The fall and winter months in Central Florida bring about some beautiful weather — and opportunities to take a fitness routine outdoors. We consulted with a local expert on ways to get outside and bring your family along for the fun.
WINTER GARDEN While the weather outside might be frightful in other parts of the country during the winter months, it is often delightful here in Central Florida in December and into the new year.
Accordingly, this time of year is a favorite of locals to either start out on or ramp up a fitness routine that involves begin outdoors.
Cory Warren, an Ironman triathlete and author of the popular “Lean Green Dad” nutritional blog, said whether it be through running, cycling or simply spending time in the park with your family, getting outside has outsized added value.
“Having a gym membership is a great thing,” Warren said. “But being outside, exposed to the air and fresh oxygen, and being able to share special time with your family is equally as important. … It allows you to expand your family love and also your gym and fitness love at the same time.”
Warren, his wife and three children have a couple “go-tos” to get out of the house.
“Our favorite place is the West Orange Trail to ride bikes together,” he said. “We also love Turkey Lake Park. Totally different types of parks, but each wonderful.”
Additionally, some parks or trails have fitness stations with challenges like pull-ups and sit-ups to complete along the way. Such a park includes the trail in Winter Garden across the street from Dillard Street Elementary School.
As for what to do at your own family’s park of choice?
Keep it simple, Warren said.
“Just start with a blanket, make yourself a healthy meal and spend time together,” Warren said.
“Bring a frisbee, bring a soccer ball — it doesn’t matter what you do.”
After all, for adults who spend plenty of time behind a desk most days, keeping pace with kids and teens can be a fitness challenge unto itself.
“They play at such a high level, that if you can get out there and play with your kids, you’re going to be set,” Waren said. “If I’m physically fit enough to play with my kids, I’m going to be set.”
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].