Five Locations For a Great Workout Outdoors – Bay Area

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 🙂

2. Lake Chabot Regional Park


photo courtesy of

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

ImageI 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?

Black Girls Do Hike: Muir Woods


I can’t believe I waited until the end of summer 2013 to hike Muir Woods.  Even as a Bay Area native, I have  heard about this national monument, seen it on TV, but have never made the drive to visit. People come from all over the world to see the beautiful redwood trees and so I’m glad I had a chance to experience it right in my own backyard.

Muir Woods is located on the Pacific coast about 12 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County.  I went with a friend and we drove from the east bay for about an hour to get to the park. Parking was kind of bad and there were a lot of tourist buses and hella people from all walks of life. We decided to bypass the tourist stroll and do the Dipsea trail which is about a 7 mile loop around the park, moderate to strenuous uphill, and took  us about two hours. I won’t babble on about my experience because my pictures can explain it all, however just know that this was definitely one of my best hiking experiences in the bay!









Black Girls Do Hike – Redwood Regional Park

I hit the trails this past weekend for some much needed fresh air at Redwood Regional Park; which is located in the Oakland Hills. I invited my co-worker along for the hike and we found ourselves lost between the Redwoods (figuratively).  First of all, I am new to the hiking thing so as I was driving up Redwood road I stopped at nearly every staging area where I saw other cars just to see if the trail was okay for us.  Little did I know that all the “safe” hikes were inside the regional park grounds.  We past stables, horses, and even homes deep in the woods to get to our destination.

We paid $5 for parking and decided to do the “Stream Trail” which seemed to be easier since small children and elder people were walking it.  Of course since I had a first-timmer with me who was scaring me to death talking about the “Blair Witch Project” and how she had no signal and how we should leave a paper trail.  It was funny at first but then I got scared cause we were the only black girls out there that day. We soon got over it when we took a detour up the “Prince Trail” which was an uphill slope about half a mile.  It really kicked my butt and reminded me that I was there to work out.

We hiked a total of 4.66 miles on the stream and prince trail.  It’s a very scenic route where dogs and horses were allowed.  I would rate it an easy/moderate hike, its great for beginners. I really enjoyed the redwood trees and the stream that we walked a long.  My goal is to one day walk to the end …one day. Baby Steps.

Hiking has become my new found hobby that will help me to lose 20 more lbs by fall.  Hiking is great exercise and bonding time that is right in our very on Bay Area Backyard. Check back for more hiking adventures next week!

Black Girls Do Hike

A couple of weeks ago my hiking buddy Ashley and I got this bright idea to trying different hiking trails in the bay area.  After much contemplation and seeing photos from my Facebook friends we decided that we try to hike Mission Peak in Fremont, Ca.

Mission Peak is a 1500 ft climb up a STEEP dirt trail that is categorized for moderate to easy hikers. The view is so breath-taking that you can’t resist taking multiple breaks to catch your breath overlooking the south bay.   Hiking is a great exercise alternative to the regular gym routine and it works EVERY muscle in your body.  That day I saw different kinds of people; from kids, babies in strollers, big and small, all with one goal to make it to the peak.

If you are local and plan to do this hike I recommend you bring two bottles of water, something to snack on mid-way there, and of course your camera to take pictures of your victory.  Wait, did I mention it was HOT?! So start the early to avoid heat exhaustion. I plan to do this hike next month and actually take a picture at the peak pole. I’m hoping to bring a long other black girls (and guys) so we can add a bit more color to the trails and show the world that not only do we workout, but black girls HIKE!

Jennifer Hudson & Weight Watchers Campaign “Points Plus”

What better way to start off the new year with a new diet and exercise plan that works! I know a lot of people hate on Jennifer Hudson’s weight loss phenomenon saying “Oh she has a big head now!” but honestly, I’m so proud of her.  So proud that it has inspired me to try the Weight Watchers Points Plus programs.  Yes, your goal has sold me.  Jennifer Hudson has taken on the new campaign as spokeswoman and she is all over billboards, on your TV screen, and now in your daily diets.  I think this is a good move for her and for women who needed that extra push from their favorite singer that they can lose the weight.  I’m not gonna sit here and say that weight watchers did this to her body but whatever her lifestyle change was, it worked!