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Getting Healthy in the Great Outdoors  

July 2024 is National Park and Recreation Month. This month celebrates the many ways parks and the professionals who service them provide safe and accessible spaces that foster a sense of “Where You Belong”–the theme of this year’s observance. Florida is of course renowned for its plethora of places in which you can enjoy the great outdoors, so those of us here in Manatee and Sarasota counties have an abundance of options from which to choose. Let’s go over a selection of local parks and activities where you can focus on having fun and getting healthy in the great outdoors.

  1. Myakka River State Park One of Florida’s oldest and largest state parks, Myakka River State Park offers a diverse range of activities, including hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. The park’s scenic trails cater to all fitness levels, providing a chance to reconnect with nature while getting a good workout.
  2. Robinson Preserve Located in Bradenton, this 682-acre coastal preserve features walking and biking trails, kayak launches, and observation towers. The preserve’s diverse habitats, from mangroves to salt marshes, make it a perfect spot for bird watching and exploring the rich local wildlife.
  3. Oscar Scherer State Park Nestled between Sarasota and Venice, Oscar Scherer State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With more than 15 miles of trails, the park is ideal for hiking, biking, and even geocaching. It also offers opportunities for fishing and paddling in the freshwater lake.
  4. Siesta Key Beach While primarily known for its stunning white sand beaches, Siesta Key also provides plenty of opportunities for active recreation. Beach volleyball, paddleboarding, and yoga on the beach are just a few activities that combine fitness with the beauty of the Gulf Coast.

Engaging in outdoor activities offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. Most of us are aware that regular physical activity helps to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and enhance flexibility, but additionally, being in nature has been shown to reduce stress, boost mood, and improve mental clarity. Sarasota and Manatee counties’ parks provide a perfect backdrop for these health-enhancing activities, so in this month of emphasis on parks and recreation give attention to putting some time into getting healthy in the great outdoors.

At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, we understand the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle. Our team of skilled physical therapists is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain your fitness goals. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, managing a chronic condition, or simply looking to improve your physical performance, we offer personalized treatment plans to suit your needs. Outdoor recreation certainly is a fantastic way to stay active, but it’s essential to do so safely and effectively. Our Physical Therapy Doctors and Assistants can provide guidance on proper techniques, stretches, and exercises to prevent injuries and enhance your outdoor activities. We can also help you develop a customized fitness plan that incorporates your favorite outdoor pursuits, ensuring you get the most out of your time in nature.

We look forward to meeting with you for a consultation, so call us at (941) 264-1414, email, or send us a message. Our non-surgical back and joint pain specialists are dedicated to helping you move without pain!