Walk The Talk
The word's definitely out in the Bay area: Walking is a smart - and fun - way to boost your health
Making small changes in your diet will help lead to overall better health and wellness.
Literally speaking, an awful lot of folks are making great strides nowadays and with good reason. Simple as it is to do, walking has a significant payoff. Brisk walking is considered to be moderate-intensity activity, and ìf done on a regular basis, it’s known to provide health benefits, in terms of prevention of chronic diseases and weight management, says Patty Freedson, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst professor and chair of kinesiology and member of the American College of Sports Medicine. There also is evidence that moderate physical activity has beneficial effects on mood and reduces depression.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) reports plenty of data supporting the notion that we all should keep on stepping. For example, an eight-year study of 13,000 people found that those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised. In addition, research has shown that regular walking can decrease total and intra-abdominal fat and reduces the risk of developing diabetes, breast cancer, arthritis and osteoporosis. According to ACE and other medical experts, a regular walking program can also lower blood pressure, improve your cholesterol profile, increase energy and stamina, reduce stress, improve sleep and build muscle tone.
For more info on taking steps in the right direction and tips on maximizing local workouts, read on.
Great Walks in San Francisco and Beyond
Looking for a terrific trek in the City? Here’s a list of some of San Francisco’s most engaging and eye-catching walks, from Avital Binshtock, Frommers.com writer, Sierra magazine lifestyle editor, and avid walker and jogger.
- The Bay front: From San Francisco’s Maritime National Historic Park (below Ghirardelli Square), take this paved path along some of California’s most breathtaking miles, ending at Fort Point. Sights along the way: Fort Mason, ships passing Angel and Alcatraz islands, the Marina, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge.
- The Golden Gate Bridge: On the walking path of this nearly two-mile span, get spectacular views from more than 200 feet above the water.
- The Barbary Coast Trail (www.barbarycoasttrail.org): This stroll through San Francisco history is nearly four miles long and marked by bronze medallions in the sidewalk. The southern end begins at the Old U.S. Mint in the heart of downtown, then heads north, passing five local-history museums and 20 notable sites.
- Land’s End: Take a great hike from Ocean Beach to Baker Beach on this stretch of coastline along the city’s northwest edge. (A shortcut: Start at the Cliff House, head to Sutro Heights Park and end at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor.)
For more details and tips on other great strolls in San Francisco, visit www.frommers.com/articles/5696.html or check Frommer’s 24 Great Walks in San Francisco by Eileen Keremitsis. For suggestions on more strenuous outings on unpaved trails outside San Francisco, check Jane Huber’s 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: San Francisco and www.bahiker.com.