Published On: Thu, Apr 18th, 2013

Optimizing Your Health With Nature In The San Francisco Bay Area

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Optimizing Your Health With Nature In The San Francisco Bay AreaWhile San Francisco is one of the healthiest cities in America, it also remains one of the most costly. Maintaining your health in the Bay Area either can be an adventure in spending or an adventure in the great outdoors, depending on your approach. Utilizing your local resources is the best method to prevent overspending on several life staples, including exercise, nutrition, and well-being.

With a hemp tote-full of options for virtually free ways to improve your mental and physical health, San Francisco is the premier spot to let yourself flourish. Access to acres of city, state, and national parks, and endless miles of trails provide nature at every turn.

Opportunities for green exercise are widespread, from the artfully crafted trees of the Japanese Tea Garden to the flowery cliffs of Baker Beach. Regardless of your preference, there are numerous ways to keep your mind and body vibrant through the foggy weather.

A Dose of Nature

A minimum of five minutes of movement outdoors can boost your mood, self-esteem, and reduce anxiety, according to one study, and lengthening your activity increases immunity, endurance, and lifespan. Exercising outside and getting a bit creative can also reduce your overall investment in your personal health.

When the yoga class membership has begun to strain your wallet, consider taking your poses to the park or donation classes, for example. Those who have yet to explore the varied terrain of nearby parks, trails, and beaches are missing out on a wide spectrum of activity, a sole purpose for which many people visit the Bay Area.

The stunning local landscape and its many opportunities, in addition to the common practice of walking and biking from A to B, are major contributions to San Francisco’s overall exceptional health. According to Walk Score, San Francisco is the second most walkable city in the United States, and far cleaner and greener than the number one selection, New York City.

To vary your routine, explore a few of these options in the Bay Area.

Hiking Trails

From the wooded Bay Area Ridge Trail to the winding waterfront paths along rocky Baker Beach, there are nearly 400 trails within a twenty-mile radius of the city. French Trail Loop near Oakland is a most challenging trail for seasoned hiker and trail runner enthusiasts.

For a full list of hiking routes near San Francisco, visit AllTrails.com.

Biking Trails

Cyclists are well represented in San Francisco, with bike lanes and racks throughout the ideal inclines for an excellent workout. In addition to road biking, mountain biking trails are widely available for a more extreme excursion. Whether you ride the singletrack at Tilden and Wildcat Canyon in Berkeley or Black Mountain in Cupertino, there are plenty of exhilarating ride to keep you hooked.

Find a trail near you at San Francisco Mountain Biking.

Kayaking & Canoeing

With a body of water at every turn, paddle sports are a great choice for staying active in the Bay Area.  While it may not be free, renting a kayak or canoe for a day is relatively inexpensive and a great bonding experience with whomever you choose to go. Try outfitters like City Kayak and Bay Area Outdoor Adventure Club.

For a more extensive list of healthy and affordable activities in San Francisco, as well as information on medical coverage, farmers’ markets, and organic restaurants, visit echealthinsurance.com/wellness/local-wellness/san-francisco-ca.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALandsEnd_655.JPG

By B. Somers at East Coast Health Insurance, contributor to their health resource, Wellness, Health Care, and Health Insurance – dedicated to living optimally and consciously on a budget. Writing for these sites, the author has the opportunity to cover topics ranging from insurance and medical care, to healthy lifestyle tips and practicality.

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