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Different ways students can get active in SLO

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The view from the top of Black Hill trail located in Morro Bay
The view from the top of Black Hill trail located in Morro Bay. Photo by Caitie Flanagan

SLO County is full of numerous possibilities for staying mentally and physically active, including both indoor and outdoor options that can be done by oneself or with others. 

The CDC states that staying active can help with mental health, brain function, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles as well as aid in weight management.  Students who are physically active tend to have higher grades, work better in class and have improved cognitive performance.

If you are looking for a low-intensity workout, such as taking a walk through a local park, or a more vigorous workout, such as mountain biking in Montaña De Oro, SLO County is the place to be.

1. Take a stroll

A dog enjoying the sunshine in Meadow Park. Photo by Caitie Flanagan
A dog enjoying the sunshine in Meadow Park. Photo by Caitie Flanagan

Taking a walk in a local park is a simple no-cost way of getting active while enjoying the outdoors. SLO is home to over 20 different recreational parks for public use, such as Meadow Park, Sinsheimer Park and Islay Park.

Each park has its own personality, with some featuring community gardens and various courts for athletics, while others offer workout equipment and grills for cooking.

2.Check out the hiking trails

The view from Bishops Peak. Photo by Caitie Flanagan
The view from Bishops Peak. Photo by Caitie Flanagan

Hiking trails in SLO are popular among students, and are easily accessible by car or a walk to the trailhead. Panoramic views of the city can be seen from Bishops Peak, Madonna Mountain, or Serenity Swing. 

With just a short drive out of SLO, you can reach hiking trails in Morro Bay, Los Osos, and Avila Beach such as the Bob Jones trail, Black Hills, and many others in Montaña De Oro that get you a little deeper into nature.

3. Head to the beaches

Austin Boomer finishing off a surf session at Shell Beach
Austin Boomer finishing off a surf session at Shell Beach. Photo by Caitie Flanagan

Surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and more are all great forms of exercise, as well as a good way to connect with other students in the area. 

Even if you do not have your own equipment, there are places to rent boards, wet suits and other necessary accessories. You can head to Avila Beach, Morro Bay, Shell Beach, Cayucus and Pismo Beach to find areas with beach access. 

4. Join a club or team

Members of Cuesta's women's soccer team, after competing against Madera Community College. Photo by Sierra Gonzalez
Members of Cuesta’s women’s soccer team, after competing against Madera Community College. Photo by Sierra Gonzalez

SLO County has a lot of different sports clubs and teams for students and other adults to join, such as the city of SLO softball program, and coed soccer teams play at local fields in the area. 

Another option is Cuesta Athletics. With the school offering both male and female sports programs, there are plenty of different teams to look into joining.

5. Try out different types of gyms

A morning workout view in Club24. Photo by Caitie Flanagan
A morning workout view in Club24. Photo by Caitie Flanagan

Another option for getting active in SLO is to look into the different types of gyms offered in the area, such as pilates & yoga studios, climbing gyms and gyms offering guided classes such as CrossFit.

The Pad in SLO, Spark Yoga, The Center, Sol Wellness, Headstrong, Club24 and Athlon Fitness are all great places to look into to see if it is the right fit for you.