Get off the couch, leave your smartphone behind, and head outdoors.

If you have been feeling sluggish lately or if you feel overwhelmed by your commitments at home and at work, a quick walk outdoors can give your mind and body a welcome pick-me-up.

A growing number of studies suggest that enjoying outdoor activities can boost mental health as well as physical fitness. In fact, these studies say that frequenting outdoor facilities can counteract the adverse side effects of the combination of an unhealthy fare and a sedentary lifestyle.

For kids, activities like talking a walk, riding a bike or playing sports outdoors offer quite a few benefits. For one, they can help in the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. Getting ample sunshine can help stimulate the body’s production of vitamin D, which in turn can help reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes and bone problems.

For adults, engaging in outdoor activities can help in weight management and reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart attack and a few types of cancer. It can help restore vigor and improve immunity and can give you an opportunity for social interactions.

When it comes to Berkeley recreation & outdoor activities, Codornices Park is the first name that comes to mind.

Located in Euclid Avenue, between Eunice Street and Bayview Place in Northeast Berkeley, Codornices Park was formally opened in 1915. Back then, the park had a field house, tennis court and other play features. In 1921, the city leased the land to the Water Company until it was succeeded by the East Bay Municipal Utilities District. In 1967, the local government acquired the property. In 1970, a softball field was added. Following this, the paths, meadows, bridges, trails and meadows of the park were restored through the efforts of the Los Amigos de Codornices.

Today, the park offers a few features that make it conducive for play and recreation. These include baseball/softball fields, a full basketball court, a play area for kids, a multi-purpose turf, picnic and BBQ areas, hiking trails, a vista, the two forks of the Codornices creek, and a tunnel which leads to the Berkeley Rose Garden.

The park is usually open from dawn to dusk and is wheelchair-accessible from Euclid.

If you are visiting Berkeley and you wish to get a welcome respite from all the shopping and exploring, if you want to play sports and outdoor games with your kids, or if you simply want to spend a little time outdoors, head on to Codornices Park. To learn more about Codornices Park Click Here.

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*Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons