October 12, 2022
7 Arthritis-Friendly East Bay Hikes
Don’t let your arthritis stop you from doing what you love! Enjoy nature and time outside with these 7 joint-friendly hikes in California’s East Bay.
The pain, stiffness, and mobility limitations that often accompany arthritis can make it hard for us to do the things we love, like going hiking and enjoying time in nature. Luckily though, just because you have arthritis doesn’t mean you have to abandon the outdoors! There are many ways you can still soak up the many benefits of nature for both your arthritis and full-scope wellness.
With proper protection and support, there are many ways to enjoy the crisp fresh air and beauties of nature without worrying about worsening our arthritis. In fact, research suggests that nature tends to positively affect our wellbeing, often helping to reduce anger, pain, anxiety, and stress by promoting a relaxing and restorative state.
General Tips Before You Head Out
With arthritis, it’s essential to take the time to properly warm up your joints. Apply heat for up to 20 minutes to help reduce stiffness before your walk. Afterwards you can ice your joints for up to 20 minutes to help reduce any swelling and inflammation.
When finding trails, aim for flat, paved paths to avoid putting extra pressure on your joints. Try not to push it, and make sure to end your walk before you begin feeling a strain on your joints. It’s better to stop early than to overdo it and be forced to recover for days to weeks.
A final tip — stay vigilant of your surroundings and keep an eye out for divots or potholes that could catch your ankles or cause a stumble.
7 East Bay Hikes For You to Explore
#1 Lake Temescal Loop Trail
Location: Oakland, CA
Est. Time: 20-45 min.
Length: 1.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 95 ft.
This 1.1-mile loop trail near Oakland, California is generally considered an easy and relaxing stroll. The loop is popular for bird-watching, fishing, and walking, but you can still find a peaceful slice of solitude if you head out in the early morning or evening.
Enjoy the company of Canadian geese, cormorants, ducks, and kingfishers alongside beautiful lilies and wild onions that blossom on the west edge of the lake in the spring. Take the Oak Bay Trail, and you’ll go on a short climb at the halfway point that takes you to a bench overlooking the hills. The trail is open year-round and dogs are welcome, though they must be leashed.
Learn more about the Lake Temescal Loop Trail with Alltrails >>
#2 Jewel Lake
Location: Berkeley, CA
Est. Time: 13-30 min.
Length: 0.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 22 ft.
The Jewel Lake trail is a short and easy route down a dirt path from Tilden Little Farm to Jewel Lake. This trail is open all year and is fairly popular for its accessibility, and you’ll likely run into other nature lovers on a quick excursion. You may be lucky and spot some deer, turtles, or turkeys! If you have a dog, you’ll have to leave them at home for this one as dogs aren’t allowed on the trail.
Learn more about the Jewel Lake Trail with Alltrails >>
Photo by: Coro. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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