The summer season is nearly over and kids are already back in school, but there are still opportunities to keep in shape and enjoy the sun — even into the fall season.

Throughout the year, there are dozens of pools and recreation centers scattered across the San Fernando Valley, as well as hiking trails, for you to explore.

The not-so-small list of parks, some that offer a pleasant stroll and others that have more challenging hiking trails includes – Brand Park, Rudy Ortega Sr. Park, Lopez Canyon Park and Hansen Dam. 

You don’t need to sign up for specific recreation activities, you can enjoy open space with your whole family to both exercise and have fun by throwing a ball back and forth or power walking through the hills.

Keep Swimming

There are also pools that will remain open through the fall and winter seasons which include several year-round swimming pools in the northeast San Fernando Valley, such as the Hubert Humphrey Pool, the San Fernando Regional Pool and the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center.

While you may not feel like going to the beach as much during fall and winter months, you can still enjoy swimming.

It’s never too late to improve your swimming skills, or even learn how to swim if you never learned — no matter your age.

A 2022 study by ValuePenguin found that 17 percent of Americans can’t swim, with income playing a factor — households with incomes below $35,000 make up the highest percentage of those who can’t swim (23 percent) compared to those whose household income is more than $100,000 (11 percent).

Furthermore, 39 percent said they would not be comfortable saving someone who is struggling to swim. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the US averages 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings a year — around 11 people per day. 

Learning to swim isn’t just beneficial for you, it could help save somebody’s life.

Swimming exercises all parts of the body, from your arms and shoulders, to your back and chest, to your legs and feet. No matter the stroke, your whole body gets a workout. You don’t have to keep swimming laps like a competitive swimmer to get a good workout — as long as you get your body moving, you can get in shape.

Swimming is not only a good workout, it provides other health benefits. The CDC says swimming can help people with arthritis improve the use of their arthritic joints without worsening symptoms. It can also improve the quality of life in older adults and help maintain the bone health of post-menopausal women.

It can also improve a person’s mood. Water-based exercise can improve the health of pregnant people and has a positive effect on their mental health. Additionally, parents of children with developmental disabilities find that swimming can improve family connections.

Pools offer swimming lessons to not just children, but adults too. Lifeguards are there, not just to keep patrons safe, but to teach valuable safety skills. It doesn’t matter if you want to brush up on old skills, or you never learned to swim when you were younger, lifeguards are able to help at any skill level.