Improve Your Body and Mind Outdoors
It’s no secret that spending time outdoors is good for your health and wellbeing. From taking in fresh air during a walk through the park to taking advantage of the outdoor recreation facilities in your community, getting outside does a body good.
In the context of the nation’s obesity epidemic, parks and recreation spaces provide outlets for Americans to have much-needed physical activity with swimming pools, bike trails and various sports fields. Some communities even feature parks with amenities to encourage year-round use.
Beyond the mental health benefits associated with physical activity, spending time outdoors is good for the body, as well. Countless studies show the health benefits of nature when people who have been suffering from stress, sickness, or a trauma can spend quiet contemplative time in gardens or take to the mountains or woods to heal. In some communities, particularly in urban and low-income areas, playgrounds afford the only interaction many children have with nature.
People who live in communities that are walkable, have access to biking/hiking trails, and are near parks and green space have higher levels of health than those in communities lacking those amenities, according to Dr. Richard J. Jackson, former director of the National Center for Environmental Health and star of the PBS series “Designing Healthy Communities.”
We are lucky that the Central Coast has some of the most amazing state parks and beaches to visit and explore. From hiking in Nisene Marks State Park to a stroll along the West Cliff, there is something for everyone in our community. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and forget what is right in your backyard…because of the endless health benefits the outdoors has to offer it’s important to stop and smell the redwoods.
List of some of our Local Parks:
Nisene Marks State Park
Polo Grounds Park
Seacliff State Beach
Santa Cruz Gardens County Park
Jade Street Park
Manresa State Beach
Wilder Ranch State Park
Natural Bridges State Beach
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Pfeiffer Beach/Big Sur