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Westly’s Guarantee for 2023

Hey, y’all, Westly here. If we haven’t met, I’m the charming, handsome, and humble orange character you’ve been seeing around town with my friends at Healthy West Orange. You can’t miss me!

Who else is feeling ready for a fresh start in 2023? As we’ve learned in the last couple of years, sometimes a new year doesn’t happen the way we think it will. But I know one thing’s for sure, our community is awesome! Whether your goals involve getting active, eating healthy, relaxing, or all of the above, there are places in Winter Garden to do it all! So come along on my tour of some healthy spots right in our backyard. I’ve got a few tips on hand that you might not know about. You’ll love them; that’s my guarantee for 2023!

West Orange Trail, Workouts Your Way

There’s no way you can stroll around Winter Garden and not see folks zooming down the West Orange Trail on bikes, rollerblades, and on foot. I’m talking 22 miles of paved trail, from Apopka, through Ocoee, Winter Garden, and Oakland. It’s definitely the best way to get around town! But have you seen how many workout groups, activities, and events happen along the trail? You can rent a bike from Wheelworks and snip fresh herbs at my community garden in Oakland - pictured here! (*Westly’s garden photo), or join a local exercise group like the West Orange Trail Sole-Mates (Sole-Mates photos here) or Winter Garden Runners! I love seeing folks get active together; it adds motivation and encouragement to a workout, and not to mention making new friends! You can train for a marathon or take a relaxing walk with your pup, which is my favorite way to enjoy the trail. You can even see me at the Oakland Outpost cheering folks on! Stop by and snap a healthy selfie with me in 2023!

Winter Garden Farmers Market, More to Explore

Speaking of traveling the town on the West Orange Trail, one of my favorite stops off the trail is the Winter Garden Farmers Market! This is my go-to for fresh fruits, veggies, and more! But it’s more than just buying produce; I love chatting with local farmers about what’s in season, how to cook it, what items hold up best for meal-prepping, and even how to grow my own backyard garden! So be sure to stop and talk with the vendors. For instance, I had never heard of microgreens before, and now I pick them up every Saturday to put on all my salads! A top goal of mine for the new year is to add one more fruit or vegetable to my plate at each meal. Picking up my groceries from the market gets me so excited and motivated to eat healthily! An orange a day keeps the doctor away - something like that, right?

Tucker Ranch, A Growing Treasure

Life can get busy here in our community. Between early school mornings, commuting, and long days in front of computer screens, everyone needs a mental well-being break once in a while. Picture this: you’re walking under the shade of beautiful oak trees, listening to the birds sing, and watching the water ripple along a lake. This isn’t imaginary, this is real life at Tucker Ranch Recreational Park, and Nature Preserve over on Avalon Road! 10/10 recommend for a dose of relaxation. Did I mention they have an awesome playground too? Parents – bring the kids to get their energy out and have a picnic; it’s sure to be a well-being boost for the whole fam! There are exciting additions coming to Tucker Ranch soon; stay tuned!

So, ready for your fresh start? Join the community and get active with Westly’s Annual Virtual 5K and walk, run, bike, or even skateboard your way to 3.1 miles all January long, wherever you like. I’ll be here to cheer you on! Register at HWOEvents.org.

See ya around!

- Westly

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