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Keebler Park in Dadeville offers a walking track through nature.

Fitness and diet trends are as seasonal as the racks at Forever 21, but there is no doubt that step counters are here to stay. They are easily calculated on our smart phones and Fitbits. About 10,000 steps is equivalent to 5 miles, which is the average recommended daily number of steps humans should take for optimal health. You just need to move!

We are surrounded by natural beauty here in Tallapoosa County. There are so many locations to enjoy the outdoors and stay active. If you are new to the area or quickly becoming a more regular resident, here are some insider tips on creative places to exercise other than the gym.

Central Alabama Community College: There is a quarter-mile track located on the left side of the campus. Four laps equal 1 mile. Another scenario is to complete one lap on the track and one lap around the asphalt drive of campus to reach 1 mile. For a change of scenery, cross over Cherokee Road into the Young Acres neighborhood for increased mileage. 

There is a set of concrete steps (maybe about 50) to the left of CACC’s entrance, as well, where people could run endless rounds. In my opinion, nothing is better for a workout than running steps. 

For those looking to increase elevation, I suggest you run Ridgeway Drive and Meadowbrook Circle. Your quads will thank you later. Downtown Alexander City has sidewalks, and Strand Park makes a great loop to include in an afternoon stroll or run.

Alexander City’s Charles E. Bailey Sportplex is located within city limits and offers great walking opportunities. Many people may have never noticed the CrossFit-style exercise course that is located near the military tanks. It has pull up bars, rings and a sit-up station. 

StillWaters community in Dadeville provides plenty of open roads. Grab a friend and eat lunch at Copper’s Grill; then, walk around the neighborhood. I was told they have an estimated 25 to 30 miles of roads within the subdivision.

Also in Dadeville, Keebler Park contains a 1/2-mile paved walking trail, which is frequently used by walkers. This area has been recently refreshed to include additional landscaping and outdoor learning opportunities. Nearly 60 native tree varieties grow throughout the park.

Just outside of Dadeville, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park not only offers educational experiences but also a handicap-accessible nature trail. The 2.8-mile route winds its way around the historic Battle of Horseshoe Bend battlefield.

Hiking trails are a great option for some outdoor exercise and scenic surroundings. Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association, Russell Forest Trails and Wind Creek State Park all offer endless picturesque trails to explore. This time of year, I recommend wearing sleeves, hats and bug spray to protect from ticks. 

Our community is filled with wonderful opportunities to embrace nature and appreciate all it has to offer. You might as well clock in a few steps at the same time!

Lacey's Recommended Top Fitness Apps

  • Romwod: videos to optimize range of motion through stretching (only for iOS devices)
  • Fitbit Coach: provides personalized guided workouts
  • Asana Rebel: yoga workouts to improve health
  • Nike Run Club: for outdoor cardio: tracks runs via GPS and provides audio-guided runs
  • Aaptiv: for those that love group fitness classes ($15 per month)

~ Lacey Howell is a recovering English major from Auburn who now lives on Lake Martin, sells real estate, rides horses and loves good wine (but isn’t afraid of boxed wine). She is still bothered that Brad and Angelina broke up. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @LaceyHowell.