Whether you’re an avid athlete, weekend warrior or a nature lover who simply enjoys being outside, MetroWest is one of Central Florida’s best neighborhoods for fun outdoor activities and fitness opportunities. Maintaining physical and mental health in today’s stressful COVID-19 world is more important than ever, and these opportunities allow for social distancing.
Get Moving Outdoors
One of the best places to cycle, jog or walk is the 183-acre Bill Frederick Park, located on the shores of Turkey Lake. Designed for nature lovers, the park provides a variety of recreational activities and scenic lake views – a welcome respite from urban life. There are two playgrounds, biking/jogging/hiking trails, a paved walking path, fitness stations, sand volleyball court and three disc golf courses. Growing in popularity, disc golf is a flying disc (Frisbee) sport in which players throw a disc at a target with rules similar to golf.
Also in the area is the renowned MetroWest Golf Club, which is ranked among Central Florida’s best golf courses. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., this challenging course features spring-fed lakes, mature native trees, expansive fairways and large greens. Just down the street is the MetroWest Tennis Center, with four clay tennis courts and an on-site head pro who offers group and individual tennis lessons.
With wide boulevards and tree-lined streets, MetroWest is a favorite for cyclers. Fred Hewitt, owner of Full Circle Cycle in the Publix Plaza, explains that cycling has only grown in popularly since the pandemic hit.
“We like to say that the bicycle is the original social distancing machine,” says Hewitt. “Full Circle Cycle is selling and servicing more bikes than ever, but we continue to take extensive safety precautions.”
For now, the store remains closed, with outdoor repairs being performed at the back of the shop and new bike purchases being completed online. Only remote payments are accepted.
There are several great places to bike around the MetroWest area, according to Hewitt. He recommends Bill Frederick Park’s two-mile paved loop around Turkey Lake and Eagle’s Nest Park, which offers an easy, two-mile scenic loop around two cypress lakes.
If you prefer an indoor workout, both major gyms in MetroWest, Planet Fitness and Anytime Fitness, are taking steps to keep their facilities clean and safe. Planet Fitness has installed cleaning stations throughout the gym, and members are required to clean each station after use. They practice “Social Fitnessing,” where only every other aerobic machine – treadmills, ellipticals and stair steppers – are in use, thereby separating members.
Anytime Fitness is also instituting new guidelines and protocols, including reducing club capacity, mandated wearing of masks and gloves for staff, no contact training or equipment sharing, social distancing signage and floor markers, and medical-grade cleaning products and hand sanitizers available throughout facility.
During these trying times, people still need to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and do their best to stay mentally and physically healthy. Fortunately, MetroWest offers a variety of outdoor fun and fitness opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.