LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 11, 2011) - Trying to plan for the upcoming I-405 closure weekend? The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's RENEW initiative is encouraging LA County residents to get out of the car and move! During the July 16-17 closure of the I-405 freeway in the Sepulveda Pass for the Mulholland Bridge demolition, predictions of gridlock will cause many LA County residents to avoid driving and look for alternative activities closer to home. And with all the natural resources Southern California has to offer, the opportunities to partake in healthy, car-free outdoor activities are endless.

So where's the outdoor action? Here are just a few ideas to get LA County residents out and moving -- and away from freeway congestion:

  • Get on your bike and ride! Check out the paved and off-road bike trails found throughout LA County. Detailed path maps can be picked up at any branch of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.discoverlosangeles.com), or printed from recreational directory websites such as LA Bike Paths (www.labikepaths.com). Information on group cycle rides can be found at www.la-bike.org.

  • Take a hike! Hiking is a great way to spend time with friends and family while enjoying the outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of the city. LA County has a wide array of trail systems, which can range from easy, level strolls to challenging hillside hikes. Trails and hiking suggestions can be found at www.parks.ca.gov.

  • Hit a hole-in-one! LA County offers a wide variety of public golf courses with plenty of sand traps and water hazards to keep it interesting. Increase the level of activity by skipping the cart rental and enjoying the walk. Check out reviews and pricing at www.golfable.com.

  • Stick your toes in the sand! Enjoy one of Southern California's beautiful beaches, but don't just lie there -- enjoy fun beach activities such as swimming, surfing, body boarding and volleyball. Santa Monica and Malibu beaches provide well-maintained swimming areas and low-cost equipment rentals. Or head to the South Bay and stroll, bike, or rollerblade the boardwalks that run parallel to the ocean.

  • Play at the park! LA County is home to more than 150 community parks, and chances are there's one right around the corner. Pack your family and your Frisbee and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. To find park locations and amenities, visit parks.lacounty.gov.

  • Grow a green thumb! Starting your own family garden can be easier than you think, and it's a wonderful physical activity to enjoy outside. Whether you have a big backyard, several containers on your apartment balcony or a plot in a community garden, your garden will yield more than just fresh vegetables for dinner -- you'll reap lots of special memories, too. For local gardening tips and conditions, visit celosangeles.ucdavis.edu.

These are just a few of the many options to keep LA County residents on their feet and out of their cars during the upcoming I-405 closure. More fun ideas for activities can be found on County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website. For more information on being physically active in LA County, connect with Choose Health LA online, which represents all of the public health efforts of RENEW LA County. Visit Choose Health LA on Twitter @ChooseHealthLA, on Facebook and at ChooseHealthLA.com.

About RENEW LA County
The LA County Department of Public Health's RENEW (Renew Environments for Nutrition, Exercise and Wellness) initiative seeks to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and reduce obesity in LA County. RENEW LA County is made possible by a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative.

About LA County Department of Public Health
The LA County Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health, please visit publichealth.lacounty.gov or the YouTube channel at youtube.com/lapublichealth or follow Public Health on Twitter: @LAPublicHealth.