There are days when I will walk in the gym with no motivation at all to stare at myself bouncing up and down on the treadmill for 30 minutes, stretching in front of lurky-looking sweaty men, and feeling cramped when I’m trying to get my “zumba” on. There are also days when I would like to get some fresh air, in a short amount of time, with little-to-no gym distractions, so I turn to the great outdoors of the Bay Area. Whether you have a gym membership or not, check out these five locations with beautiful scenery and exceptional performance, that will for sure amp up your workouts:
1. Alameda Beach
This is fun after work favorite, especially with the benefits of daylight savings time. I love to come to Alameda Beach to get my power walk on. Located along Shoreline Dr., the parking is very easy with access to shopping and restaurants. You have an option to go as far as you want and you can either run/walk on the sidewalk or to burn more calories on the sand. Dog and kid friendly, as well as babe watching friendly too
Hills, Nature, and and the reservoir! Especially if you’re short on time, this hiking trail is probably the most convenient option to get a workout in. There is a paid parking lot, but plenty of street parking. What I enjoy most about this park on the San Leandro/Castro Valley side is you can go fishing and to paddle boats.
3. Lake Merritt and the Cleveland Cascade Stairs
I always come to Lake Merritt for the social scene and people watching. It’s about 3 miles to get around and mostly flat so if you’re looking to burn off more calories I’d add in the Cleveland Cascade stairs which after a few rounds will have your booty and thighs burning! They’ve remodeled this year, so if you haven’t been in awhile I’d check out the amphitheater and tidal marsh – great for a sunny afternoon!
4. San Leandro Marina
Right on the water! Noticing a trend here? lol I started biking the San Leandro Marina with my dad not too long ago because it definitely tests your endurance with the marine winds whipping full force. The trail are very big so you don’t feel like you’re dodging bikers and scary looking dogs – My only suggestion is to go in the morning or at dusk. Thank me later. Oh, I have a cool Instagram video if you’re still not convinced. Check it out here.
5. Joaquin Miller Park Stairs
You can go on one of the trails at Joaquin Miller Park if you want to but just these stairs are enough to give you a workout in less than 30 minutes. I’m a sucker for stairs, so if you’re in Oakland I’d definitely recommend going to the hills and conquering these once, twice, or three times if you’re adventurous!
A cool way to track your walk or run is to use the MapMyWalk app on your phone. It calculates distance, calories burned, and more. You can even changes the setting to cater to what type of exercise. So, what are your favorite outdoor spots where you love to get a workout in?