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Healthy Hearts, Healthy Parks

San Francisco the Perfect Balance Between City Living and Natural Beauty

I believe we live in one of the best cities in America. Not only do we have a great metropolitan area full of busy streets and high rise buildings, we are are bordered by national parks and beautiful coastal scenery.

I am lucky to live and work in the Richmond District where I am sandwiched between Golden Gate Park and the Presidio. Yet, I haven't even begun to experience everything these parks have to offer. Balancing work and family responsibilities can be tough, and making time for exercise is even harder. Which is why the Healthy Hearts Healthy People series is perfect for families to be active together while connecting to nature.

Take Advantage of Our National Parks

Earlier this summer 30 members of the Richmond District Y participated in a group hike through the Presidio led by park rangers. The group group consisted of people of all ages, including my energetic toddler. We were shuttled from the Y to the Presidio Visitor's Center where we gathered on the lawn for a short warm up. It was the perfect opportunity to meet each other while warming up our muscles for our hike.

It's always a good idea to start any type of physical activity with some dynamic stretches in order to warm up the muscles and prevent injury.

After our warm up the park rangers started our hike. We walked to Crissy Field along the water stopping along the way to learn about native plants and animals. With the Golden Gate Bridge and Pacific Ocean as our backdrop it was easy to forget that we were actually exercising. And although we were under a blanket of San Francisco's summer fog, we quickly warmed up walking at our own pace.

The hike ended at the Crissy Field Center where everyone shared healthy snacks and and a deeper sense of community.

Get outside and connect with nature. It's right in our backyards!

Celebrate the 100th Birthday of our National Parks

The Healthy Parks, Healthy People series is a free event that happens the first Saturday of every month. It is open to the public and is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels.