The holidays are over, we’ve welcomed in 2015 and our New Year’s resolutions are well underway. For many of us, losing weight and getting in shape are at the top of our resolution list this year. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a great resolution but one that can be challenging to stick to. This is especially true if you’re prone to “gym burn-out.” The good thing is that California offers plenty of fun ways to get in shape beyond the monotony of spending hours on the treadmill staring at an outdated Us Weekly.
We’ve broken down our favorite ways to get in shape in California by region with our top picks in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Sacramento. No matter where or how you decide to get in shape this New Year, there’s certainly no shortage of fun and effective workouts in California.
Take a hike
Enjoy the benefits of the gym without the New Year’s crowd by planning a hike in the beautiful and open outdoors. If you live in San Francisco and need to escape the crowded city, venture over to Bodega Bay and hike up to Bodega Head for dramatic ocean views, breathtaking sunsets and possible whale sightings! This mellow two-mile loop is perfect for beginners and the kiddos!
For those of you in LA, it’s time to get outdoors and take advantage of your nearly perfect year-round weather. The Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa hiking trail offers the most incredible costal views and it’s a great work out with moderate hills and a distance of 7.28 miles.
If you’re in Sacramento and haven’t ventured up to Auburn to enjoy their trails and waterfalls (yes, we said waterfalls) it’s time to mix things up this year. Hike to Black Hole of Calcutta Falls with family, friends or even your furry friend for a fun two-mile hike with beautiful views of the American River, cascading waterfalls and easily accessible trails.
Climb a wall
Indoor rock-climbing is a great full-body workout and there is a huge sense of accomplishment that comes with mastering a difficult route or reaching the top of a wall. Planet Granite in San Francisco’s Presidio is a climbing gym that also offers yoga and fitness classes – not to mention a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge – while Touchstone Climbing’s Dogpatch Boulders is the largest bouldering gym in the country.
Hangar 18 has six locations in Southern California, including the South Bay gym in the Los Angeles area that offers climbers over 12,000 square feet of textured terrain and is kid-friendly, with great preliminary instruction and refresher courses.
If you’re an experienced climber, Granite Arch Climbing Center in Sacramento is the perfect place to brush up on your skills during the colder months when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor climbing. People from all over California travel to Granite Arch since it’s the largest indoor rock climbing gym in California and the terrains resemble famous climbing areas throughout the world like Yosemite, which makes for a fun experience.
Enlist in boot camp
Boot camps have been around for several years and are still a popular choice. With a variety of exercises in an indoor or outdoor environment, workouts are tough but never boring. Plus, they’re effective at burning calories and building muscle. San Francisco has great natural terrain for boot camp classes and with programs like Boot Camp SF in the Mission, bodyFi in the Financial District, SKYEFiT in SoMa and Noe Valley, and Basic Training in the Marina, you will get in shape and looking good in that bathing suit (you too, guys) by the summer.
LA’s boot camp scene is hot! Alpha Venice studio offers boot camp training courses in a boutique-style studio directly across from the beach. Did we mention your instructor would be Elizabeth Banks’ personal trainer, Joselynne Boschen?
Mama’s Bootcamp in Sacramento was voted “Best of 2014” by KCRA News and beat out over 20 other boot camps for the title. Gut Check Fitness Sacramento is a popular boot camp for men and provides a unique fitness environment with obstacle courses, outdoor works outs and more for all levels.
Go for a spin
Spin is taking California by storm as studios go beyond just shouting and fast-paced, techno music to offer a variety of ways to spin into shape.
In San Francisco, many traditional gyms offer spin classes, and there are several dedicated indoor spin gyms throughout the city, including Wheel House in the financial district, GO! in North Beach, M2 Revolution downtown, SHIFT (formally Velo SF) in North Beach / Telegraph Hill and SoulCycle in SoMa and the Marina.
Los Angeles offers a wide range of classes as well and Flywheel is the go-to place for serious cyclists with custom bikes, computer screens, monitor gear and occasional classes taught by The Biggest Loser’s Jillian Michaels. Cycle House is the perfect environment for all levels with challenging 55-minute classes, and the best part? For every class that you take at Cycle House, two meals are donated to someone in need.
TeamRide in Sacramento offers great introductory classes with a full-indoor cycling studio and some great tunes to motivate members along the way. Cycle In, also located in Sacramento, provides a scenic ride through the hills of Tuscany, Paris or the East Coast with 60” plasma screens to entertain and keep you motivated throughout the entire ride.
Don’t want to commit to just one gym or style of workout? Try Class Pass. For $99 a month you can use the Class Pass website or app to sign up for an unlimited number of classes — bootcamp, Pilates, yoga, cycling, TRX, etc. — at dozens of boutique gyms throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The only restriction is you can’t go to the same place more than three times in a month.
Open your door
One of the best parts of living in California is the outdoor recreation available just outside your door – no travel necessary and no annual or monthly fee equals no excuses!
If you live in San Francisco, start a weekly work out routine and run along the Embarcadero, Crissy Field or Baker Beach, climb a nearby hill or stairs, cycle Golden Gate Park or across the Bridge, paddle the Bay or surf the ocean.
Los Angeles is home to beautiful weather, beaches and running trails. Start off your year right by practicing some simple workouts on the beach—bring a mat and try out some yoga poses, do some abs, or go on a walk with friends and your dog. For a more cardio intense work out, start mapping out some running trails along the beautiful Santa Monica coast. Check out some running trails here.
Sacramento is home to some beautiful trails, lakes and rivers. Take a weekend run along the American River trails, Ancil Hoffman trails or Discovery Park and enjoy the spectacular scenery.