4 Senior-Friendly Parks in San Diego
Few things are more pleasant than taking a leisurely stroll through a beautiful San Diego park in March (Lucky for us, America’s finest city has a lot of parks). Grab your comfortable shoes and sunscreen for Friday’s National Take a Walk in the Park Day!
Studies show that walking has many health benefits for seniors. If you’re not an avid walker, consider gradually increasing the days you go for a walk outside. Walking just 30 minutes a day is all you need to reap the many health advantages.
Benefits of walking for seniors include strengthened muscles and joints, improved heart health and circulation, reduced bone mass loss, better sleep, enhanced balance, improved mental health and reduced risks for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
If you’d like to celebrate this national day on Friday, we’ve found four senior-friendly parks based on region so you won’t have to travel too far for a nice and easy walk in the park.
Be reminded of San Diego’s rich history as you walk near the historic monuments of Old Town. The trail in Presidio Park offers scenic views and leads visitors through a eucalyptus grove, amongst many other types of trees and plants. The park has benches and picnic tables for resting, as well as public bathrooms.
This coastal wetland offers breathtaking views for nature lovers. Walk through the lagoon’s two-mile trail to view the marsh, native plants, prickly pear cactuses, prehistoric shells (left there by local native Americans) and a wide variety of fish, birds and insects. You may want to bring your camera to this spot, but keep in mind that it’s an ecological preserve, so nothing can be moved or touched.
Experience a peaceful walk through a natural river valley by venturing through Chula Vista’s massive Otay Valley Regional Park. With 8.3 miles of walking trails, seven ponds, limited equestrian riding and dozens of native animals (including gray foxes, raccoons, desert cottontails and American badgers), there is plenty to see and explore. More than 200 species of birds visit the park within a year, so don’t forget to bring your binoculars for birdwatching.
4. Lake Murray
Enjoy the presence of both nature and people by traveling to Lake Murray (which is actually a reservoir). The relatively flat trail that almost circles the lake is 6.4 miles round trip and is a popular spot for San Diegans of all ages. There are also picnic tables found around the lake, in case you need rest.
Start planning routine walks to help strengthen your body, lift your mood and give you fresh air. To learn about more helpful health tips for seniors, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.