Did you know that Americans spend an average of 90 percent of their time indoors?

community walking trailAccording to international fitness coach, Tim Powers, over 95 percent of work was performed manually with human hands at the turn of twentieth century. Today, less than 3% of all labor is performed manually. Technology has increased productivity but caused us to live an indoor lifestyle that’s sedentary and inactive. These two factors have significantly increased disease and obesity in the US.

With over 350 days of sunshine each year and a moderate climate, Las Cruces is one of the best places in the country for you to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.

That is one of the reasons I’m passionate about green building. The purpose of preservation is to create healthier indoor and outdoor environments for our Picacho Mountain community members to enjoy for generations to come.

Health Benefits of Outdoor Recreation
Hiking in Las Cruces NMBefore we look at some of the awesome outdoor activities you can enjoy here in Las Cruces, lets look at a few of the benefits of outdoor recreation.

Recent research indicates that spending time outdoors is associated with a host of physical health benefits. These benefits include:

  • Increased cardiovascular function
  • Reduction of blood pressure
  • Accelerated healing
  • Disease prevention
  • Vitamin D production
  • Weight loss
  • Weight management and more

The benefits are not only physical.  Outdoor activity can also improve your mental health. Enjoying the great outdoors can decrease stress levels, enhance your mood, alleviate symptoms of depression, improve self-esteem, and reduce anger and tension.

While many indoor activities tend to be more isolated and solitary, outdoor activities tend to encourage social networking and connectedness.

I have seen this first hand among the community members in Picacho Mountain. I often see our community members interacting as they walk, cycle or simply gather on a patio to visit with one another, like it used to be when we were growing up – neighbors knew neighbors.

“There are just so many things to do outdoors in Picacho Mountain.
It’s wonderful for people like us who like to keep fit and healthy”
Karen Woods, Picacho Mountain Community Member

Types of Outdoor Recreation
As you can see, there are so many benefits to spending time outside. So why don’t we spend more time outside? Weather is one of the biggest reasons.

Compared to most of the country, Las Cruces’ weather is perfectly suited for you to enjoy outdoor recreation.

As a Picacho Mountain community member, you don’t have to worry about extreme heat like Arizona residents, summer humidity or frigid winters like your East Coast and Mid-West friends, endless dreary, grey days like North-Westerners or the annoying traffic jams of the West Coast.

In Las Cruces you won’t have to worry about another hurricane evacuation or go running for the cellar for a tornado warning.

“I used to get a little bit depressed about this time every year back East because Labor Day had past and I knew in another month it was going to get cold; the leaves would start falling, I’d have to spend three weeks raking them, and then I’d have to prepare to start shoveling snow. In contrast, I really look forward Fall and Winter here in Las Cruces. The weather is just wonderful. There’s really just not a bad time of year here!”
Steve Jarvis, Picacho Mountain Community Member

At Picacho Mountain you can enjoy beautiful sunshine year-round. So lets get outdoors!

There are many outdoor activities and hobbies that can easily be enjoyed in Las Cruces including:

  • astronomy in las cruces New MexicoWalking
  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Mountain biking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Bird-watching
  • Gardening
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Softball, baseball and soccer
  • Astronomy
  • Geology
  • Outdoor arts and crafts
  • And so much more!

Here are just a handful of activities enjoyed by the Picacho Mountain community members.

Gardening in Las Cruces NMCoach Powers says that gardening is a surprisingly good way for everyone, including those of us in the 50+ crowd, to get exercise.

“In terms of quality and beneficial exercise, gardening offers a ‘whole brain-whole body’ activity that improves heart, lung and vascular function,” says Coach Powers. “Gardening also increases functional strength, body flexibility and elasticity. It also significantly increases metabolic rate and reduction in body fat percentage.”

Plus, you get the added benefit of enjoying the beauty of your garden and the nutritious whole foods you grow.  We just participated in Art in the Garden  There was a tremendous turnout from Las Cruces residents as well as El Paso and surrounding towns.  Here at our Picacho Mountain Visitor Center, we showcased native Southwest plants supplied by Enchanted Gardens of Las Cruces.  In addition, we had members from the Dona Ana County Master Gardeners Association with information about all aspects of gardening and landscaping in Las Cruces.

If you’re into tennis, then you’re in luck! Picacho Mountain community members enjoy exclusive membership at Picacho Hills Country Club where you can take advantage of their lighted courts, tennis instruction, tennis tournaments and sports camps.

Las Cruces also has the Lions Tennis Courts featuring regulation size lighted courts that are free and open to the public. You will also find great tennis facilities at the  and New Mexico State University.

Cycling is another increasingly popular sport for baby boomers and other “older” Americans.

Cycling is great exercise without the back, knee, hip, and shoulder injuries that are so common among runners and tennis players. Plus, it is better cardiovascular exercise than golf.

The gentle rolling hills, high quality roads, and minimal traffic make Picacho Mountain one of the most popular cycling destinations in Las Cruces.

“Here in Picacho Mountain the amount of traffic on the road is so light that it really isn’t a problem to bicycle and feel safe. On the other side of Las Cruces, even though there are bike paths, it’s still not nearly as nice as it is here.”
Dale Woods, Picacho Mountain Community Member

Walking & Hiking
Hiking at Picacho Mountain in Las Cruces NMIf you want a more leisurely way to enjoy the outdoors, you might consider hiking or walking.

There are many beautiful trails and recreation areas in and around Las Cruces where you can enjoy a hike. Many people are unaware of the beautiful hiking trails that are open to the public in the Picacho Peak area, including Box Canyon Dam and Spring Canyon.

Walking also serves as a great way to benefit from being outdoors. Picacho Mountain streets and walking trails are designed to be pedestrian friendly so that you can be safe as you enjoy the views and get your exercise.

“My wife Moana and I love to walk. We started walking together here at Picahco Mountain. It’s such a nice ritual. She tells me about her day and I tell her about my life in retirement. It’s also a great workout. It’s aerobic because we walk up the hill. Then we turn around and see the view of the valley and really enjoy it as we’re coming down the hill. Walking is one of those things, like bicycling, you can do for many, many years.”
Steve Jarvis, Picacho Mountain Community Member

These are just a few of the recreational activities that can be part of your outdoor lifestyle at Picacho Mountain. Whether you’re an avid runner or just enjoy a glass of wine of the patio, you will be enchanted by the breathtaking views and mild climate here in Las Cruces, NM!

To find out more about how you can enjoy your passion at Picacho Mountain, call us today at 575-523-2500.



New Courtyard Home Virtual Tour

Enjoy this virtual tour our newest model courtyard home here in The Willows at Picacho Mountain. Based on the popular Encanto floor plan, this charming home blends indoor and outdoor living, making it the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful New Mexico climate. The spacious great room, flex room and kitchen all open to an intimate enclosed outdoor living space featuring an outdoor kitchen, bar and fire pit. The home also features an all new mud room/laundry room/utility office concept that connects the master closet and great room.

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Custom Home Construction – Phase One

This clip kicks off our new “Custom Home Construction” video series showcasing a behind the scenes look into West Mesa Builders’ construction and design process. In the coming months we will cover everything from framing and insulation, to kitchen design and color selection. Bob and Karen Pofahl also share the stringent quality control steps they take to ensure each home is built to the highest standards and much more.

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Click to watch video.

Custom Home Tour With Karen

Custom home designer and builder Karen Pofahl, of West Mesa Builders, walks us through one or her new home during its final stages of construction. This 3600 square foot home is located in Picacho Mountain Master Planned Community and sits on a 2 acre lot that has breathtaking views of the Organ Mountains and Mesilla Valley. The home has a contemporary feel to it, yet seamlessly blends into the beautiful desert surroundings.

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