Generally speaking, when the going gets rough here at UC Berkeley, the tough skip their workouts. It’s just a matter of priorities. We aren’t the number-one public university in the world for nothing. We study — and we study hard. It’s not our fault, really. In college, we’re forced to choose between three things: studying, sleep and a social life. Exercise doesn’t even make the cut. But believe it or not, getting in your exercise can help improve your studies and make you feel better overall. It’ll give you extra energy to focus on your work, tone up your muscles, help you sleep better, make you happier (because it releases endorphins) and give you a chance to get some fresh air. It just takes a bit of discipline, which is obviously the hard part. But exercising will be way more desirable if you enjoy what you’re doing. So make your exercise an adventure! One simple (and cheap) way to do that is running. Yes, we’re serious. Running can actually be enjoyable if it’s done the right way. For one, it’s cheap. All you need is a sturdy pair of running shoes and your Spotify app. It also can lead you to explore places in Berkeley that you probably wouldn’t go to in everyday life. Even though Berkeley is a city, there are still plenty of beautiful places where you can enjoy running and get your nature fix. We know it’s not for everyone, but you’ll never know if it’s for you if you don’t try it. We went ahead and found five fairly easy (three miles or less) running routes for you to try out here in our great city. These are our favorites.
1. Claremont Avenue to College Avenue
If you go down Claremont Avenue and cut onto College Avenue, you’ll run by the beautiful Claremont Hotel and get in a nice workout. The rest of the route, which doesn’t involve many hills, is filled with cute little shops and classy homes — a wonderful change from the college scene.
2. Indian Rock
This route is literally all uphill and feels like hell, but the view on top of Indian Rock is totally worth it … and no one will judge you for how long you stay up there — you just worked your butt off.
3. Berkeley Marina
You can make this a longer run by running down University Avenue to the Marina, or you can just take the 51B down and begin running when you get there. The beautiful water is a great distraction, especially if you run during sunrise or sunset.
4. Clark Kerr track
We love this track for a number of reasons. The view of San Francisco is stunning from up here, and even though it’s a track, it’s still surrounded by beautiful trees. The dirt may get your shoes a little dusty, but hey — it may make you feel like you worked a little harder.
5. Fire Trails
This will most likely become a walking hike because of the incline, but the fresh air and (once again) the views will totally be worth it! Grab a friend or take a group up here and make it an event.
Take a break from studying and go for a nice run … or a walk. Whichever floats your boat.
Image Sources: jacsonquerubin, under Creative Commons and Google Maps