Summer Fitness & Fun in the 941

Summer fitness can sometimes be a struggle with work schedules, vacations, daycare or the lack thereof, and not to mention the heat and humidity in the 941 area code. Fortunately there are quite a few family oriented fitness activities from which to choose and literally something for everyone, from kids’ races on the beach to camps of all types.

The kids’ summer beach runs are presented by Sarasota County Parks and Recreation and New Balance Sarasota with support from the Manasota Track Club. These weekly races are held June 9 to August 11, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. According to Tonya Getzen Gowan, Sales Relations at New Balance Sarasota and Fleet Feet Sports Sarasota, “the runs are offered at two locations for your convenience, Siesta Beach Pavilion, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key on Tuesdays and Brohard Beach, 1600 Harbor Drive, Venice on Wednesdays. The beach runs are one mile in length and are free. If kids register for $1.00 and complete four runs, they will receive a free T-shirt from Sarasota County Parks and Recreation and a 50% discount shoe voucher for a pair of kids’ shoes from New Balance. The runs can be completed all at one location or mix it up and visit both beaches. All runners win a ribbon and ice pop each time they run!”

After the ice pops are all handed out, the adults line up at 7:00 p.m. on Siesta Key for a free race of a different distance and theme each week. With names like the Wall Run, Pace and Race, Chick Chaser 5K, Beauty and Beast, and Adventure Run, these sandy races provide fun, fitness, and competition for all ages. “This is the 8th year that New Balance Sarasota is a proud sponsor of these fun, easy runs as it’s a great way to encourage children to exercise, making it a lifestyle choice for years to come. The whole family is also welcomed to join and run or walk on our beautiful beaches featuring the ‘world’s finest, whitest sand’. All truly ideal for a comfortable run and keeping with the New Balance philosophy for exercise and being fit,” said Molly Jackson, co-owner New Balance Sarasota.

While the beach runs cover a wide range of ages and abilities, there are plenty of opportunities this summer to focus on a single interest like art, circus, animals, community service, fitness, science, water sports, and camping, or improve skills in individual or team sports. Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department and Sarasota Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources both offer all types of summer camps from specific to general, including day long camps where kids participate in social activities, team sports, health and wellness, and arts and crafts as well as specialized mini camps that last just a few hours each day focusing on specific sport skills and fitness like football, volleyball, and running camp. Many of the area high schools provide sport specific camps as well. Southwest Florida is fortunate to be graced with many beautiful parks that host these camps. Supporting these parks through their camps helps build awareness and appreciation of Florida parks and recreation. It starts in parks.

Manatee County: http://www.mymanatee.org/home/government/departments/parks-and-recreation/Camp-Programs/summer-blast-camp.html
Sarasota County: https://www.scgov.net/parks/Documents/2015%20Summer%20Camp%20Guide.pdf

No matter what the age, ability, or interest, Manatee and Sarasota Counties definitely have it covered this summer. So get out there and learn a new skill, get fit with your family, be social, help a cat get adopted, improve your running form, explore nature, improve your game, build a rocket, learn the fundamentals, discover your inner artist, improve your speed and agility, and serve your community.