With spring finally here, thoughts turn to lazy days spent at the beach in a bikini — and baring almost all to do so. Those carefree days of hoodie weather and pumpkin lattes are gone, and the time has come to get into shape. Does working out need to be a chore, though?
Not in the City of Angels, it doesn’t. Los Angeles hosts a wide variety of unique and innovative ways to burn fat and tone muscle, all while having a blast. Those weary of treadmills and grunting hulks in the weight room can get their fit groove on without necessarily stepping foot inside a gym. Plus, trying new workouts means using different muscles and taking fitness to the next level.
1. Cycle Karaoke
Those living near the Burbank area can set their inner divas free while they tone and tighten their core and legs. Cycle Karaoke at Crunch mixes the traditional spin workout with a Saturday night twist. Singing adds extra oomph to the core component of this workout, and those who love the limelight without the use of liquid courage — other than water — will soon forget they’re burning calories since they’re having too much fun.
2. Bare-Naked Yoga
Have a bit of an inner exhibitionist? Those who enjoy strutting their stuff in the buff can unite breath and body in a naked yoga class, a workout trend that has been growing in popularity in LA for several years now.
Decidedly not for the shy and timid, unless they’re working on self-love as well as their fitness, naked yoga classes teach acceptance of the body as it is. The lack of clothing frees the limbs to move without impediment, and once the initial butterflies and giggles pass, participants develop a new respect for the bodies that carry their souls throughout life.
3. Bounce Away Pounds
Even those who stand only Hobbit-high can dunk basketballs like Shaq at Sky Zone indoor trampoline park. Take fitness soaring to new heights by bouncing and flipping like an Olympic gymnast.
Ever dream of being on American Ninja Warrior? The facility offers an opportunity to recreate the experience on its obstacle course. Those tired of having strangers drip martinis on their designer duds at the club will love Saturday nights at Skyzone’s Club Glow.
4. Take a Hike
LA boasts some of the best hiking spots in the nation, including Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park, so those weary of staring at other peoples’ backs while riding the elliptical can switch things up with an outdoor trek. Even five minutes spent exercising outside boosts drab moods considerably. Plus, the air out there smells much better than sweaty armpits and stinky feet.
5. Sweat It Out
Those craving a mind-body experience that doesn’t involve twisting like a pretzel can avail themselves of ancient Native sweat lodge ceremonies to cleanse away toxins while burning calories. During the ceremony, participants enter an outdoor tent where steam and various herbs elevate the consciousness.
Many sweat lodge participants report experiencing emotional catharsis during and after the ceremony, so those seeking spiritual healing for mental and emotional pain naturally gravitate toward the practice. Before booking an appointment to participate in a sweat lodge, research the qualifications of those in charge of the journey. Reputable sweat lodge ceremonial leaders allow participants to leave at any time if the experience causes discomfort.
6. Just Dance
Dance fitness is hardly new, but the variety of class formats to choose from in LA has expanded immensely in recent years. You don’t necessarily have to join a gym, either — many instructors and facilities offer free and pay-as-you-go classes in the hopes of getting the word out there.
Those who love music with a Latin and international flair will adore Zumba classes. People who always dreamed of performing on Broadway revel in classes like LaBlast that bring back the classic stage dances of yesteryear. Couples hoping to strengthen their bond while getting fit can sign up for classes in ballroom dance. Those who always wanted to do ballet find Barre classes engaging and fun.
Fit and the City
The sheer number of unique fitness activities in the greater LA area make it no wonder why many of the city’s suburbs rank among the fittest in the U.S. Get beach bikini ready by working new muscles and exploring inventive new ways to pump it up.