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Celebrate Health & Fitness With Your Family

The last Saturday of September each year is Family Health & Fitness Day, so this is an appropriate time to focus on how you can involve your entire family in taking on new habits that will contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Incorporating exercise and a healthy diet into your family’s routine is great for team building and entertainment. It really need not be a bothersome chore; there are sundry ways to introduce your loved ones to some good old exercise mixed with fun for all ages. Let’s go over a few options that are particularly useful to those of us living here in Bradenton and Sarasota.

Parents can lead by example by taking part in physical activities with their kids. Passing down habits helps ensure that children grow up fostering healthy practices that will increase their quality of life as well as that of their own future children. One way to start encouraging more active time is by limiting screen time. You can determine how much time you or your family members spend using apple or android devices to avoid having valuable activity time being lost to sedentary scrolling.

Our part of Florida is packed with opportunities to engage in light exercise as a family. One such example is a game you may not have heard of before–disc golf. No, it has nothing to do with regular golf courses or clubs. It’s entirely free except for the one time purchase of a disc, more commonly known as a frisbee. Apart from playing catch by throwing the disc back and forth amongst yourselves at home, you can also visit our many freely accessible parks that have disc golf baskets installed to play a proper game of disc golf. A couple of the more notable ones are Payne Park in Sarasota and GT Bray Park in Bradenton.

If throwing and walking isn’t your idea of fun, consider the low-impact and generally joint-friendly pastime of bike riding. The best thing about bike riding with the family is that each can choose their own level of intensity. If the grandparents want to keep a light, leisurely pace, the grandchildren can still steer circles or ride back & forth quickly without getting out of sight of their guardians. Again, our community is superb for this because we don’t have an abundance of difficult hills, but we do have a plethora of level, paved, well-maintained bicycle paths throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Nathan Benderson Park has a 3.5 mile loop that’s considered an easy route to complete in about an hour. Enjoy the seaside by riding the 1.5 mile multi-purpose trail at Coquina Gulfside Trail at the southern end of Anna Maria Island. They have bike racks so you can lock them up and enjoy the rest of the facilities between rides.

You don’t even need a gym membership to utilize basic fitness equipment. Bennett Park in Bradenton, and Gillespie Park and Ernest “Doc” and Eloise Werlin Park in Sarasota all have outdoor fitness centers. Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex also has pools for aquatic exercise and a dog park if you want to involve the furrier members of your family in your healthy outings.

Sometimes pain from injuries or arthritis leaves you feeling like you can’t enjoy the kinds of things we’ve discussed above. The Licensed Physical Therapy Doctors and Assistants at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida are experts in helping you move without pain, and they accomplish this without the use of prescription opioid drugs or surgery. Find out how we can help you with back or joint pain, sciatica, or any other orthopedic limitation or difficulty by scheduling an appointment. We can be reached at (941) 264-1414, email, or by sending us a message.