Before taking another trip to the gym, consider a change of scenery from your regular fitness routine. More and more studies show the positive benefits of spending time outdoors, so exercising outdoors seems to be the perfect combination for your mind, body, and soul.
Exercising outdoors exposes you to natural sunlight and increases your intake of vitamin D. This time outdoors also offers a break from technology and a busy lifestyle. Hicks Haul Road is a great choice of a fitness spot for people who want a rewarding outdoor workout. The hike offers spectacular views of Irvine, but doesn't require any special gear other than normal running shoes. While the road is paved, the surroundings are wild, with active natural habitats and plenty of opportunities for wildlife sightings.
A weekly hike Thursday evening is a “slow-paced” hike that allows participants ample time to take in the natural surroundings while still getting a workout. The 3 mile hike travels up a steady incline with an overall elevation gain of 800 feet, and then finishes by heading back down the hill, all at a leisurely pace.
Faster fitness hikes are available weekly as well, on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Tuesday mornings. These hikes range from 3 miles to 8 miles, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy volunteers spread out with the group to allow participants to go at their own pace.
All programs on Hicks Haul Road are free, but require advance registration. To join a hike, visit www.LetsGoOutside.org/Activities and look for the Hicks Haul Road Staging Area activities.