By Christina Chastain
Did you know there are incredible health benefits just by walking 30 minutes a day?
Taking a 30-minute walk a day is kind of like that proverbial apple: There’s a good chance it’ll keep the doctor away. From helping you lose weight and de-stress to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many chronic diseases—going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health, says Melina B. Jampolis, MD, author of The Doctor on Demand Diet.
- Your mood will improve.
- Your creative juices will start to flow.
- Your jeans might get a little looser.
- You’ll slash your risk of chronic disease.
- Your digestion will improve.
Luckily, we live in a city surrounded by parks and nature, and we put together a list of the best places to go for a brisk (or lengthy) walk.
- Walk around your neighborhood! Get to know your streets and your neighbors by exploring your own neighborhood. You might even meet a walking buddy or the mailman you never knew by name.
- Creve Coeur Park Lakeview Loop. This paved flat, 3.8 mile paved trail will give you the most gorgeous views of the lake, and those enjoying the water sailing and paddle boarding — not to mention the wildlife!
- Grant’s Trail. This flat and relaxed 7.9-mile trail facilitates a historically and visually engaging experience, including Grant’s Farm and the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale pastures.
- Edgar M. Queeny County Park. The Hawk Ridge Trail at Queeny Park is a mixture of paved and gravel. At 4.5 miles long, it runs the perimeter of the park. Enjoy wildlife, native trees, pastures, and lakes on this trail, but watch out for the deer! They have made this West County Park home.
- Laumeier Sculpture Park. At Laumeier, you have your pick from paved trails, or deep natural trails. Any trail you choose, you’ll be sure to find fascinating works of art. Some of the works are hidden and site-specific, so keep a lookout!
- Katy Trail State Park. Clocking in at 240 miles, Katy Trail is the longest trail in Missouri. Trail users have the opportunity to wind through some of the most scenic areas of the state with the majority of the trail closely following the Missouri River. The park also takes users through a slice of rural history as it meanders through the small towns that once thrived along the railroad corridor and reflect the rich heritage of Missouri.
- Castlewood State Park. Castlewood is great for both beginning and experienced hikers and bikers. Offering eight different trails with beautiful, scenic, bluff views, Castlewood is nestled between the Meramec River and surrounding meadows.
- Rockwoods Reservation. Rockwoods Reservation harbors a rich diversity of plant and animal life as well as springs, caves, and rock formations. Cool, moist, north facing ravines and lush creek bottoms contrast with the nearby arid, rocky ridge tops, and south slopes.
- Hawn State Park. Hawn State Park is a bit of a drive, but it is worth it. Located in Ste. Genevieve County, the 4,956-acre park offers a special experience for anyone wanting to enjoy the splendor of nature. Hills of stately pine and oak trees, sandy-bottom streams and sandstone canyons and cliffs create one of the most significant and scenic landscapes in Missouri.
Not sure where to go first? Or want to check out even more trails around the area? Download the AllTrails app. The app offers all sorts of useful features and filters for your next walk or hike, including driving directions and ratings and reviews from different users.
So now that it is getting warmer out, spring has officially sprung, and National Take a Walk in the Park Day is March 30, why not make walking a part of your everyday routine? You’ll be glad you did!