Los Angeles is one of the best places in the world for sunny weather, year-round. And with all that glorious sunshine, do you really want to be in a gym, galloping along on a glorified hamster wheel? If not, good news! There are plenty of beautiful, outdoor settings where you can work up a sweat under clear blue skies. A great workout can keep you in shape, but it’s also ideal for de-stressing after a hectic day. Check out these incredible outdoor workouts that feature more dynamic views than the mirror-lined walls at your fitness club.
Ride the Marvin Braude Bike Trail
Run, bike, or skate your way through 22 miles of paved coastal trails at the Marvin Braude Bike Trail. Also known as The Strand, this path connects Will Rogers State Beach to Torrance Beach, and you can pack a picnic and hop off any time for a peaceful break right by the waves. If 22 miles sounds like a lot to take on, don’t sweat it. The level path won’t wear you out with steep inclines, and most people can bike it in a couple hours. Once you’ve spent some time training, you can increase the intensity and try to beat your own record.
Pump iron at Muscle Beach
If lifting is your favorite part of the gym, you’re in luck. Right in the birthplace of the fitness movement, Muscle Beach is an incredibly affordable outdoor gym, right on Venice Beach, where professional athletes train daily. The weight lifting area of Muscle Beach is stocked with powerlifting and Olympic bars, and more bumpers than most of us could ever dream to lift. It also boasts space for rope climbing, gymnastics, and acrobatics. And if you need to get some cardio in, there’s nothing like a run down the beach or a swim in the ocean to get your heart pounding.
Limber up at La Cienega Outdoor Fitness Pavilion
In Beverly Hills, La Cienega Outdoor Fitness Pavilion is a fitness center offering sign-guided circuit training that’s free to the public. Twelve machines are set up in an outdoor park that lets you strengthen your upper and lower body, as well as machines that target your core. The machines include an elliptical, a cross-country skiing machine, and a row machine for outdoor cardio training that has a lower impact on your joints than running.
Try ocean yoga with YOGaqua
With classes in Marina Del Rey and Ventura, the YOGaqua team delivers a fun twist on your standard yoga class using paddleboards. Maintaining balance while you assume yoga poses on a paddleboard will strengthen your crucial stabilizing muscles that can keep you mobile throughout your life. And unlike regular yoga, wipeouts are part of the fun. Just enjoy it, get back on the board, and keep stretching.
Learn to surf
How many times has Point Break inspired you to start surfing? And how many times have you actually followed through? Southern California is one of the world’s leading places to catch great waves, so maybe it’s time to get started.Learning to surf is a challenging, whole-body workout, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s a truly rewarding experience. Santa Monica Surf School is certified by the International Surfing Association, and they teach you everything you need to know to ride the waves.
Explore Griffith Park’s hiking trails
If hiking is more your speed, head out to Griffith Park. The 53-mile network of trails weaves through rugged, untamed land for a nice break from the city. There’s plenty of steep grades for an intense workout. The trail leading from Griffith observatory to the top of Mount Hollywood is particularly popular with hikers – or you can find the trail that leads through the abandoned L.A. zoo. Whatever path you choose, don’t forget to bring plenty of water!
Join the DTLA Running Group
If you work downtown, it’s nice to find a good workout nearby. The DTLA running group meets a few mornings a week and accommodates runners of all levels. It’s a great way to get in shape and connect with new people in your neighborhood. The routes vary from day to day to keep things interesting, so stretch it up and get ready to run.
Take up tennis
Go one-on-one or play partner tennis at any one of LA’s dozens of open play courts. Some people need a little competition to inspire them to move, and tennis is an accessible game with straightforward rules. If you’re just aiming to sweat and have fun, there’s always cheap rackets at second-hand stores, and you can stock up on enough so that your friends don’t have an excuse not to take you on. Find your local tennis court here.
Bunker Hill Steps
Even bookworms will love this workout. The Bunker Hill steps are a beautifully designed pedestrian route that connects Bunker Hill to the Los Angeles Central Library. Two side-by-side staircases offer nearly three hundred steps and a lovely, mountain stream-inspired water feature dividing them. Sure, there’s an escalator – but why use it? You’re there to burn calories and build your calves.
Join a boot camp
Have trouble getting motivated for biking and hiking? Bootcamp LA offers hardcore workouts you can’t refuse – right in the garden of the Natural History Museum. Perfect for those who prefer guided fitness classes, you’ll have expert instructors to give you tips on better form and to keep you motivated when you’re starting to drag.
Find your LA dream home with Common
If the skyrocketing price of rent makes a gym membership out of the question, Common can help. Our fully furnished, spacious studios and shared living spaces are an affordable solution. Connect with other members and explore the city with new friends. If you’re looking for a convenient workout, Stella by Common in Marina del Rey has an indoor fitness center and yoga room so you can get fit right where you live. Our latest home, Common Elmwood, also offers a yoga room and rooftop deck with plenty of space to get your sweat on.