One of my favourite things to do when I go to L.A, and which has somewhat become the perfect ritual and remedy to beat the jet lag every time we go – is embracing the workout scene here. Wanting to be healthy in L.A is not difficult; with a juice bar on every corner, new healthy brunch shacks opening on a weekly basis, the hills to hike in, the beaches to run on, the great weather… Not to mention the majority rocking a killer bod with that effortless Cali glow. Anyways, here is my top round up of where I love to hike, which fitness classes are absolute must´s to try out, my go-to healthy eateries and juice bars. Enjoy!
The hiking culture in L.A is something else. Although the city´s filled with incredible, state of the art fitness centres covering just about anything you wish for; hiking seems to be the thing to do in L.A… I absolutely love it! What better way to start the morning, with a sweaty morning hike, with panoramic views of the city! It´s become our ritual every time we fly over, to do a morning hike first thing the next day; which kind of works out great, as we tend to be up in the early hours due to jet lag. This first hike, always sets us up for the holiday ahead.
The views and settings are ever changing on our hikes, all depending on the weather and time of year. Although the majority of times (with it always being hot and sunny in L.A) we tend to have a crystal clear view across the city; but on the first day of our hike this time around, we had a clammy, cloudy and stormy start – which just happened to give us the most spectacular and dramatic scenery. I would choose this type of low-impact fitness outside in the nature any given day; climbing up those hills, either in steaming hot sunshine or cooler mornings, is such a great workout, and an amazing way to clear your thoughts, and kick start the day!
…and here are the ones I love.
Runyon Canyon: This hike is most centrally located in the city, and is by no means a wilderness experience (so if you’re looking for solitude and quiet, you might want to try other trails!). However it´s a great hike for people-watching, and gives beginning hikers killer views across the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood sign and the rest of L.A. I find this hike relatively versatile and challenging, yet manageable for whatever level of fitness you’re aiming for; be it a steep, off-the-beaten track, or a smooth hike all the way. It´s definitely my go-to hike when I´m in the city.
Griffith Park: This definitely has more variety of trails – covering 4,200 acres at the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains. From exploring Bronson Cave (the most popular route), picnicking in the Old Zoo, or enjoying a more leisurely hike head through Amir´s Garden. For higher views, hit Mount Holluwood or Mount Lee (home of the Hollywood Sign) for an even more intense trail. A more challenging hike, but again, there are a variety of routes you can take, all depending on what type of hike you’re after!
Topanga State Park: This hike begins in the Pacific Palisades, just north of Sunset Boulevard, with a lot of switchbacks and intense hill climbs. With an elevation gain of about 1,300 feet – it´s a pretty tough climb – but the views across the stunning Parker Mesa Overlook, are your rewards.
Malibu Creek State Park: Spanning across 7,000 acres, with trails through oak and sycamore woodlands, as well as chaparral-covered slopes – this is a hike with lots of beautiful and dramatic scenery. An easy hike with a minimal elevation gain – which is more for the views, than any intense fitness.
Franklin Canyon Park: Spanning across 605 acres, with over five miles of hiking trails – from easy strolls around Upper Franklin Canyon Reservoir with plentiful views of birds and wildlife, as well as more difficult trails such as the Hastain Trail, offering views from West L.A. to the Pacific.
Wilacre Park: This hike actually takes you through three parks. The hike starts off well-shaded hike with a steep climb, before levelling off into Coldwater Canyon Park, then further along you´ll get to the hidden Rainforest Trail within Fryman Canyon.
So next time you visit L.A, make sure you bring the right workout gear and some good trainers to walk in – you don’t want to this ultimate L.A experience!
When it comes to my fitness apparel, I´m incredibly picky. It needs to be flattering, relatively classic, slim-line (hugging in all the right places) and comfortable. Before I jetted off, I scooped up some great bits from Primark´s new sports collection – which is just so good; not to mention super affordable (winning combo). From long-sleeved fitted jumpers, hoodies, comfy and super soft tanks and cami´s – to super flattering skinny leggings. In other words; the perfect attire for all my daily hikes!
As well as having a super popular hiking culture in L.A; everyone seems to be gym bunny´s in this city. From the hot celebrity spinning spots, to yoga, paddle boarding, bootcamps and more… With constant sunny weather and enthusiastic citizens – this city has it all when it comes to the fitness. So if you’re not into hiking, and want to switch up you regular routine from back home for something a different and more challenging – L.A is the place to experience it.
SoulCycle: High energy, super loud and motivating music – this is a spinning class like no other. With locations spread all across L.A – these classes are HOT, and fast becoming the workout in L.A with a long list of celebrity fans. I prefer the vibe at their Hollywood studio – with a nice courtyard at the front, where you can chill out with a post-workout smoothie after a gruelling sweaty workout.
Equinox: One of the first luxury fitness gyms open to the mass (albeit, membership is pretty punchy). As they state themselves “Equinox isn’t just a fitness club, it’s a temple of well-being”. With world-class personal trainers, group fitness classes from dancing, pilates, yoga, barre, running, cycling, boxing, atherlic training, martial arts, and more – this is definitely not your average gym. If you have the time, get a drop in pass!
Barry´s Bootcamp: Since 1998, Barry’s Bootcamp has been delivering “The Best Workout in the World” to a legendary following, including A-list celebs, models (even Olympic athletes). Their signature hour-long workouts include 25-30 minutes of interval cardio on the treadmill and 25-30 minutes of strength training. No workout here is ever the same, with the instructors constantly switching things up. It´s pretty ouch (but so worth it afterwards).
Stand-up Paddle Boarding: There are many companies offering this, but Pro Sup Shop is one of the more popular ones. Paddle boarding is a killer workout, which is so much fun too! From the training ground in the Marina Del Ray area in Malibu, to riding waves in the bay, and excursions onto the open ocean… It´ a great way to engage your core muscles and you’ll burn an insane amounts of calories.
Pound: The world´s first cardio jam session using Ripstixs (lightly weighted drumsticks) which are engineered specifically for exercising. Instead of listening to music, you create the rhythm and music in this full-body workout – combining cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and pilates-inspired movements.
Sweaty Sundays at The Sweat Spot: This gym hosts an array of classes, many taught by professional dancers – but most notably famed for their Sweaty Sundays class. It’s a super fun and high intensity dance class lead by Ryan Heffington (worked with Britney and Ke$ha).
Antigravity Yoga: Who needs cardio, when you can be suspended from the ceiling in a hammock?! A fusion between yoga and circus arts – with the grace of Pialtes and showmanship of Pilates… Not to mention it´s a sweaty workout – ideal for anyone with sholder and back problems.
This time around, I went to SoulCycle and Equinox – and the perfect outfit for that kind of workout were these black cropped skinny pants, grey fitted tank top, and black slimline hoodie – all from Primark´s sports collection.
…Not a fan of the gym or hiking? Hit the beach and go running, or rent a bike and ride along the beach promenade from Santa Monica to Venice.
EAT & DRINK
Following my ultimate L.A Guide that I posted earlier this week on the blog – you can get the sense that food is a pretty important part of my holiday! Whenever we go anywhere, that is the first thing I research, check out and book. And I love nothing more than trying out healthy eateries and hitting the latest hot spots; and where better to do that than in L.A? Although the city is filled with unhealthy fast food chains; in contrast, it´s also one of the most health conscious places I have ever been to. So needless to say, I love discovering any new openings for every time I go, or hit up my regular favourites (I have many), for creamy Acai Bowls, killer smoothies, salads and the best cold-presssed juices you´ll come across – L.A pretty much has it all.
Urth Caffé: With several locations spread all across L.A, this relatively healthy café has lots of delicious smoothies, juices, protein meals an supersize salads – just ask for dressing on the side and tell them not to bring you any bread with your salad (unless you fancy it!).
Acai Nation: This place do the best Acai bowls in town – and have a great menu selection with a long list of juices, smoothies, and other healthy snacks.
Pressed Juicery: Located across L.A – this is your go-to for the purest juices in town.
The Springs: One of my faves; this plant based kitchen and juice bar, is a vegan/veggie ultimate dream spot!
Cafe Gratitude: A small chain of restaurants serving organic, plant-based food – located across L.A. Simple, tasty and super healthy.
Verve: A favourite downtown juice and coffee bar with so many vegan treat options! Pop in any time of day, and if you’re not already; you might just been converted to a vegetarian (the food is that good).
Whole Foods: When in doubt, Wholefoods is always a safe bet, especially if you’re on the go – with a salad and hot counter, fresh juices, smoothies and snacks.
Kreation Organic: Cold-pressed juices, salads, wraps and tasty snacks for on-the-go.
Been to L.A? What are your healthy hot spots snd tips?
Created in collaboration with Primark. All words, opinions, styling & creative direction are, of course, my own.