“Walking is man’s best medicine.” - Hippocrates
has come and gone. I was in New York on vacation and missed all the hoopla. Although the Big Apple has its share of gridlock like any other metropolitan city, there exists a walking culture that is as prominent as our car culture.
Now that I am home in Beverly Hills, I want to keep up the long city walks that I enjoyed in New York.
Walking is free, once you buy your shoes and bottle of water. It also strengthens the heart, reduces body weight and the risk of diabetes, increases bone density and improves cardiovascular capacity. The list goes on.
When you’re feeling blue, put your sneakers on and go. Breathe steadily, focus on your surroundings and let your feet guide you to alleviate symptoms of depression.
I’ve put together five walking routes that offer easy-to-difficult options and begin at different parts of the city. All these walks can be modified for time, distance, variety and intensity.
Rules for the walk: stretch before and after, bring water, stop when you need to, wear sunscreen, socks, a hat and bring your cell phone.
Walk #1 – Each Angle Is Right: This is the perfect early morning “get me up” or after work “chill out.” Beverly Hills is a grid. From your front door, turn right. Go for time or distance as you take four more rights to make a rectangle. Make it a mild or moderate walk based on pace.
Walk #2 – The Window Shopping Strut: This is for walkers who like flat sidewalks, city streets and lots of stores. It's a mild-to-moderate walk depending on speed, time and the distance you live from the golden triangle shopping district. Start at Wilshire Boulevard and North Rodeo Drive, head north to Santa Monica Boulevard, cross the street and walk east along Beverly Gardens Park, then make a right turn at North Crescent Drive and head south back to Wilshire.
Walk #3– The Doheny Drive Challenge: Walk to Doheny Drive from wherever you live. Doheny is uphill north of Santa Monica Boulevard. The goal is Sunset Boulevard. If you live very close to Sunset, walk downhill towards Wilshire Boulevard and beyond, then turn back up. If you make it to Olympic Boulevard, stop at on the corner of South Doheny Drive and Olympic for an iced latte. This is a challenging walk that can be modified based on your level of fitness.
Walk #4 – Alice in 90210 Land: The are plenty of steep hills for walkers who live north of Sunset Boulevard or walkers who want to park and walk. Take Benedict Canyon Drive from Sunset north to Angelo Drive and then back down. Or take North Beverly Drive from Sunset up to .
Walk #5 – The Gas Guzzler’s Enemy: With gas prices upwards of $4 a gallon, we can all do little things to help the environment, save money and stay fit. Walk to the bank, post office or nail salon. Encourage your kids to walk to school or to their friends’ houses.
See you around the neighborhood!