Rec Room: Get out and get fit

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By Doug Cochran

It's the beginning of a new year, and many of us have resolved to make improvements in our lives.

Some of the most common resolutions for Americans are to lose weight or get fit.

Each January, we are barraged by TV, radio, Internet and print advertisements representing weight-loss supplements, exercise programs, diets, fitness club memberships and more.

Most of these promise us dramatic results.

Tragically, the resolutions to lose weight or get fit also become the most broken resolutions. I encourage us all to be motivated in our pursuit of fitness but also to be more focused on a healthy lifestyle overall, which has been proven to help people achieve and sustain weight loss and fitness.

Increase your physical activities by being involved in more of what you enjoy. Find a fitness program, exercise or activity that is interesting and fun to you and incorporate it into your daily life, and you will be more successful in continuing to be active and exercise.

Victoria Parks and Recreation facilities offer many options for you to be active and have fun. If you are looking for ideas, here are some things that you may enjoy.

Hike, bike or stroll on our trails through Riverside Park or along the Lone Tree Creek Hike and Bike Trail.

Rollerblade or skateboard at the skate park.

Play disc golf on the Riverside disc golf course.

Play a round of golf at the Riverside Golf Course.

Walk through the Texas Zoo and enjoy the many different animals and activities they have to offer.

Take your children to enjoy the many playgrounds scattered throughout our parks including our largest play area at the Children's Park in Riverside Park.

Imagine the calories you could burn keeping up with the children or pushing them on the swings.

When the weather turns a bit warmer, take a swim at the Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool. Splash around at the Lone Tree Creek splash pad or paddle your way down the Guadalupe River. You will find a boat ramp and take out point located in Riverside Park.

For the more athletically inclined, ride your bike on the pump track in Riverside Park. Play volleyball at our sand courts in Riverside Park and Ethel Lee Tracy Park. Join a team and play softball or kickball in our city leagues.

Play tennis at the H-E-B Tennis Center.

Join one of the many organized running events in our parks each year.

If you are more of a nature enthusiast, walk through and enjoy the Athey Nature Trail and Hiller House. Even bird watching in Riverside Park will provide an enjoyable way to stay active. You are guaranteed to see ducks and geese at the Riverside Duck Pond.

Deer frequent Riverside Park in large numbers in the early morning hours.

Simply getting out of doors and enjoying the flora and fauna of Texas is sure to decrease anyone's stress level and improve your health.

At Victoria Parks and Recreation, we work to make Victoria a better place to live, work and play. If you have resolved to lose weight or get fit this year, I encourage you to add some play into your life.

Find an activity that you enjoy and that you will stick with, so you can be successful in your resolution.

We at Parks and Recreation resolve to continue working hard to provide those opportunities for you.

Doug Cochran is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Victoria Parks and Recreation Department. Contact him at 361-485-3200 or dcochran@victoriatx.org.



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