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Active New Year

Six Things to Do to Get Active in the New Year – Without Visiting a Gym!

| Angela Naff |

The New Year is upon us, along with its resolutions, new goals, and fresh perspectives. If 2020 saw you a lot less active and maybe staying inside for fear of a pandemic threat – let 2021 be the year you resolve to get your activity level rebounding. Here are some great activities and events you can do right here on the Suncoast without ever setting foot inside a gym. Lucky for us, we live in a part of the country where temperate climates allow us to get out and about even in the middle of winter – so let’s all get moving with these ideas.

Challenge a Friend

If you received a new device to help track steps, heart monitoring, or the like this year – or maybe already have one, built-in challenges are now common with these devices. You can join a group of people you might never meet to compete for steps, minutes active weekly and other health-benefiting fitness opportunities. Or better yet, challenge a friend that also might be struggling to get out and stay active. Competition, accountability for goals, and great conversation starters can be had when you all work toward a common goal.

Join in an Event for a Cause

5K Active

If getting yourself motivated is tough, join a 1 mile, 5K, or longer event for a cause. This amazing fundraising opportunity for many organizations can allow the walking/running participants to get involved and stay active at the same time. There are so many amazing events coming up here in our communities, such as the Andrew Monroe Memorial Scholarship 5K, or maybe the Bridge-A-Life superHero 1M, 5K at Nathan Benderson benefiting foster care services. If you aren’t a runner – no worries, get out and walk at whatever pace you are comfortable in these amazing outdoor opportunities while helping raise money for a good cause.

Make a Trail Bucket List

Whether you are looking for amazing walks, great cycling, or just someplace to have the kids out – the Suncoast has amazing trails and places to explore. Spend some time online at websites such as AllTrails to make a list of every trail you want to visit. While traveling wide right now out of state or country might not be advisable yet, you can find new places to explore and stay active right here in your backyard. We highly recommend taking a camera along to document all the trails you can visit while on your mission to more activity in 2021.

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Garden Active

Plan a day to stop and smell the flowers while walking and exploring the Botanical Gardens around the beautiful Suncoast. In Sarasota County, we have The Sarasota Botanical Gardens, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and Sarasota Succulent Society to help give us a fragrant visual day of sightseeing. And if in Bradenton, don’t forget Palma Sola Botanical Park, to name a few of the amazing offerings in this area. Whether you are a connoisseur, a newbie, or just seeking inspiration, these gardens should be part of your new year activity planning.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Virtual scavenger hunts are versatile and as endless in possible targets you seek as your imagination. There is a great list of ideas to get you started on this website. Whether for a team building, to stay active, or maybe connect with family you cannot travel to see – these virtual site seeing games, object finding, and other variations of scavenger hunts are an enticing option to get you outside, around town, and best of all active!

Walk Your Furry Friends

Walk Active

Many of us have a furry friend or two that loves to be outside. This is for those pet families out there the best exercise, but you need to get out and do it. Remember, if you have a singular path you take day over day, change it up slightly. Stretch that one block circle to two blocks, or maybe go crazy and walk in a new direction. Not only may you see some new neighbors you haven’t waved to before, but you feel energized and trying something new – your pets will thank you!

Amazing options abound for us to get out, stay active, and start this new year off on the right foot. Whether we plan a day on the trails, out smelling the flowers of local botanical gardens, or simply walking for a good cause – we all can get moving in 2021. Take off a bit of that weight of 2020, lighten the mood with fresh air or spark our imagination with new sites around town. Happy moving – let’s see what we can accomplish in this New Year!

Photos courtesy of

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