It’s officially summer, and you all know what that means: it’s swimsuit season (eek! gasp!), so for those of you still carrying around those few extra pounds from May (aka the month of stress eating), here is a rundown of all the best ways to stay in shape this summer. However, since this is the season of fun, we’ve tailored the list to include only the workouts that will put a smile on your face while keeping your body slim and trim.
If you’re up for a fast-paced workout that guarantees sweating, spinning is for you. Also known as indoor cycling, spinning works your legs, abs and arms in an intense, usually 45-minute session. The short classes are perfect for the L.A. inhabitant’s busy schedule.
With locations in Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Brentwood, SoulCycle is one of the most popular spinning spots in L.A. The instructors are always upbeat, and their hip music playlists can keep any spinner going. SoulCycle classes are $25 each, plus a few dollars for shoe rental (oh yeah, this workout requires fancy spinning shoes).
Flywheel, with storefronts in West Hollywood and Larchmont, provides another popular spinning scene. Although most of its prices are similar to that of SoulCycle’s, the Larchmont Flywheel does offer free classes every weekday at 2:30 p.m., a great option for a spinner on a budget.
Still not convinced? Spinning is also the choice workout for celebrities like Jonah Hill, Katie Holmes, Lady Gaga and Julia Roberts. Max Greenfield, who plays Schmidt on Fox’s “New Girl,” even taught a spinning class recently at SoulCycle’s West Hollywood location to benefit a charity. If you’ve ever dreamed on being sweated on by a celebrity, spinning is your best chance.
Love the pedaling but hate the feel of an indoor exercise class? Biking by the beach gives you a great workout in a peaceful, outdoor environment.
You can rent a bike for $10 an hour at Perry’s Café and Bike Rentals, located right on the Santa Monica beach. From there, hop on the Santa Monica boardwalk and get moving! The calming crash of the waves and the intermittent seagull squawks will help keep your mind off the fact that you are actually exercising. With the ocean at your side and the sun shining above you, you could ride all the way to Venice (in which case you might want to go with the $30 a day rental). Just don’t forget your sunscreen! And if you still can’t ride a bike, no problem – Perry’s has rollerblades too.
If you are looking for a workout that specializes in stress and anger relief, boxing is for you. What could be better than burning calories while getting out your aggression toward that one professor who refuses to pass you?
Located on Fairfax, LA Boxing offers a variety of fight classes including boxing, kickboxing and MMA. But don’t think you need to be a professional to participate. LA Boxing loves newcomers; in fact, first timers box for free. Their classes offer a clean and safe environment, as well as professional instructors to help you get the most out of your workout. In fact, in a one hour session you can burn anywhere from 800 to 1,000 calories.
You dance at parties and at concerts, so why not dance for a workout? Grooving along with the newest music, you’ll forget that you are losing weight as you shake those hips.
Moore Dancing on Montana Avenue offers cardio dance, zumba and hip-hop classes, all of which will keep your heart pumping and your body moving. The studio also offers a ‘80s dance party for the Michael Jackson and Whitney Huston fans out there. All classes are offered at different levels, so though you may start as a beginner, you’ll be an expert come August. This workout is perfect for a group, so bring a friend or two along and try not to laugh too hard when someone attempts to do the splits.
Love the water but not the surfing type? Try paddleboarding! It’s a great outdoor workout that focuses primarily on toning the arms, a unique quality compared to most other exercises.
Marina Del Rey’s Marina Paddle provides rentals for all your paddleboarding adventures and charges $40 for a two-hour excursion. What better way is there to get that perfect bikini body than to workout in that very bikini?! The best part about paddleboarding is that whenever you get hot and sweaty, you can simply jump off your board and cool off in the ocean.
Playing volleyball on the beach is a perfect thigh workout because your legs require more force to move through sand than they do on concrete. Running is boring, but add a ball, a net and a dozen friends to the equation and you have a fun and effective workout. Venice, Playa del Rey and Santa Monica Beaches all have volleyball courts available for public use free of charge. The friendly competition makes beach volleyball seem more like a game than a workout, so grab some friends and go get fit!