity of these events has soared, and whether you're a self-confessed couch potato or a veteran triathlete there will be an event for you. It may be a cliche, but setting a personal fitness goal, and gaining the inspiration to achieve it can be life changing for some. There's also the opportunity to raise money for a cause that's important to us, and doing so makes the whole process more rewarding. Not to mention the huge benefits charities can receive from our efforts!

As the fundraising events calendar picks up, we've picked out a few exciting favourites to suit different tastes. We've included events suitable for all, in different locations around the UK, but for more comprehensive event listings follow the links at the bottom of this article.

Featured Event

Ride Staffs Cycling Festival 2017

Date: 2nd July

Distance: 38-111k

Ride Staffs is the brainchild of Founder Paul Rowlands, who as a young boy longed to see a pro cycling race in his staffordshire town. Now Ride Staffs organises professional races, and well as sportives for the whole family, which embrace the county's excellent riding routes and local treasures.

This July sees the return of Ride Staffs Cycling Festival, which puts emphasis on friendly atmosphere, and excellent locally sourced food and drink for visitors and riders (partnering with Stafforshire's own Lymestone Brewery and Has Bean Coffee roasters). Every rider receives a free beer at the finish line and of course the Ride Staff annual collectible snood! This year the event starts and finishes at the stunning Chillington hall, and includes a private gravel road finale.

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Walkers and Joggers

Get happy on the most colourful day of the year!

Event: Manchester Colour Run - Etihad Campus

Date: 1st July

Distance: 10k

This organised running event has become somewhat iconic. Runners don white t-shirts and are covered in a rainbow of powdered paint as they complete the course. It's like being in another world! This is a high energy event, without the pressure to go at a specific speed. Walkers, runners and children are all welcome. The focus is on great vibes and pumping tunes and it's an event that anyone can participate in. Other locations and dates are also available.

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Strut your stuff around Richmond Park

Event: The Fix Events - Run Richmond Park

Date: 17th June (more locations/dates available)

Distance: 5k or 10k

If the thought of running just scares you, start with a very manageable 5k around what is arguably the most beautiful open space in London. This is a popular event with lots of participants. If you're lucky you'll get some close up views of the herds of red and fallow deer that call the park home. For those looking to go further, there's a 10k option too.

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Rugged beauty and epic scenery, without the distance

Event: Trail Events - Glencoe

Date: 26th August

Distance: 10-65k

If you've done a 10k before and you found the distance managable, why not take it to the mountains? This spectacular area is mostly undisturbed, and offers some of the best views in the UK. The event includes longer distances, but the 10K course is suitable for almost anyone willing to train for it. You can even bring your dog to jog along with you!

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Runners

It's man vs machine in this 10k with a twist

Event: Beat the Boat 10k - Windsor

Date: 25th June

Distance: 10k

Under the beautiful backdrop of Windsor castle, take part in a 10k where your friends and family race you by boat! Three boat loads of spectators will set off on the riverside trail at the same time as runners. This is a unique event where the you can run WITH the crowds, rather than past them.

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Trail blazing on a Welsh country estate

Event: Penbedw Estate - North Wales

Date: 9th July

Distance: 10k and half marathon

Battle through forest trails, fields, footpaths and moorlands in this spectacular welsh estate not normally accessible to runners. This is a beautiful route with an impressive elevation profile. There is also a children's race on the day for budding trail runners.

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Looking to push yourself?

Whether you're you prefer pedalling, plodding, or gliding through the water, rat race offer a myriad of fantastic events from ultramarthons in the lake district, to cross country mountain bike routes. Take a look.

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Cyclists

Historic coastal routes exploited by smugglers of the old

Event: The Smuggler - North Devon

Date: 4th June

Distance: 32-128k

This cycle sportive has distances to suit everyone, from closet leg shavers to first time sportive riders. The routes explore some of the lesser known lanes of the area, and offer a tranquil setting.

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Staffordshire, Derbyshire and the Peaks

Event: Bostin Peaks Sportive

Date: 11th June

Distance: 60-150k

This picturesque route was featured in the Channel 5 program Tour de Celeb, and the longer routes venture high into the peak district for those looking for a serious challenge.

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Classic climbs of the South Downs

Event: Wiggle Magnificat

Date: 9th July

Distance: 48-200k

In its 11th year, the Magnificat has become one for the calendar. A popular and extremely well run event, the Wiggle sponsored sportive takes much of the hassle away, leaving riders to concentrate on the cycling! You can download your chosen route as a GPX file, or straight to your Garmin.

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Swimming & triathlon

Swim with the current on the river Dee

Event: Dee Mile - Chester

Date: 5th Aug

Distance: 1-2k

A rather historic river swim, which has been a tradition for almost 100 years. Participants race downstream from the Red House pub to the suspension bridge around a mile away. The race retains its ancient Dee Mile Champion title for the fastest swimmer to live within five miles of The Cross and finish the race without a wetsuit on. Other recognitions are awarded!

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Conquer the main body of Rutland Water

Event: SwimRutland

Date: 13th Aug

Distance: .5-8k

A swim that has been a huge success since its recent conception in 2015. The SwimRutland welcomes around 200 swimmers to tackle an iconic landmark which is now a buzzing nature reserve. The event is an excellent option for a first open water swimming race. Swimmers must wear swim floats, and kayakers are on hand for safety.

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Take on the sea and the South Downs all in one race

Event: Eastborne Triathlon

Date: 3rd June

Distance: .6k swim, 20k cycle, 5k run

An extremely popular triathlon, which is a good distance for beginners. The swim is 600 meters off the coast, and the cycle route includes the infamous but beautiful Beach Head climb. the race is even a choice for some elite triathletes, including Sam Wade, who will be competing this year.

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Best beginner triathlon

Event: Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon

Distance: Varies

Date: 3rd-4th June

Join over 7000 triathletes at a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a truly stunning setting for a triathlon, and is recommended by many as an excellent option for beginners. Its also a stop for many professionals, and is known for its unrivalled atmosphere.

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If you're looking for more events, take a look at these links:

Find UK walking and hiking events near your area

Comprehensive list of UK running events

Official event list of the British Cycling Federation

21 Must-Do UK Triathlons