Southwest Florida Online – Sunday Morning News: Florida Hike for American Heart Month

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – Yesterday, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez was joined by State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Shawn Hamilton to encourage Floridians to prioritize heart health by becoming more active. Florida’s network of accessible hiking and trails provides opportunities for a variety of activities for the whole family, including walking or running.

“Today we gathered at beautiful Camp Helen State Park in Bay County to celebrate two important February celebrations,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Florida’s State Park System offers over 10,000 miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding and shared use trials and over 5,000 miles of paddle trails. We encourage Floridians to take advantage of our parks, trails, trails, and waterways to engage in physical activity, relieve stress, improve their health, and enjoy the clean Florida air.

As Floridians are encouraged to learn more about physical activity and establishing healthy habits, you can visit In addition to American Heart Month in February, Florida’s Hiking Trails Month celebration promotes the state’s more than 10,000 miles of trails, including the 1,100-mile Florida National Scenic Trail.

“Physical activity is vital for overall health. It helps you feel better, function better, and sleep better, and it reduces anxiety,” said state surgeon general Joseph Ladapo. The Florida Department of Health encourages Floridians to create and maintain healthy habits that can contribute to better health outcomes, especially through our Healthier You initiative.”

The first four-time Gold Medal winner honoring the nation’s best state park system, the Florida Park Service is one of the largest in the country with 175 state parks, trails and historic sites covering nearly 800,000 acres and 100 miles of white sand beach.

“Here in Florida, we are fortunate to have hiking trails that cover our entire state and even paddle trails for kayakers and canoeists,” DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton said. “Florida State Parks promotes a healthy, outdoor lifestyle the whole family can enjoy and provides unprecedented opportunities to find your way to fitness.”

Florida has thousands of miles of walking, biking, equestrian, and shared-use trails and more than 8,000 miles of canoe trails that provide tremendous health benefits for residents and visitors. These trails not only allow for incredible birding, eco-tours, and exposure to a wide variety of plants and animals, but they are also a fun source of recreation and fitness.

Find Trails in Florida State Parks hereor on the Office of Greenways and Paths of the DEP online trail guide.

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