What?! How can hiking possibly save you money on your life insurance? Although that may seem to be an unusual correlation, it’s actually true.

People who are healthy not only live longer, they typically pay less for life insurance as well. Many insurers require a medical exam and take into account weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and overall health when determining the price of your premiums.

So the healthier you are, the more likely it is that you will pay less for life insurance.

Save Up to 20% on Your Premium Just by Having Healthy Habits

No one is doing more to reward you for being healthy than John Hancock Insurance. They have what’s called the Vitality Program, a special insurance plan designed to help you be a healthier you—and they are putting their money where their mouth is to make it happen.

The Vitality Program includes several benefits, such as:

  • up to 20% off your premium for maintaining healthy habits
  • coupons for up to 40% off of fitness devices such as a fitbit or an Apple Watch
  • shopping rewards such as gift cards and savings on healthy foods

To find out more or to sign up for the John Hancock Vitality Program, contact us today and let us help you get on track toward a longer, healthier, happier life.

Hiking: One of the Funnest, Easiest ‘Paths’ to a Healthy Life

Hiking has been shown to be an immensely beneficial activity for improving overall health. According to the National Park Service, hiking is good for not only your physical health, but also your mental and relational health. It improves your heart health, your sense of balance, and strengthens your bones and muscles. Hiking has also been shown by the research team at Stanford University to reduce the risk of depression, calm anxiety, and boost mood and energy.

In San Luis Obispo County, we live in what is arguably the hiking Mecca of the universe. So, in the interests of improving your health, we’ve put together a list of seven of the best hiking trails in and around SLO. So get out there and enjoy some of the iconic sights your own beautiful backyard has to offer!

Seven of the Best Hiking Trails In & Around SLO

Bluff-Trail San Luis Obispo

photo by Mike Baird

#1: Bluff Trail in Montaña de Oro State Park

Bluff Trail is one of the many hiking trails in Montaña do Oro State Park, just outside of Baywood-Los Osos. Bluff is a level, coastal hike of 3 miles that is perfect for hikers, bikes, and even wheelchairs. You can experience for yourself the beautiful tide pools, beaches, rock islands, and natural bridges that make the Central Coast so iconic. While you’re there, be sure to explore Coralina Cove, Quarry Cove, and Grotto Rock.


photo by Jesse Palmer

#2: Bishop Peak in San Luis Obispo

The summit of summits in San Luis Obispo is Bishop Peak. Named for its rocky crown shape that resembles a bishop’s miter, Bishop Peak is the tallest of the Nine Sisters, a range of volcanic mountains stretching from SLO to Morro Bay (Morro Rock is the last of the Sisters). This moderately-difficult yet rewarding hike is approximately 4.2 miles in length with an elevation change of about 1,175 feet. If you reach the summit and climb the massive boulders that await you at the top, you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of Laguna Lake, downtown San Luis Obispo, Cerro San Luis, and the Santa Lucia Mountains. Although bikes are not permitted on this trail, you can bring your dog as long as he is kept on a leash.

Avila Beach hiking -- health insurance trails article

photo by Erin Lerner

#3: Ontario Ridge Trail near Avila Beach

The Ontario Ridge Trail has been said by many to be one of the most beautiful hikes in SLO County. The trail, located along the hills that hem in Avila Beach, is 4 miles round-trip. Enjoy this moderately-difficult, steep ascent to the top of Ontario Hill, where you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Pismo Beach, Shell Beach, and Avila Beach. Continue on the trail to explore Pirate’s Cove as well.


photo by Mike Baird

#4: Valencia Peak in Montaña de Oro State Park

One of the tallest of the mountains in Montaña de Oro State Park, Valencia Peak offers you some of the best panoramic outlooks the park has to offer. It provides stunning views of Islay Creek Canyon, Morro Rock, Cerro Cabrillo, and Point Buchon. The hike is approximately 4.5 miles out and back with an elevation gain of 1,275 ft. Although the mountain is rather steep, a series of switchbacks in the trail makes the ascent easier for hikers. This is truly a beautiful hike, and one definitely worth taking.

View from Cerro-Alto

photo by Mike Baird

#5: Cerro Alto in Morro Bay

Cerro Alto is one of the highest points in San Luis Obispo County. With an elevation change of 1,600 feet and a distance of 5.35 miles, this hike is definitely a rewarding challenge. The trail is open to hikers, dogs, and bikes, providing a variety of ways for you to enjoy the beautiful views it has to offer. Those who make it to the top will receive incredible views of seemingly the entire county, including each of the Nine Sisters stretching from Morro Bay to SLO and other iconic area sights. Although there is a fee of $10 to park at the trailhead, the beautiful scenery is definitely worth it.


#6: Morro Strand Trail in Morro Bay

Morro Strand Trail is a moderate 3.5 mile hike that offers excellent views of the beautiful Morro Bay shoreline that includes Morro Rock, one of the quintessential Central Coast sights. With half of the walk being on the beach itself, it is highly recommended for optimal viewing pleasure that you go during sunset. Pets are not allowed on the Morro Strand Beach, but don’t let that stop you. This moderate hike is perfect for anyone else in the family and is sure to be enjoyed by all.

Cerro Cabrillo SLO

#7: Cerro Cabrillo in Morro Bay State Park

Cerro Cabrillo is the highest point in Morro Bay State Park. Although it is only 2.5 miles round-trip, the trail has about 900 feet in elevation gain, making it a tougher hike. Some parts of the trail are slippery and rugged, and when hikers reach the summit, there are boulders that require some moderate rock-climbing skills in order to get to the top. However, if you see the hike through to the summit, you will be rewarded with fantastic coastal panoramic views. Look to the North and you’ll see the first two of the Nine Sisters, Morro Rock and Black Hill. You will also see Hollister Peak, the Santa Lucia Mountains, Baywood-Los Osos, Morro Bay, and Montaña de Oro State Park. While you cannot bring your dog on your hike, there is no hiking or parking fee, so anyone can enjoy this free and beautiful hike.

What are You Waiting For? Get Out Today!

While we’ve only listed seven, every local knows that SLO County is bursting at the seems with hiking trails for every preference—from easy to difficult, unknown to well-known, or short to day-tripper. With all the beauty right here in our own back yard—to say nothing of the money you could save on insurance—there’s no reason not to get started today.

For more information on all there is to do in and around SLO, visit https://sanluisobispovacations.com.

To find out more about the John Hancock Vitality Plan or how you can save money on life insurance, contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation.

Questions about how your health is affecting your insurance premiums?

For 40 years, we’ve been helping San Luis Obispo make the best health insurance decisions. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.