Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reminder: Downtown LA Urban Hike this Sunday, 11:45 a.m.

Spicy BBQ Pork Hash
Just a quick reminder that this month's Urban Hike, criss-crossing through downtown L.A. on Hope & Spring Streets, will start this Sunday 11:45 a.m.* with a brunch @ Nickel Diner (their 5th & Main Spicy BBQ Pork Hash pictured above.) Or, for those who want to opt out of a carb-loading brunch, meet up around 12:30 p.m. outside -- or anywhere along the way as I livetweet from @LAOCFoodie.

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This route is gonna be around six miles (considerably shorter than most of my previous Urban Hikes) but there will be lots to see along the way, from historical landmarks (Olvera Street, Angel's Flight Railway) to newer attractions (L.A. Live) to artsy buildings (Walt Disney Concert Hall, MOCA) and other fantastic-looking scenery.

And here are some of the fun eating and drinking options I've plotted along the way, mostly low- to mid- end and definitely casual-attire & walk-in friendly. And feel free to recommend more places to stop, asides from Nickel Diner nothing is set in stone.

As always, all you need to bring is your two feet plus comfortable hiking clothes & shoes, a bottle or two of water, and some cash for whatever you will eat/drink/spend en route. Hope to see you there!

P.S. Odd start time, I know -- but Nickel Diner informed me that they stop serving most of their pancakes at noon, so just in case any hikers have a hankering for flapjacks . . .

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quick Yoga Routine to Burn Calories & Build Strength

For those who think yoga are a bunch of lengthy, gentle stretches that does nothing for cardiovascular or strength fitness -- check out this fast-yet-effective sequence by Tara Stiles for Master the Shift - with a series of postures that'll burn calories, build core & lower body strength and of course, a great tension-relieving stretch.

And being a 5 to 10 minute routine that requires almost no equipment (I think even the mat's optional if you have a clean & non-slippery floor,) it's a great way to squeeze in some activity during a short break or to warm up before or cool down after a more vigorous workout.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Motviation Monday - Keeping It Fun

Seal Beach pier
Hiking up & down Seal Beach's Main Street and pier and checking out & tasting the local scene

Yesterday has been pure bliss, and partly because it felt so effortless and fun having an 'active' day ~ I took in a refreshing 4 mile jog at dawn to wake me up, then played tennis for about an hour and a half with a friend, broke a pretty intense sweat with a spanking new DDR machine for another hour, then took in another hour of scenic hiking at Seal Beach & Culver City.

It just made think about how getting and staying fit comes in many different forms, but the best way to make it stick is to make it an enjoyable experience. Personally for me, that means I'll never have to see the inside of a gym -- I much rather get my blood pumping & muscle moving with an outdoor run, a yoga or dance class with the community recreational center, laps at a local pool, an interval workout w weights to a DVD at home, the occasional tennis and snowboarding, and of course, urban hiking.

So I don't fit in the stereotypical mold of going to a gym several days a week (or even one day a week,) but the regimen I made for myself is still balanced in cardiovascular, strength and flexibility exercises and more importantly, it's a routine I enjoy! And I honestly think that's the secret to getting and staying active, finding activities that you look forward rather than dread. And if you start feeling ho-hum about activities you once enjoyed, take a break and switch it up for something else that's fun or interesting-sounding.

And those four hours of "working out" gave me one of the best night's sleep I've had in a while.