San Diego For Free: Walking – It Does a Body (and Mind) Good

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Walking – It Does a Body (and Mind) Good

Address & Neighborhood: Anywhere
Best For: Ramblers, wanderers, cubicle dwellers, homebodies, lost souls
Free times: Anytime

 In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.
– John Muir

One of the most simple and enjoyable activities that is good for both body and mind is walking. Living in San Diego affords the opportunity to stretch your legs anytime of year, indeed any day. Even in what qualifies for inclement weather here the raindrops, heavy fog, or high winds are not a barrier to spending some time outdoors. I find these fleeting times of less than ideal weather to be my favorite times for going for a walk. The change in surroundings puts the mind in a different mood and leads to thoughts that match the tone of the day.

Trails on Cowles Mountain. Photo by Josh McNair.

Modern life can often feature a sedentary lifestyle, especially if work requires long periods at a computer. Getting out of the chair and office for a walk can lead to health benefits, including the following (per the Mayo Clinic):

  •  Lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
  • Increased HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help manage weight
  • Improve mood

Walking is ideal for a quick bit of exercise or clearing your mind since it doesn’t require special equipment or travel to a sports facility. You can walk around your neighborhood, a nearby park, or even indoors. Of course, if a more inspirational setting is desired you can walk along the ocean with a soundtrack of crashing waves. For the non-maritime-minded a stroll up Mount Soledad or Cowles Mountain provides inspiring vistas and a more strenuous workout.

Walking is the basis for tales great (The Hobbit follows a long trek) and small (a trip to the grocery store or cafe). With the weather we have in Southern California there’s little reason not to take advantage and enjoy a stroll soon. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

Happy trails!


John P. Anderson

John was an accountant in a former life and now devotes his time to child-rearing, reading, writing, and working to ensure that San Diego is truly America's Finest City. Interested in environmental issues, John enjoys connecting with others that want to improve the health of our world and community. You can find John at or on Twitter (@j_p_a_). Comments, suggestions, wisdom, and complaints are enthusiastically welcomed.


    • avatarJohn Anderson says

      Jim – I’m heading to the 3 Sisters trail this weekend so I’ll do a write-up next week. One of my favorites in the county.

  1. avatarShelley Plumb says

    Check out Rose Canyon Open Space Park in University City. Trailhead starts where Regents Road dead ends, north of the 52, after you cross Governor Dr. It’s a wonderful place to walk or bike and enjoy nature.

    • avatarJohn Anderson says

      Shelley – thanks for the recommendation. I’ve heard people talk about Rose Canyon but haven’t been there before. Hopefully I can make it there next weekend.


  1. avatar SD For Free: Walking - It Does a Body (and Mind) Good | The Website of John AndersonThe Website of John Anderson says:

    […] This article first appeared on 11-29-2012 on the San Diego Free Press. […]