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The Power Of Nature

How much stress are you under? With work, bills, traffic, and deadlines on your shoulders, finding a way to disconnect to reconnect is more crucial than you think for health and wellness.

Some of us are guilty of going brainless in front of the TV with a tray full of snacks. The impact of these harmful habits is evident in Harvard University’s report on Adult Obesity Trends, where they claim two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese, totaling 69 percent of all Americans. The obesity rate in America continues to grow, especially among children, with more time spent indoors on computers and social media. The good news is, your local county parks offer incredible guided programs to help you get the most out of a healthy park visit.

Pasco Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources offer an Outdoor Adventure Series providing a perfect excuse to spend the day at a local park. Now, with the collaboration between VAN (Veterans Adventure Network) and Pasco Parks, veterans and their families can enjoy a summer full of park adventures for FREE through the RECreate Your Mind Military Series.

The RECreate Your Mind Military Series will provide opportunities to bike and hike within Jay B. Starkey Park (bicycles provided), fish in the Gulf at Anclote Park (rods and reels provided), swim, kayak, and snorkel at a private white sand beach at Sunwest Park, and test your skills at archery and paintball in the Withlacoochee Wilderness Park.

April was All Abilities Month at Pasco Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources which celebrated adaptive sports and autism awareness with programs like AUT2Move, a month-long virtual movement challenge designed to bring understanding and acceptance to individuals with autism. Participants who completed 42 virtual miles received a customized medal. There were also tennis classes, the EPIC Egg Hunt, Anglers Fishing Frenzy, and more. These April programs are designed to provide specialized instruction for youth on the autism spectrum and those with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.

Throughout May, Pasco Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources will foced on programming to promote self-care with events that included kitten yoga, puppy meditation, and pickleball tournaments.

Who doesn’t love spending time in parks? There is something so regenerative about greenery and fresh air. Whether going for a walk, having a picnic, or just relaxing on a bench, parks are the perfect place to unwind and enjoy nature. Plus, they’re a great way to stay active and social! Pasco County has 23 active and 14 passive parks, with many recreational programs and events throughout the year, so great options are always available.

If you are looking for motivation to get up and get going, you can turn to your friends at VAN. We are a collection of like-minded people, veterans, and business owners who want to explore and experience local parks with you. Sign up today for one or all of this year’s RECreate Your Mind Military Series events.

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