Three EcoAdventures activities offer options to traditional types of outdoor exercise.
Most of us associate fitness with routine — the same yoga poses, the same amount of time on the cardio machine, the same weight-lifting exercises. And in fact, the monotony is exactly what can make it hard to regularly exercise.
But you can break up the routine at Miami-Dade Parks with three great options: kayaking, biking or hiking. All burn calories, work key muscle groups and offer an added bonus you can’t get at the gym: fresh air. As we pointed out earlier, outdoor exercise offers a range of benefits beyond the burning of calories, including essential vitamin D, easing stress and helping with sleep.
One great way to try these three fresh-air fitness options is through the Miami-Dade Parks EcoAdventures program. Here’s a rundown of the options.
Get Fit by Floating
Routinely kayaking the beautiful Biscayne Bay on Key Biscayne and the different blue way systems within Miami-Dade County Parks, makes it easy to enjoy a relaxing kayak ad- venture and maintain a cardiovascular workout. Miami Eco- Adventures treks through six of the most unique systems, including one of two fossilized reefs in the world.
During the Sunset or Sunrise Kayak Adventure tours, you get to experience some of the many ecological benefits from kayaking, including some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, so don’t forget your waterproof camera. The mental benefits include learning determination, how to adapt to your surroundings and mental fitness. The physical benefits include building endurance and increasing muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest, from moving the paddle.
Ride Out Your Workout
Biking on the Crandon Beach boardwalk or within Crandon Tropical Gardens lets you enjoy the pine rock land and hard wood hammocks; these are two very different ecosystems you can explore. In addition, you can glide through the protected mangroves on the Key Biscayne Bike Adventure tour or through the Everglades via the Everglades Pineland Bike and Hike tour. The physical benefits of cycling, include increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved joint mobility, de- creased stress levels, improved posture, and coordination.
Walk It Off
Hiking is another great way to stay fit, while enjoying a wide variety of natural settings throughout Miami-Dade Parks, including protected mangroves, pinelands, hardwood coastal hammock and tropical gardens. Along the way, it’s likely you’ll spot lots of wildlife, such as raccoons, birds, snakes, butterflies, rabbits — and maybe even crocodiles. There’s no loud equipment with hiking, making it less likely you’ll spook the local fauna. Of course, exercise caution and watch out for venomous snakes and spiders as you walk through different areas. Hiking can be a lot more fun than a treadmill and it offers a lot more to look at than whatever’s on the gym TV or the time log on the machine. More importantly, hiking can help improve your blood pressure and cardiovascular health, while strengthening core muscles, lower legs and glutes.
So consider taking a break from hot yoga or that brutal CrossFit class, and trying some EcoAdventures instead. Take a bike ride, hike or kayak throughout Miami-Dade Parks and spend time doing something you enjoy in the great outdoors while reaping the physiological and health benefits of your workout.
Click here to learn more and book any of the adventures described here.
Above content provided by Parks-Foundation of Miami-Dade and Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation