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Keep Healthy and Active in Aiken, SC

Keep Healthy and Active in Aiken, SC

Experts agree that getting outside and staying active is good for both our physical and emotional health. Residents of Aiken, SC, have multiple options to improve their health and get their daily dose of vitamin D. Citizens Park is managed by the city of Aiken. The expansive grounds of the park include 14 multi-purpose athletic fields, used for both recreational leagues and tournaments throughout the year. For a child interested in playing a sport, the city of Aiken offers recreational leagues for basketball, baseball, softball, flag football, soccer, cheerleading, volleyball, and buddy sports. And adults don’t need to feel left out. Aiken offers three league programs for adults: basketball, softball, and flag football.

If team sports aren’t your first choice, there are a number of local gyms that cater to both novices and experts – including the Aiken YMCA. There are also a number of walking/running tracks and trails throughout the Aiken area.

Aiken offers certain sporting options that are all its own – namely equestrian sports. Drawing on its equine history dating back to the 19th century, Aiken offers a variety of activities for horse lovers and those who are just curious about what the fuss is all about. Aiken is home to two major horse racing events – Imperial Cup in March and the Holiday Cup in October. Both of these events are hosted by the Aiken Steeplechase Association, and they draw a large crowd, most of whom are dressed to the nines. Are you familiar with polo? There are approximately 40 polo fields located in the Aiken area, and a surprising number of talented polo players call Aiken home. Though the sport is played year around, major tournaments are usually held in the spring or summer. There are also dressage events hosted in the Aiken area, wherein a horse and rider are challenged to perform a series of prescribed events, including jumps. If you’re interested in riding without a competitive element, take the time to visit Aiken’s own Hitchcock Woods. Hitchcock Woods is one of the largest urban forests in the nation, with more than 2000 acres, including more than 70 miles of trails. In addition to pedestrian/hiking use, horses and their riders are welcome in the woods. Pups on leashes are welcome as well!

Many people also associate Aiken with golf. Head out to the garage and dust off your clubs, so you can take advantage of a large number of public and private golf courses in the Aiken area. Area golf clubs – or neighborhoods that feature golf course access – include Aiken Golf Club, The Reserve Club, Woodside Plantation, Houndslake Country Club, Cedar Creek Golf Club and Palmetto Golf Club. Palmetto Golf Club was established in 1892, and it is considered to be the oldest continually operated golf course in the Southeast. Records also suggest that it is likely to be the second oldest continually operated golf course in the United States. These golf courses are also used by local businesses seeking to entertain potential clients.

Of course, if you’re talking golf, the prestigious Masters Golf Tournament is hosted each April at Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, GA. Aiken residents are fortunate to be within quick driving distance of the course. Augusta is approximately 20 miles from Aiken and a short 30-minute drive. Though it can be difficult to secure tickets to the tournament without a large budget or connections (and sometimes even then!), many residents of Aiken and Augusta choose to work in a variety of temporary positions needed during the week of the tournament, allowing them to be in on the action during this exciting week of golf.

If you want access to kayaking, canoeing and other water sports, Aiken is within short driving distance of the Savannah River, as well as Clarks Hill Lake/Lake Thurmond, outside of Augusta, GA), and Lake Murray near Columbia, SC. Aiken residents can enjoy a day on the water, without spending a lot of time in the car to get there.
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