Written by: Paul Hodges, Assistant General Manager/ Sales Manager, O2 Fitness Cary
Summertime is in full effect! Like most of us, it is the best time to get back into our workout routines, but with more variety leading into the outdoors. Getting outside provides physical benefits, such as aerobic, cardiovascular and muscular fitness, as well as improved functioning of the immune system.
Activities such as biking, boating, or running also assist in bonding with like-minded people who enjoy outdoor activities and feeling an increased pride in your community as well.
Like most outdoor recreational activities, if also offers huge psychological benefits, including the prevention or reduction of stress; improved self-esteem, confidence and creativity; spiritual growth; and an increased sense of exhilaration, adventure and challenge from life. If you're looking for fun and free outdoor activities, the Raleigh/Durham area has plenty to keep you entertained.
5 Local Recreational Parks
Check out the following, local parks in the area to get out and enjoy some fresh air and plenty of physical activities to choose from!
Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary
Fred G. Bond Metro Park sits on 310 acres, and is one of the largest municipal parks in Wake County. Like an oasis in the midst of the city, the park design preserves the environment and offers opportunities for many types of recreation with over 4 miles of trails and several athletic fields.
Shelley Lake in North Raleigh
This small lake is circled by a two-mile trail for walking, running, and bike riding. There are several sports fields, a playground for children, exercise stations, picnic areas, and fishing spots. During the summer, you can also rent boats to take out on the lake. The paddle boats provide a great way for young children to being enjoying boating.
Lake Crabtree in Raleigh, Durham, and Morrisville
Similar in activities, Lake Crabtree on the borderline between Raleigh/Durham and Morrisville also provides small sailboats and canoes for outdoor explorers who love the open space for water adventures.
Cedar Hills in North Raleigh
Cedar Hills has several basketball and tennis courts which are free and open to the public. It also has a playground, picnic areas, and chess tables. A unique feature of the park is an 18-hole disc golf course. This disc golf course travels all around the park's woods, and covers interesting terrain such as a pond. It is by far the most fun disc golf course in Raleigh. The course is free to use, but you need to bring your own discs.
The Greenway System
There are many more parks aside from Bond Park, Shelly Lake and Cedar Hills. The Capital Area Greenway system helps connect them all together. The Greenway System, as it is often referred to, is a network of public open spaces and recreational trails which provides for activities such as walking, jogging, hiking, bird watching, nature study, fishing, picnicking and outdoor fun. The trails connect many of Raleigh's parks and in many cases provide a complement to the recreational activities at the parks. Many of the city's major ecological features can be experienced in their natural state along the Greenway.
And as always, if the weather gets too hot, there is always your home club, O2 Fitness, to offer the alternative to outdoor activities.