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Sports & Recreation

Staying Healthy, the New Orleans Way

How to enjoy New Orleans while being healthy and active at the same time, from exploring the cemeteries and parks to biking and camping.

Audubon Park (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Enjoying the cuisine, architecture and music of Southeast Louisiana still only provides a slice of the culture that is available. Looking to see what happens when you step outside of the usual activities?  Then follow us along on a trip through some of the slightly lesser-known assets New Orleans and nearby areas have to offer that will also keep you feeling good at the end of the day. You’d be surprised how much fitness you can find in the Big Easy.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Starting off, cemetery tours are a subtle way to get some exercise.  You may not be running 26.2 miles, but being on your feet, learning some new things about the departed, and breathing in the fresh air the entire time. Perhaps the graves will give you a bit of perspective as well, providing the bonus of mental health.

When traveling from place to place, instead of taking a cab or the bus, try the two-wheeled wonder: a bicycle.  There are plenty of places to rent or buy them in a variety of neighborhoods throughout the city, and there are many great resources available to help steer you along the perfect routes. Personally, I’d recommend St. Charles, the French Quarter, Magazine Street (be mindful of the space between traffic and bicyclists), and certainly up near Bayou St. John. Remember to always be alert for drivers who might swerve for potholes, so keep your head on a swivel and stay safe!

If you’re uptown near the universities, it’s definitely worth it to take a stroll, or jog if you’re the ambitious type, around Audubon Park.  There is a paved 1.7 mile long path that is ideal for walking or biking, and there is also a slightly longer 2.2 mile dirt path around the edge of the park as well, following roughly the same shape. Find out other great jogging paths to explore in New Orleans.

Audubon Park (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Check out other great outdoor activities in New Orleans, like hiking, fishing, bird watching and kayaking, all which can be done right within the city limits.

If you happen to be in New Orleans for a quick trip across parish lines, there’s plenty to explore not far from the city.  If you’d like to do some camping, go north to Bogue Chitto State Park which provides isolated digs right near several streams in the park.  There is also plenty to do near and along Tammany Trace such as biking, roller-blading, walking, and jogging.  And finally, only 30 minutes away from downtown New Orleans, the Barataria Preserve, part of the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park, provides a great destination for those interested in bird-watching, an afternoon stroll, or a great view of Louisiana’s wetlands. If you’ve reached the end of this list and you’re not worn out yet, I commend you. Perhaps it’s time to check out one of the marathons or triathlons that are hosted here annually. Or just take a break, grab a po’ boy, and go check out some music in the sunshine.

Thomas Rush is an entrepreneur in New Orleans who currently serves in several capacities, most recently as the founder of Few and Far, an online retailer for adventurous gentlemen,  and COO of Yvelise Limoncello.

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