Exercise and time spent outdoors are crucial to building up your mental and physical health. Did you know that doing 30 minutes of exercise a day may significantly improve symptoms of depression and anxiety? And research has also shown that smaller amounts of activity, such as 10 to 15 minutes at a time, can also make a difference in your overall mood.
The end of summer might be fast approaching but there’s still plenty of time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Here are five of the best places in Denver to get your body moving and boost your mood, no matter your skill level!
1. Morning Yoga at the Denver Botanic Gardens
What better way to start your day than outside, surrounded by beautiful plants, relaxing with some morning yoga? At the Denver Botanic Gardens, you can practice your skills in a gorgeous, peaceful environment while reaping the mental health rewards.
Vinyasa yoga focuses on the flow from movement to movement along with an awareness of your breath. In this class, you can expect to engage in postures that promote alignment, flexibility, and endurance, practicing alongside an experienced instructor.
Classes are open to all skill levels. Just be sure to register beforehand by visiting their website here.
2. Hit the Water at Bear Creek Lake
Bear Creek Lake, located in Lakewood, is the perfect place to spend a day on the water. The park is over 2,600 acres in size and offers great views along with great activities for all levels of adventurers. If you don’t have your own equipment, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats are available for daily rentals.
Additionally, for those who prefer to stay on dry land, consider checking out some of the other activities this stunning lake has to offer. From camping to horseback riding and fishing to picnicking, there’s plenty to do at Bear Creek Lake!
3. Hike Lair o’ the Bear
The Jeffco Open Space system boasts 56,00 acres of preserved land, 27 parks, and 251 miles of trails for you to explore and Lair o’ the Bear is a favorite for families. There are plenty of picnic tables to have lunch with the whole family and Bear Creek is close by for the avid fishers.
If you’re interested in a more challenging hike, consider taking on the Bear Creek Trail, which covers 12.6 miles and gives hikers incredible views of the stunning Colorado landscape.
Just be sure to arrive early or use the Lot Spot app to check parking lot availability before you go.
4. Bike Around Standley Lake
Standley Lake has been around for over 100 years and has brought plenty of outdoor views and opportunities to Westminster residents and visitors. The lake is the third-largest reservoir in the Denver metro area, open to hiking, cycling, camping, and wildlife viewing. In fact, the lake is home to two very popular nesting bald eagles!
Although paddling is restricted at the moment, you can take in the sights on a bike using the paved path around the lake. There are many free parking spots and there’s no fee for bicycle access to the park.
5. Walk Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park
If you like to get a little history lesson while enjoying some exercise, then the Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park (formerly the Lakewood Heritage Center) is the perfect place for you. The 20th Century history park is home to 15 historic buildings and permanent exhibits that tell the story of Lakewood residents through the decades.
You can walk the park and explore the historic sites or plan ahead by reading up on the building history before your visit. Additionally, the Visitor Center is open by reservation, Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dogs are also allowed in the park, so bring your furry friend for this outing. Just make sure all pets are leashed.
When you live in Colorado, incredible opportunities to be in nature and active are always right in your backyard! To find more outdoor activities in your area, visit the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website. Follow us on Facebook for more tips and tricks to keep your body and your mind healthy all year long. For more resources on suicide prevention awareness, check out our blog post How to Recognize the Warning Signs of Suicide and What You Can Do to Help.
If you are in a crisis, please call us at 303-425-0300 or by calling the crisis line at 844-493-8255. The 24/7 crisis walk-in center and withdrawal management program is open at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.