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illustration for story about new year new you
(Lively Scout / For The Times)

44 spots in SoCal where workouts are actually fun

The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to launch a new fitness regimen. No baggage and a fresh start! Here, we’re giving you dozens and dozens of options to jump-start a tradition of wellness. And we’re going to make sure your workouts are fun — all the more likely to keep you going back for more. Many of these fitness options are outdoors, but they’ll include everything from palatial clubs to tiny storefront boutiques to oceanside exercise groups that meet on the sand. We all know that mixing it up keeps things fresh, so we’ve also got aerial hoop sessions, wall-climbing and rebounding classes, plus new takes on traditional workouts such as running and swimming. For an extra dose of pampering, we’ve also included world-class destination spas, which have spent the last two years upgrading, updating and adding even more luxurious amenities to their extensive list of bliss-promoting resources. It’s safe to say this list will help you prioritize your health and wellness this year — and beyond.

Now get started on your New Year, and your New You!

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Yogalution on the bluff in Long Beach.
(Rosemary McClure / For The Times)

Open-air yoga

Long Beach Yoga
“Take a nice big inhale,” says yoga instructor Dharma Shakti. Nearly 200 people draw a giant breath. “Now, when you’re in a comfortable, seated position, sit up nice and tall,” she says. Everyone straightens their back. It’s a sunny morning in downtown Long Beach. Hundreds of yoga students have rolled out their welcome mats to participate in Yogalution Movement, a free, open-air practice that takes place daily on a bluff top with an ocean view. Shakti founded her practice 15 years ago, but others sometimes teach now too. The group ranges from 150 to 300 people daily; classes at a Long Beach Yoga Studio and Wellness Center also are available daily. On Instagram @yogalutionmovement
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A photograph of the gym at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
(Zeke Ruelas/Beverly Hilton)

Upgrade your fitness

Beverly Hills Gym
If you’re not biohacking, you’re dating yourself. The term, now ubiquitous in popular culture, even has an element at the Beverly Hilton, the legendary celebrity hotel founded in 1955 by Conrad Hilton. Guests of the Beverly Hilton can enjoy wellness perks at Upgrade Labs, a biohacker’s health and fitness retreat at the hotel’s pool level. The 6,000-square-foot facility has 15 high-tech experiences for brain and body, including those said to help you eliminate jet lag, overcome travel stress or boost your immune system. Upgrade lab experiences: $175.
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A photograph from KTX Fitness.
(Keith Thompson)

Follow the leader

Fairfax Workout
Need a little motivation in your life? Keith Thompson is the man to call. Once upon a time, the founder of KTX Fitness weighed 300 pounds. Then he joined a step class, lost 70 pounds and turned his life around. Now he spends a lot of time crafting spin classes, step classes and boot camp for his clients in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Drop-in class via Zoom, $8; unlimited classes $79 monthly.
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A photograph from Cardio and Cocktails
(Leah Cohen)

Cardio with a kick

Hollywood Cardio
Mingle with like-minded fitness fans on the rooftop of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel every Sunday at 11 a.m. for Cardio & Cocktails, $33. Each week, a different cardio class is featured, courtesy of the Fit Girl Club. A post-workout party includes a Ketel One Botanical vodka seltzer, Nomadica canned wines and still and sparkling waters. Bring friends and have brunch by the pool. Download the free Fit Girl Club app to join the club and see a list of other events. Valet is $10.
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A photograph from Roworx Fitness.
(Jack Nunn)

Group rowing classes

Long Beach Rowing
A lot of fitness centers went out of business when COVID-19 struck. Not Roworx Fitness. Everyone just moved outside where they could watch the bay. Jack Nunn, owner of Roworx, turned efficiency into fun by offering rowing-machine classes that offer spectacular views of the water and sunsets at Marine Stadium in Long Beach, the former 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games Rowing venue. Rowing is a full-body, low-impact workout that burns up to 800 calories per hour and works 86% of the body’s muscles. Single class, $25; unlimited monthly classes, $130.
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A photograph from Daniel Rice Fitness.
(Daniel Rice)

Booty workouts

Eat well, move right and get quick results: that’s Daniel Rice’s training philosophy. Rice, with more than 10 years of experience, focuses on special workouts that not only target the booty but also help shape it, with or without equipment. His West Hollywood-based platform includes booty-focused workouts as well as a full-body weekly workout gym plan. He says his goal is to help clients manage stress and create a sense of well-being through movement, well-balanced nutrition and a daily mindful practice. Seven-day free trial; then $9.95 monthly.
A photo from AquaCycling in Lawndale.

Water cycling

Lawndale Workout
Fitness instructor Criselda Esguerra calls it “the fun of cycling and the music of aerobics” — and water. AquaCycling is an indoor cycling class that takes place in a warm pool, is especially productive for people who have limited mobility or are recovering from injury. The buoyancy in the water provides support for working muscles and joints. The Lawndale classes are 45 minutes, include full cardio circuit and are limited to six students each. $35 per single class.
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A photograph from Urban Aerial Fitness.
(Urban Aerial Fitness)

Up in the air

Fountain Valley Gymnastics
Fly up, up and away with Urban Aerial Fitness in Fountain Valley, where classes give students an opportunity to use circus-style activities while learning to be flexible and strong. The studio specializes in silks and hoops, says owner Alexandra Mata, who has been in the business for six years. “It seems scary at first,” says Mata, “but the exercise is fun and challenging and offers a full-body workout.” $30 per class.
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A photograph from Lekfit.
(Joshua Jones/The Only Timeline/Lekfit)

Let's bounce

Hancock Park Trampolines
Bounce your way to fitness with Lekfit, a workout that’s based on rebounder technology (you know them as trampolines). Founded in Los Angeles by Lauren Kleban, the Lekfit program is based on a low-impact, high-intensity cardio workout. An online streaming platform includes seven choreographed workouts a week plus daily five-minute additions and monthly library additions. Virtual sessions and a concierge service offer travelers the option to bounce from a hotel suite. Single class, $48.
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A photograph of the BodyBuzz workout.

Something to buzz about

If you’re looking for a Real Housewives-of-Orange-County type of workout, check out BodyBuzz, which combines personal training with the buzz of gentle muscle stimulation, called electromyostimulation (EMS) technology. Proponents say it helps you tone up and build muscle — fast. Forty minutes a week with BodyBuzz is equivalent to six hours at the gym, says co-founder Jeff King. The program offers mobile training in downtown San Diego, Carlsbad and several other cities, with workouts in the Palm Springs area available soon. Workouts are limited to two participants at a time and usually take place in parks and other outdoor venues. Price: Introductory session, $40, $495 per month.
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A photograph of Speir Pilates.
(Samantha Klose/Valorie Darling)

Low-impact, big results

West Hollywood Pilates
Pilates mat classes are offered in mainstream gyms across America, but a different kind of Pilates — Pilates exercises performed on a reformer machine — has been picking up steam too. One worth trying: Speir Pilates offers musically driven small group classes in West Hollywood that emphasize low-impact movements, preventing injury and aiding rehab. Single class: $40.
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A photograph from Symmetry by Peter.
(Peter Korth)

Training in symmetry

Hollywood Workout
It’s all about symmetry, says Peter Korth, Los Angeles trainer and culinary artist. “More than just training at a gym, it’s understanding the importance of healthy eating and nutrition.” Symmetry is also a unique approach to working out that helps build muscle and lose fat, he says, adding that “dance-infused motion will sculpt and define the physique you’ve worked so hard to achieve.” When the pandemic began, Korth set up his own gym space to keep clients safe. “I want you to leave your training sessions with your head held a little higher, and your self-worth a little stronger. That’s most important for me today as a personal trainer.” Sessions are $100.
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A photograph of the shoreline from the Ranch at Laguna Beach.
(Ranch at Laguna Beach)

Canyon + sea

Laguna Beach Gym
Add a day or two at the Ranch at Laguna Beach the next time you visit Orange County. The Ranch, which combines canyon and sea, gives guests a chance to take a look at an area of Laguna Beach that’s off the beaten path. Kick-start your day with a morning hike. There are 15,000 acres of local trails to keep you busy. You can also join a poolside restorative yoga and mindfulness class, or a HIIT (high-intensity interval training class) that meets at the resort’s sand volleyball courts. Participants are guided through a 40-minute interval training workout designed to pump up the heart rate.
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A photograph from WeHo Dodgeball.
(WeHo Dodgeball)

Head’s up

West Hollywood Dodgeball
If you like your workouts lively, dodgeball might be a good choice for you. While many leagues were closed during the pandemic, the fans are getting back into action. WeHo Dodgeball is the largest co-ed adult dodgeball league in Los Angeles. And Jake Mason, USA Dodgeball president, says the sport “is a fantastic way to get exercise while meeting new people. Our goal is to provide a fun and active alternative to people looking for a social scene in the West Hollywood area.“ $75 for 12 weeks.
LITTLE HARBOR, CA - AUGUST 11: Hikers Erin Sakamoto, left, 21, and her sister Jenna Sakamoto, 19, both of Simi Valley, arrive at the Little Harbor campground after hiking the Trans-Catalina Trail from Two Harbors, the premier hike on Catalina Island spanning the total route for a total of 38.5 miles in Catalina Island on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 in Little Harbor, CA. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Train for trails

Workout warriors who love a challenge should consider making the Trans-Catalina Trail part of their plan this year. It’s not easy. Following the 38.5-mile trail includes 10,000 feet of elevation gain. But the trail offers excellent scenic terrain along the ridgeline of the Pacific Ocean as it meanders through the hills between Avalon on the east end of Catalina and Two Harbors on the west. Most hikers plan on taking three or four days to complete the trek; the campgrounds are cushy by backpacker standards. Not ready to hike the trail? The island offer lots of hiking and trekking opportunities. It’s best in winter, spring and fall. Permit required, but it’s free.
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A photograph of an Uber adventure.
(Uber Adventures)

Take up canyoneering

Chatsworth Workout
If you can hike, you can canyoneer, says Todd M. Kolberg, owner of Uber Adventures in Los Angeles. The sport combines hiking, wading, swimming, jumping, sliding, boulder-hopping, scrambling, packrafting and always rappelling — often over waterfalls. ”Physically, it takes less upper body strength than rock climbing and is therefore a sport that can be enjoyed by a much larger spectrum of the population, young or mature, tall or short — large or small. The sport has unique risks and requires specific technical skills to enjoy it safely,” he says. His basic training course takes two days, $395.
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A photo of Kayak and SUP paddling by Rosemary McClure.
(Rosemary McClure/For The Times)

Hit the water

Long Beach Kayak
January doesn’t offer the best weather for stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers, but a wet suit helps. And both are great, full-body workouts. You can find kayaks and SUPs for rent along the water in Marina del Rey, San Pedro, Ventura and in several Orange County cities. Kenny Williams, who owns SUP and kayak rentals in Long Beach, has a special tour that includes dolphin adventures by board and kayak. Dolphin tour (half day), $150; hourly kayak rentals, $12 per person.
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A photograph from Bikes and Hikes.
(Bikes and Hikes LA)

Take L.A. for a spin

Whether you’re fresh from the Midwest or a native Angeleno, there’s always something new to explore in L.A. and exploring on a bike or hike offers you a great workout too. Bikes & Hikes LA has a dozen or more excursions; one of its most popular is the Hollywood Sign Hike, which includes a four-mile hike, panoramic views of Los Angeles, Hollywood, Paramount Studios, Griffith Park Observatory and a host of other well-known venues. The $28 tab includes directions and info. Another popular tour is the LA in a Day Bike Experience, which includes a guide, lunch on Venice Beach, a tour of the Hollywood sign — and a great workout.
A photograph of dragon boating.
(LA Harbor Dragon Boats)

Team sport

San Pedro Rowing
Dragon boat racing is a party waiting to happen. A traditional Chinese paddled watercraft, the colorful boats have surged in popularity around the world in the past several years and can be found in several places in California, including Newport Beach, Long Beach, San Francisco and the Los Angeles Harbor. Adults practice year round. Competitions are something to behold, as dragon boats are rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. First timers are welcome at LA Harbor’s Sunday morning practices at the Cabrillo Beach Youth Waterfront Sports Center. Adult annual fee: $125.
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A view of the tents for camping out at the La Quinta Resort & Club.
(La Quinta Resort & Club.)

Head to the desert

La Quinta Yoga
January: time to return to the desert. Fitness enthusiasts find the perfect paradise here, with workouts of all types. At La Quinta Resort & Club you can use water fitness to keep your heart rate up while improving balance, flexibility and mobility. Yoga hikes offer 90-minute classes that combine a fitness walk with 20 minutes of yoga at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Another fitness walk includes a 2.7-mile course on the back nine of the Mountain Gold Course with a stair-climb finale that leads to a panoramic view of the Coachella Valley. Finally, an outdoor meditation class helps visitors restore calm and inner peace through quiet breathing. Starting rates from $528 per night.
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A cyclist with a protective face mask is seen on the Marvin Braude Bike Trail during the coronavirus pandemic on May 04, 2020 in Marina del Rey, California.
(Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Biking Santa Monica

Santa Monica Bike
It’s called the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, but locals just call it the Strand, a 22-mile route that starts at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades and meanders along the coast to Torrance County Beach. Bring your own bike or check out a nearby rental. The trail winds south along the coast through Santa Monica and Venice beach. At Washington Boulevard it curves around the inlets of Marina del Rey, then joins the beach again at Playa del Rey, Dockweiler State Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa, Redondo Beach and Torrance.
A man rides an e-bike on the bike path in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 7.
(Scott Smeltzer/Daily Pilot)

Biking Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach Bike
Huntington Beach, a.k.a. Surf City USA, is perfect for bikers, walkers, joggers and skaters. The 10-mile-plus paved coastal trail offers concessions and bike rentals, including electric bikes for those who need a little extra power. The northern end of the waterfront route begins at Bolsa Chica State Beach, a popular spot for sun, surf and RV camping; its southern end skirts Huntington State Beach, which some argue is the best place to surf in California. Between the two, Huntington Beach City Beach features a municipal pier with direct access from the trail. Want even more mileage? At the trail’s southern end, turn north on the Santa Ana River Trail to travel inland.
A photograph of YogAqua.

Yoga + SUP

Marina del Rey Yoga
If stand-up paddleboarding isn’t enough of a challenge, there’s YogAqua. The stand-up paddleboarding-meets-yoga class has been drawing doubletakes since founder Sarah Tiefenthaler began floating her yoga poses in 2011. The SUP yoga class teaches students how to adapt familiar yoga poses for the water. Participants challenge themselves to learn standing and balancing poses while on the board. One popular position is to experience a lying meditation while rocking in the ocean. Tiefenthaler’s yoga studio is at Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey. The 90-minute classes are open to all levels; the first 30-minute class focuses on learning how to use a board, the remaining hour is dedicated to board yoga. Single class $44, intro three-pack $90.
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A photograph of the LA Roadrunners.
(LA Roadrunners)

Join a running club

Chinatown Running
Local running clubs, such as the popular LA Road Runners organization, will happily help you improve your running skills this year. In fact, Evolution Physical Therapy is offering a free skills checklist for program runners — a series of exercises that test essential movements while decreasing the risk of injury. The organization also offers training plans for walkers, beginning runners and the advanced crowd. Other local running clubs in the area include the LA Leggers, the Pasadena Pacers and the South Bay Runners Club.
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The fitness center at the The Peninsula Beverly Hills.
(The Peninsula Beverly Hills)

Take a sound bath

Beverly Hills Spa
Traditional gym workouts are great, but in 2022 it’s all about working out the mind, body and spirit. In the new year, Peninsula Beverly Hills is introducing its take on sound baths, those 30- or 60-minute sessions that are said to be soothing and help with stress and fatigue. The echoing sounds take place during regular workout routines or can be used in a hotel room or in a private event space for larger groups. The Peninsula Beverly Hills also offers personal training and one-on-one Pilates and yoga instruction. Hotel starting rate, $635 per night.
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LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 26:. Visitors take rides in swan boats as Echo Park reopens to the public on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. The park was closed earlier this year after the eviction of about 200 homeless people who had taken up residence there. After its closure the park was cleaned and renovated. The evictions and closure remain a sore point for some local residents and homeless advocates. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

Pedal pushers

Long Beach Boats
Easy does it. Sometimes you want a workout that’s fun instead of arduous. A swan boat is that kind of workout: It forces you to relentlessly push foot pedals to move the boat across the lake, but it’s also sort of adorable. The boats are available in Long Beach, Echo Park and Ventura. Some include LED lights, meaning your boat offers up the silhouette of a swan when lit up at night. In Long Beach, whatever time of day, soak up the vibe as you drift alongside Shoreline Drive, past the Long Beach Convention Center and around Rainbow Lagoon’s grassy islands. $11 per hour, adults; $6 per hour, children.
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A photo from Catalina Aerial Adventure.
(Catalina Aerial Adventure)

An aerial adventure

Avalon Aerial
Catalina Island promotes its challenging ropes course as a place to discover your wild side. It’s definitely that, as you take to the trees while climbing, swinging and crawling through a series of obstacles suspended in a grove of towering eucalyptus. Five self-guided, self-paced courses — each made up of rope ladders, log bridges, balance beams, zip lines and other elements — are arranged in beginner, intermediate and advanced configurations, offering plenty of aerial excitement. The company just added a new wrinkle: aerial adventures in the dark. They’ve now illuminated the course for a fun nighttime experience. Price: $59.95 per person weekends, $49.95 weekdays.
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A photograph from Cal-a-Vie Health Spa.
(Chris Woolley/Cal-a-Vie Health Spa)

Self-care hideaway

Vista Spa
If you’re looking for an idyllic wellness retreat, you might want to check out Cal-a-Vie, which smacks of the French countryside, complete with vineyards, rolling hills and lavender fields — plus some incredible workouts. The high-end, 400-acre facility is in Vista, near San Diego County, and is considered an Oprah-style self-care hideaway. It has 32 villas and suites with private outdoor areas. The fitness classes include TRX trainers, Tabata abs (grueling high-intensity interval training workouts), cardio and free weights, spin and sculpt programs, pickleball games and dance classes that include cha cha, disco, jive, merengue, quick-step, salsa and paso doble. Rates start at $5,050 for a three-night stay.
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Catalina Climbing Wall
(Descanso Beach Club)

Climb the walls

Avalon Climbing
One of Catalina Island’s most famous adventures is its Zip Line Eco Tour, but the downhill course might not really qualify as a workout. So try the village Rock Climbing Wall instead: It’s 32 feet of adventure, with eight color-coded routes designed to test all skill levels from beginner to advanced. Challenge your friends to the top. The wall utilizes a high-tech, auto-belay system that manages each climbers’ line and lowers climbers safely and slowly to the ground during descent. Three climbs for $10. Check in advance; it is sometimes closed during the off-season.
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A photograph of Pickleball.
(Rosemary McClure/For The Times)

Pick up pickleball

Out of nowhere, pickleball is suddenly everywhere. A blend of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong, the sport is said to be popular with celebs such as George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon and Jamie Foxx. What is it and how do you play? It’s sort of a goofy-sounding game featuring plastic balls and composite paddles used on a hard surface that’s roughly a third the size of a tennis court. Legend has it that it was founded in 1965, perhaps by a dog named Pickles. Pick-up games can be found throughout Southern California. In Long Beach, you may see residents playing on courts at Bixby Park, Bayshore Park, Stearns Champions Park, College Estates Park and Marina Vista Park. Many games are free, and courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Check with your local tennis courts or nearest parks and rec departments — many offer introductory classes.
A view of the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa.
(Chris Gramly/Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa)

Waterfall meditation

Rancho Santa Fe Spa
Yoga fans will find a 1,000-square-foot, open-air Serenity Yoga Pavilion at Rancho Valencia Resort, a tony fitness center and spa in San Diego County. Visitors also find 97 complimentary fitness classes per week including various styles of yoga and Pilates. Among the classes is a natural yoga flow class that explores various spots on the 45-acre Rancho Valencia grounds, including a meditation area beside a cascading waterfall. The daily fitness programming includes cardio, sculpt, TRX, restorative, aqua and outdoor classes. Private and semi-private instruction is also available. Rooms start at $900 per night.
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Sierra Club takes hikers to trails near and far. Here a group poses atop Mt. Lee in Griffith Park where the Hollywood sign is located.
(Mary Forgione/Los Angeles Times)

Get out!

That’s the Sierra Club’s goal. The Angeles Chapter alone includes 14 regional groups and 32 outdoor activity sections and committees. The current calendar includes over 150 upcoming events, including social gatherings, outings, backpacking groups, base camp treks and many, many hikes. Anyone needing a workout in Los Angeles only has to scroll through the Sierra Club’s schedule to find choice treasures. Most gatherings and outings are free, but membership — $39 a year — is welcomed.
Bike rentals at Two Harbors from Catalina Island Company.
(Arpit Mehta/Catalina Island Company)

Dive — and more — at Two Harbors

Catalina Island Bike
Although Catalina’s visitors are just 20 or 30 miles from the mainland, the island casts its own kind of magic. Most people visit Avalon, but the island has another side too: Two Harbors, a rustic village 22 miles from the Southern California mainland. The pace is slower here and you’ll find plenty of kayaking and hiking trips. Guests arrive via high-speed ferry from San Pedro or arrive on yachts. The Dive & Recreation Center offers hiking, mountain biking, camping, kayaking, boating, fishing, snorkeling, and world-class scuba diving in crystal clear water.
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A photograph from the Fairmont Century Plaza.
(Fairmont Century Plaza)

On-demand fitness

Century City Gym
After a five-year, $2.5-billion renovation, the Fairmont Century Plaza is finally back. And ready to pull out all stops. The iconic hotel’s spa, one of the largest in Los Angeles, includes nine treatment rooms at 14,000 square-feet, plus a Himalayan salt room and an aromatherapy steam room. But don’t miss the fitness rooms, which are also pretty special: Check out the hotel’s state-of-the-art, 24-hour Technogym fitness center and its Sanarium sauna. Boxing classes are expected to launch this year. Starting rate, $616 per night.
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Yoga at Sensei Lanai, Four Seasons Resort.
(Sensei Lanai, Four Seasons Resort)

Lanai is calling

Ok, technically not in SoCal. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t include the Sensei Lanai on a list of wellness adventures for Angelenos to try. The Sensei Lanai is Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison’s ultra-high-end Hawaiian resort that promises a journey of personal transformation and wellness: Data is used to track and improve guests’ nutrition, sleep and fitness on Lanai, a sleepy island nine miles from Maui. Lanai was once a pineapple island, now it offers visitors Eden-like gardens where they can relax in lakeside nooks and experience guided fitness classes, horseback riding, hiking, snorkeling, tennis, golf and guilt-free cuisine. Visitors set physical and mental goals for their stay and the spa tracks their progress. Starting rates are $900 per night.
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Several trails feed into the Mt Hollywood Trail leading to the peak of Mount Hollywood at 1,625 ft which is the second tallest peak in Griffith Park. The trails provide amazing views of the Griffith Observatory, downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign and views to the Pacific Ocean on clear days. much more. There are many trails that lead to Mt. Hollywood, but a favorite trail begins near the Ferndell Nature Area. Griffith Park on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times).
(Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

Head to Griffith Park

Griffith Park Hike
At 4,300 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest urban-wilderness municipal parks in the nation and features some of the best hikes in the region. Spend some time with its trails on a host of workouts that will add serenity to your soul and endurance, strength and flexibility to your body. Check out Fern Dell, an easy stroll through a dense canopy of trees; Beacon Hill, the easternmost peak of the Santa Monica Mountains; Hogback Trail, a classic fitness route from the Greek Theatre to the top of Mt. Hollywood; and Toyon Loop, which offers quiet trails and sweeping views of the north side of the park. For more, check out
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Hikers climb Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside in spring, 2019.
(Jim Edwards)

Hike a Riverside landmark

Riverside Hike
This 3.2-mile Inland Empire trail can’t be called a wilderness adventure — it’s even paved — but it offers panoramic views of the San Bernardino Mountains, is easy to find and will give you about a 1,000-foot elevation gain. Unfortunately, it’s also very popular, so avoid weekends if possible (or arrive early). Mt Rubidoux is a city park and landmark in Riverside, with a gradual dog- and family friendly trail that winds up at the top of the mountain. It has a distinctive cross at the summit dedicated to Father Junípero Serra and is the site of the oldest outdoor nondenominational Easter Sunrise service in the United States. Want more hiking adventures? Check out
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A photograph of the LA Wheelmen.

Going in circles

There are three good reasons to join the Los Angeles Wheelmen: The sun on your face, the wind in your hair — and the fitness you’ll achieve while working out in the great outdoors. The cycling club, 75 years old, offers leisurely social rides as well as hard-charging outings. The group’s policy is to stay together, keep track of everyone on the route, and help each other with flats and malfunctions. Lunch stops are included on every route sheet and guests are welcomed on all rides. Shorter rides are held on Saturdays. On Sundays, the group holds easy, moderate and ambitious rides that begin in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. Membership: $20 a year.
Exercise activities at the Shutters on the Beach.
(Shutters on the Beach)

Train like a triathlete

Santa Monica Beach
You can’t get much closer to the beach than spending a few nights at Shutters on the Beach, where the sand is actually in the backyard. Shutters is tucked behind the busy streets of Santa Monica and shares some local flavor and amenities with its sister resort Hotel Casa del Mar. Both offer visitors excellent workout capabilities on the sand, in the pool or in the Technogym fitness center. But guests can also arrange to work up a sweat with Tower26’s triathlon trainers, which offer more than 20 workouts a week. Starting room rate $725, group training sessions start at $25.
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Raisa Parnell, 32, picks up trash along San Gabriel Spillway in Whittier Narrows Natural Area.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Fitness for a cause

If you’re not into plogging — a combination of jogging and picking up trash — you’re not keeping up with environmental trends. The Swedish fitness craze made its way to U.S. shores in 2018. It’s a great way to reduce litter and work out at the same time — just clean up rubbish along your jogging route.
A view downtown Los Angeles skyline from Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Fun and games

Want to hit a target? Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation can help: From disc golf to lawn bowling or skeet shooting, the parks department offers lots of ways to score. But that’s not all. You can also pick up new sports, hobbies and activities such as fencing, yoga, self-defense, martial arts, skateboarding, cycling or mountain biking. Or visit a parcourse, where you can jog along a trail that offers stations at regular intervals with equipment for calisthenics. The department also has the world’s largest municipal golf course system, local parks, nature centers and wildlife sanctuaries.
A photo from Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico.
(Rancho La Puerta)

A ranch getaway

Tecate Spa
One of Baja’s best-known fitness resorts is just an hour south of San Diego in Tecate, Mexico. Rancho La Puerta offers visitors 4,000 private acres of gardens, mountains and meadows, plus extensive workouts. The Ranch has 80 fitness classes weekly, including yoga, Pilates, hiking trails and low-impact aerobic workouts that include jazz, modern and Eastern dance forms. The property also has low-impact water classes, including aqua board training. Weekly starting rates are $4,150 per person, double occupancy.
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LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE-CA-NOVEMBER 16, 2021: Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge is photographed on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

Walk in the park

La Cañada Flintridge Walk
Ready for a garden party? Camellias are taking center stage this month and February at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. And while you’re there, take a brisk, healthy walk around this 150-acre botanical garden which contains more than 1 million plants, including — lucky you —one of the world’s largest displays of camellias. Also check out the tulips, irises and daffodils at this garden northwest of Altadena, a Hollywood film set favorite. Adults: $15, seniors $11 and children $5.
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A photo inside the Pasea Hotel & Spa.
(Pasea Hotel & Spa)

Surf’s up

Huntington Beach Spa
If surfing is your new workout passion — or even if you just want to try it — Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City U.S.A., is a great place to start. Pasea Hotel & Spa has a variety of offers, including Learn to Surf HB, which pairs students with professional surfers for both private and small group lessons. After guests catch a wave, they can head to Aarna Spa for the 100-minute Surf massage, a treatment that includes a sea salt scrub, followed by a deep tissue sports massage set to sounds of ocean waves. At eight stories, Pasea Hotel has ocean views in almost every room. There’s also an eight-mile bike trail along Pacific Coast Highway. Rates, $349 per night. Surf lessons, $150 for two hours.
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