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There’s More to Fitness Than Thrusters and Pull-ups

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“Regularly learn and play new sports…”  The idea is built right into the definition of CrossFit!

With spring already in full bloom and summer fast approaching, there is no better time than now to get outside and learn something new. Living in beautiful Southern California affords us plenty of sun filled days to soak up some vitamin D and get outside the box to have fun with your fitness.

Here are a few of my favorite things to do outside:

Hiking

As So Cal residents we are lucky enough to have some of the best scenery in the country and what seems like an endless amount of hiking trails! Get out there and explore. One of my favorite trails is Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks; that’s right a legitimate waterfall right in the San Fernando Valley. There are several meandering trials that are both kid and senior citizen friendly. They aren’t strenuous, and offer beautiful views and trails through tree covered canopies. There are even picnic tables, caves, creeks, and grill areas.

You can’t go wrong with Paradise Falls; there’s free parking, it’s dog friendly, and it’s close.

Want to kick your hike up a notch? Add a weight vest! That’s right, even the easiest trail can leave you winded and your legs burning if you’re carrying an extra 15-25lbs. Want an even tougher challenge? Set a timer and do 20 squats or 20 alternating lunges every 3-5 minutes.

 

The Beach (obviously!)

This is one of my favorite places to be outside, and you really can’t go wrong in the Los Angeles area. There are some massive benefits to being grounded with the earth (stay tuned for more on that later) and what better place to really experience that than at the beach. Between swimming, jogging, playing a game (like my personal favorite, Spike Ball) or just relaxing with friends, the beaches have so much to offer to everyone.

Our favorite go-to spot in Santa Monica are the volleyball courts in front of the Annenberg Beach House. This spot of the beach usually has plenty of space to spread out, an open volleyball court, and on the weekends in the summer, the Beach House puts up slack lines for everyone to enjoy. The staff are standing by to help you get the hang of it if you’re new to slack-lining.

What makes this spot on the beach our absolute favorite are the super clean bathrooms and kids play area. These are hands down the cleanest beach bathrooms I’ve ever seen. They’re even nicer than those in some bars and restaurants!  There’s also reasonable parking at the Beach House or in City Lot 9.

 

Slack Lining + Acro Yoga

These two activities have become really popular recently and they can be a unique way to test your fitness and have some fun. The great thing about slack lining and acro yoga is that they can be done just about anywhere and require very little equipment. Your local park, the beach, or a camp site all make great locations. You can even have fun with them in your backyard!

Not sure what slack lining is? Think walking a tight rope! It’s a really fun way to challenge your balance and core strength, and for beginners, your glutes and quads! There are lots of videos out there with tips and tricks, but it really just comes down to practice and having fun.

All you need is a slack line and two points to connect it to. If you use trees, be sure to protect them with something to avoid damaging the trunk!

 

Never heard of acro yoga? It’s like adding acrobatic elements into yoga to create a series of poses or movements with a partner. All you need to get started with acro yoga are a few YouTube videos, a yoga mat, and ideally a spotter. There are simple poses to start off with, and trickier ones to try out as you become more skilled and experienced.

Although acro yoga can be totally fun with friends and acquaintances, it can also be a great bonding experience with your partner or significant other. Not only are you practicing core strength and testing your mobility, but you’re also bonding through touch and trust.

Kiana Weltzien @whereskiana and Pablo Milian @murdoc305

 

The important thing to remember this summer is to just get outside and stay active!