By Ashley Mackin
Admit it, one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to get in shape. You make it every year. But how do you keep it?
Several spots in La Jolla make it easy to get back into a good health routine with unique and – dare I say – fun ways to exercise.
1. La Jolla Community Center
Address: 6811 La Jolla Blvd.
Phone: (858) 459-0831
The Community Center is tackling weight loss on three fronts. It offers exercise classes that are social and enjoyable, hosts Weight Watchers meetings and offers cooking classes to encourage healthful eating at home.
Center director Nancy Walters said the exercise classes include Jazzercise (there are eight classes a week), Zumba, varieties of yoga and Pilates. She said Jazzercise, kundalini yoga and Pilates are the most popular. With Jazzercise, Walters said, “the instructors are award winning and really stand out, so I think that’s what draws people to keep coming back.
“Kundalini is meditation, yoga and aerobics all in one ... I think those who have never tried came to see what it was all about and got hooked.”
While the fitness classes bring people to the Center, Walters said there will be even more coming in with the introduction of Weight Watchers meetings in January.
To encourage Weight Watchers enrollment, the Community Center will host a raffle for the first 40 people who sign up. “(We’ll have) a bunch of Weight Watcher goodies and a free month of Jazzercise to get everyone going,” Walters said.
2. Surf Diva
Address: 2160 Avenida de la Playa
Phone: (858) 454-8273
Nothing says San Diego like surfing. Did you know riding the waves burns around 200 calories per hour? Some put that number as high as 600, including Izzy Tihanyi of Surf Diva.
“Some people think you have to be a triathlete to be able to surf. No. It’s a great way to get in shape. If you go regularly, just half an hour a day . ... you’re going to get in shape,” she said.
She added that surfing works different muscle groups, primarily in the upper body, including the forearms, upper back and what Tihanyi calls, “that little wobbly bit” of the upper arm. Since the abs are used for balance and when arching (preparing to stand up) they are constantly being worked.
“It’s also very sociable because it’s the same people out there. Surfers are a friendly bunch.”
While founded as a surf school for women, Surf Diva now also offers classes for boys and men. They have group classes, private lessons, coaching and weekend workshops for people of all levels.
3. La Jolla YMCA
Address: 8355 Cliffridge Ave.
Phone: (858) 453-3483
Note: As a member of the YMCA, you may use both its facilities with full membership privileges. The La Jolla Firehouse Y is at 7877 Herschel Ave. It’s open 9 a.m. to noon and 2-6 p.m. Monday-Friday with limited classes and activities. (858) 459-1640.
Through Jan. 19, the La Jolla YMCA is waiving joining fees to encourage enrollment in the new year. Membership includes access to the gym, group exercise classes, a 25-foot heated pool, and basketball and volleyball courts (a moderate-level game of volleyball burns up to 300 calories per hour, with an intense-level game burning as much as 15 calories per minute!).
The YMCA also offers free childcare while you work out and upon enrollment, offers a free fitness assessment to determine the most productive way to meet your exercise needs. The Cliffridge Avenue Y recently renovated its Wellness Center to include new equipment with TV and Internet access on cardio machines.
4. La Jolla Recreation Center
Address: 615 Prospect St.
Phone: (858) 552-1658
For those who want gym access without the private gym membership fees, the La Jolla Rec Center offers access to its weight room on a daily to a yearly basis. Starting at $5 per day, those interested can use the weights, stationary bike, elliptical machine, treadmill and stair stepper. The cost grows to $10 per month, then $25 for three months, $45 for six months and $90 per year. You must be at least 18 years old to use the weight room.
The Rec Center also offers free yoga classes for all levels on Thursdays and Saturdays and free table tennis classes Mondays-Saturdays at various times.
There is a charge for gymnastics, dance and martial arts classes, and a liability waiver must be signed.