Stress can suck the enjoyment out of our lives from time to time. Travel is a great way to cope with these pressures, but you can’t always skip town when you feel like doing so.

Thankfully, we do have options within the places we live, as parks make use of trees, water, and open space to help induce a state of relaxation in us.

Randy Benderson knows all about this, as he grew up going to the park with his family on a regular basis.

Recalling his happy childhood, he spearheaded an initiative to find the creation of a park in his home town of Sarasota, Florida.

With wide expanses of grass and beautiful frontages on the Gulf of Mexico, it has become the new favorite hangout for locals and visitors alike.

Want to make the most of the parks in your local community? Below, we’ll give you a couple ideas of how you can fully appreciate these amazing green spaces.

Go jogging on its paths

Exercise is an amazing stress reliever, as muscular and aerobic movements can do much to release endorphins that can flush your troubles away.

It is a morning ritual for many, but others shy away from this practice, as traffic and the abuse their ailing joints take from the hard ground can make running a hard habit for them to adopt.

Jogging in your local park will allow you to trade vehicles for greenery, soft trails, songbirds, and a better overall atmosphere.

Check out the park closest to your home, as it may be the venue you have been looking for in order to get into running full-time.

Hit its waterways

Parks are often built around rivers and lakes, and many face the ocean. It’s one thing to admire them from the shore, but it’s even more fun to get a hold of a watercraft and get out on the placid surface of a body of water.

If you don’t have experience, bring someone along who can teach you how to pilot a vessel safely, and be sure to don a life jacket (especially if you aren’t a strong swimmer).

Together with sunscreen and keeping an eye on the sky, you can have a safe and memorable day at the park.

Have a picnic

When it is nice outside, don’t confine yourself indoors when it comes time to eat. Rather, check out the deli in your local grocery store, pick up your favorite ready-to-eat foods, and spread it all out on a picnic blanket for you and your friends to have.

Chicken, pre-made sandwiches, pepperoni, several kinds of cheese – the options are endless.

Get some quality wine or beer, and you’ll have a glorious feast to go with amazing natural surroundings and excellent weather.

Take your dog (or cat) with you

Parks are a better place with your pet in tow.

Most bring their dogs along for a game of fetch, but more people these days are taking their kitties out for a stroll as well (that is, if they are amenable to being led around on a leash).

Be sure to investigate whether there are off-leash areas before you head out, and your pooch will have a chance to run free and socialize with other dogs at their leisure.

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