Five outdoor places in Menlo Park and Atherton where you can workout

by DeAnn Teixeira on May 28, 2012

With the great summer weather coming and the need for a little vitamin D, more and more Menlo Park and Atherton residents will be taking their workouts outside. Here are some ideas for places and exercises you might want to try.

Holbrook-Palmer Park This wide-open park features a great outdoor “gym.” When you enter the park (150 Watkins ave., Atherton), look toward the left and you will see the beginning of a fitness course. This is a great way to mix in your cardio, such as power walking or jogging, with strength exercise. Follow the path toward the left and stop at each of the station. You can perform an exercise for 30 seconds or complete 10-15 repetitions of each. One lap might be enough or build up to 2+ laps.

Nealon Park Who says you need a football field to get in some mileage? This park (800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park) has a softball field that can be a great place to stretch your legs. Walk the perimeter of the field 7 times, and you’ve gone a mile.

Sharon Hills Park Need a calorie-burning workout that can be done in a short amount of time? Head for the hills. Park at the bottom of Valpariso Avenue and Altschul Avenue. Time yourself when you begin the short climb up Valporiso to Circle Ave and try to repeat the hill 2+ times keeping the time the same or shorter. There is also a secret set of pull-up bars hiding on the trail. Do a couple reps or just hang for 30 seconds.

Sand Hill Road If you are looking for a good place to run that’s fairly flat, you’ll enjoy the path along Sand Hill Road between El Camino Real and Alameda De Las Pulgas. The distance is 1.5 miles and the paved path is nicely shaded, making it great for mid-day. Moving east to west, you can gain shade and mileage by turning right at the Vi and then bearing left along the creek path that continues behind Oak Creek Apartments, coming back out to Sand Hill where San Francisquito Creek flows under the road.

Flood Park When you pass this park off of Bay Road in Menlo Park, you can see picnic tables for miles. It’s a fun place to bring the kids to let off some steam. Why not make it a family workout? Use the tables as your workout bench. Tricep dips, push-ups, step-ups, hop-ups, etc. can all be great exercises to get the heart pumping and the muscles moving. Then, play tag with the kids around the park. You won’t even realize you are working out.

You don’t need to join a gym to stay in shape this summer. Your best workout may be right outside your front door.

Author DeAnn Teixeira is the owner of Kamp Fitness; she’s shown (in red shirt) leading a fitness class at Lyle Park.

Photo by Linda Hubbard Gulker

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