Jessica Geiszler, Marketing & Public Outreach Manager, County of San Diego, Department of Parks and Recreation
An innovative collaboration between the County of San Diego Parks and Libraries is making it easier than ever to get more exercise in this year. Exercise is full of benefits – physical, mental, even behavioral – that can transform your body from the inside out.
Physical Fulfillment: Exercise boosts metabolism and speeds up the calorie-burning process. In addition to weight loss, stronger muscles and better bone density, exercise can lead to healthier, more youthful looking skin. It can also reduce the risk of chronic pain, disease and osteoporosis.
Mental Stimulus: Exercise keeps your neurons in shape; it strengthens your memory center (hippocampus) and prefrontal cortex, leading to improved cognitive functions for better recollection, understanding, reasoning, decision-making and planning. As your heart rate increases, so does the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain.
Behavioral Health: Exercise can improve moods and increase the release of “feel-good” substances in the body like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. Similarly, it can also decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress; by distracting your mind from the cause of negative emotions, you may be able to reset and redirect your perspective.
If you move exercise outdoors you can take benefits to the next level. Or, incorporate it into other activities that require mental stamina for even greater results.
“Countless studies have shown that exercise before and during learning can lead to improved focus, engagement and memory retention,” said Brian Albright, Director, County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation. “Play time can actually set the stage for better test results.””
County Parks recently opened a new 16-acre park in Borrego Springs that is full of amenities that cater to park-goers of all ages, interest and abilities. Hit the courts for a game of basketball, volleyball or bocce – or climb, jump and slide your way through a bilingual interactive playground. After you play, plan to stay, because the property is also equipped with a state-of-the-art library and learning center. What better way to learn than to do it with a clear mind, increased energy and an eagerness to learn?
Other park-library locales include 4S Ranch Patriot Park, Collier County Park, Hilton Head County Park, Lincoln Acres County Park, Lindo Lake County Park, Potrero County Park, South Lane and Nancy Jane County Parks, and Spring Valley County Park.
Commit to exercise in 2019 for a happier, healthier you. For a list of free fitness activities visit the County News Center Events Calendar.