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I'm a self-professed adventure writer and former exercise junkie seeking a long-term relationship with my higher self, healthy workout habits, and a balanced, adventurous lifestyle in San Luis Obispo. Join me as I discover the healthy activities of SLO County, from land to sea.
Showing posts with label exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exercise. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

San Luis Obispo County: Summer 2014

Forgive my absence. I've been a bit overwhelmed these last few months. 

But summer's here, the air is fresh, and the skies are bright. San Luis Obispo County offers more than its fair share of outdoor activities, and I plan to take advantage of the long days by logging in heaps and bounds of plen air exercise. I hope you'll also have the opportunity to explore this Central Coast mecca and chart a few adventures of your own. 

Here are a few pictures of last weekend's exploration of Moonstone Beach in Cambria. What a summer splash!


Friday, March 21, 2014

2014 First Day of Spring: Pismo Beach

Yesterday the first day of spring rolled beautifully into San Luis Obispo County. This annual celestial occurrence—also known as the Spring or Vernal Equinox—happens when the sun passes the equator moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere, and day and night are the same duration. This is the dawning of a progressively warmer season where the days continue to grow longer.

I got my exercise spending two-and-a-half hours walking along Pismo Beach in the late afternoon and early evening, kneeling in the sand, documenting the first spring sunset. The stunning cloud formation caused the sky's and shore's colors to morph from blue and silver to gold and pink. If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now: Clouds bring out the best in twilight's ethereal flirt over the ocean. 

 Here are a few snapshots of last night's once-a-year event.



Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cayucos and Morro Bay: Splish Splash!

Cayucos State Beach
My exercise habits over the last few weeks have been pretty much zilch. My excuse for slacking off last week? The 5-day San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. My justification for this week? Just plain old fatigue from having too much fun at the festival and jumping right back into a long work week.

But I'm back on track. Today I discovered two great outdoor exercisesboth with my shoes off that increased my balance, gave my legs something to shriek about, and left me wanting more.

In the early part of the morning, I ventured out to Cayucos State Beach to walk along its gravely shores. I stopped to pick up nifty pieces of colorful sea glass and when I reached the stretch of offshore rocks where the waves pound and clatter, I couldn't help but take off my walking shoes. Standing with my heels and toes firmly against the sand, I knelt down, got out my camera and captured the catapulting backsplash. 

I can't remember the last time I went barefoot at the beach—normally I walk or run with shoes on and remain carefully removed from the water. But today was different. The warm sunny day compelled me to get my legs soaked. The waves almost knocked me over several times as I balanced and shot pictures...what a great time!

On my way back home I couldn't help but stop in Morro Bay for a little rest and relaxation on the warm beach. But soon after arriving, I left my shoes and chair behind and headed straight for the water, discovering that walking along the shore knee deep in water might quite possibly be the greatest form of aqua aerobics known to humankind. Not once did I fall over during this resistance workout.

So there you go. Balance. Resistance. Exercise that is sheer fun in the sun. 

Wave splash!   
From Cayucos State Beach, you can catch a glimpse of Morro Rock in the distance.
From Morro Rock Beach, Cayucos lies just a handful of miles away on the distant shore.
Sometimes you just have to get your feet wet.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cloisters Beach Path, Morro Bay

This past week, San Luis Obispo County's recent warming streak changed course.The unusual skyrocketing winter temperatures in the 80s settled down a bit, bringing gentler highs in the 60s and 70s. We even saw a little rain. Regardless of the cool down, no complaints here. 

Yesterday I headed out for some early morning exercise on Morro Bay's Cloisters Beach Path. I walked a mile-and-a-half loop course that followed environmentally sensitive wetlands, sandy dunes, an uncrowded beach, and the home of the threatened shorebird, the snowy plover. The entire time, the iconic Morro Rock loomed in the near distance. Not a bad way to start the day.

The Cloisters Beach Path is easily accessible from Highway One in Morro Bay. Turn west on San Jacinto Street at the major stoplight on the highway and drive a short ways until the street dead ends. Make a left on Sandalwood Avenue and you'll see the public parking lot to the right. There are restrooms and direct access to the beach.

From the parking lot, look for the sign to the path. This paved trail eventually winds past Cloisters Community Park, and if you continue walking south for about a half mile, you'll reach the short beach boardwalk. At the fork on the boardwalk, head toward the beach. Your legs will get a nice workout traipsing through the soft sand dunes.

   If you want to extend your walk by an extra mile, head south towards Morro Rock once you reach the shore. Otherwise, head north and walk up the beach for about a half mile until you find the sandy path that leads back to your car.

 You have to watch carefully for this sandy path back to the parking lot. I use the trees to the left in this picture as a guide. This stretch of beach does not permit dogs due to the snowy plover's nesting grounds.
Whatever the weather brings, have a beautiful day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cayucos State Beach

A piece of emerald green sea glass I found on Cayucos State Beach.
Cayucos is a gem of a town. Tucked away on Highway One in San Luis Obispo County, just five miles north of Morro Bay, this cool, funky destination is worth a visit. Rich in history, small town spirit and unspoiled coastline, its state beach is the perfect place to get some exercise. 

Yesterday, as sultry clouds hovered over SLO County, I headed to Cayucos in search of giant waves typical during this time of year. Walking along the beach I found a few colorful pieces of sea glass, felt the roar of the ocean and wondered...why aren't more people here?

I started my walk from Cayucos Pier, which is now only partially open due to a severely needed rebuild. Click here for more information about the pier's history and the current efforts to save it at savecayucospier.com.

I trekked south down Cayucos State Beach and saw a few others out for some exhilaration.
This paddle boarder braved the churning sea.

This surfer charged straight into the high waves.

Just another day in exercise paradise.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cambria's Moonstone Beach Boardwalk

Yesterday as I was stretching during the middle of my workout, the gentleman standing next to me said, "This is the best gym in town." I couldn't have agreed more.

But I wasn't sweatin' it out inside a fitness center, I was standing on a viewing deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Cambria's  Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. Outside in the sunshine, fresh air and low-70 degree temperatures, thunderous waves crashed below me, whales spouted in the far horizon, and I benefited from a few hours of exercise. What an amazing weekend to explore the California Central Coast! 

Cambria lies at the northern end of San Luis Obispo County and its famous stretch of coastline, Moonstone Beach, is easily accessible. Just look for the signs as you're driving on Highway One through Cambria.
When I visit the boardwalk, I prefer to park at the northern end of Moonstone Beach Drive at San Simeon State Park's Leffingwell Landing. There is a large paved lot, public restrooms, picnic grounds and beautiful views. Before beginning on the boardwalk, you can head north up these stairs and meander along a short roped trail that winds along the cliffs. Access stairs allow you to walk down to the pebble-studded shore.

To begin the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk from San Simeon State Park, walk south over the bridge from the park. The boardwalk is about 1.5 miles each way and is a flat, easy course to follow. Several benches and viewing decks allow walkers to stop and soak in the stunning blue sea. There are plenty of access stairs along the way, leading to tide pools and the beach.

There is always a bevy of activity at Moonstone Beach. Yesterday I saw surfers, fishermen, families playing on the shore, people walking their dogs, and many out searching for sea glass and moonstones.

At the southern end of the boardwalk, you'll find many beachgoers and surfers at Moonstone Beach Park. Yesterday these walloping waves gave surfers and onlookers quite a thrill.

Click here for directions and more details about this splendid walk.
Happy Trails!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

10,000 Steps

Shell Beach, San Luis Obispo County
Some health experts recommend taking 10,000 steps per day. For the average person's stride length, that translates to about 5 miles. Walking this much outdoors might not be realistic for everyoneespecially in the middle of winter, where in some states people are enduring wind chills of minus 60 degreesbut when the weather permits and you have the opportunity, why not take a few extra steps?

Even if 10,000 is daunting or unrealistic for you, studies show that taking 2,000 steps more per day may reduce your cardiovascular risk.Yesterday instead of driving, I walked to the gym for a short workout on the stair step machine and signed up for personal training sessions (can't wait!). Round trip my total steps were between four to five thousand.

Later I drove to Shell Beach to catch the sunset. I logged in a few thousand more steps while taking pictures along the crashing waves and also benefited from stair work. Shell Beach is surrounded by sheer cliffs, and walking down the access stairs is the only sensible way to get to the sand. Walking up and down stairs is a great workout all on its own.

I live in a neighborhood where I can get to the grocery store on foot. I already walked to a local coffee shop this morning, and today I'm going shopping for a pair of tennis shoes that I can keep in my office to use during the week to get some fresh air and exercise during breaks and lunches. 

If it's just too darn cold to go out where you live, walking on a treadmill at your local gym is an obvious choice. Many at-home workouts are also available through popular internet streaming sites such as netflix and hulu. I have a dvd I can do in the comfort of my own living room called "Walk Slim: 5 Really Big Miles" from Leslie Sansone, creator of the Walk at Home program.

Whatever your situation, put your best foot forward!

Even if you can't get to the beach, find ways during your day to take those extra steps that make sense to you. Click here for 25 Simple Ways to Get More Steps in Your Day by Su Reid-St. John.

Shell Beach sunsets never disappoint.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pismo Beach Winter Sunset

Although record freezing temperatures are gripping many parts of the country, San Luis Obispo County is holding its own. Today SLO Town (that's San Luis Obispo City) sported winter temps in the high 60s. After work, with giant clouds streaking the westward sky, I couldn't resist driving over to Pismo Beach for a short walk on the beach to catch the sunset.

With cool air and a blue horizon streaked with white puffs and gold sun, plenty of surfers and beachgoers enjoyed the water and the evening view. That's what I call a workout.

Pismo Beach sunsets always begin...
...and end beautifully.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

Morro Rock Beach
From land to sea, San Luis Obispo County is jam-packed with activities and locales that allow you to get some exercise. Whether you live in SLO County, visit here occasionally or plan to travel to this Central Coast mecca, the year-round temperate weather, along with the alluring coastline, Santa Lucia mountain range and agricultural influence, provide a healthy climate.

Since launching this blog in 2012, I started hitting the local beaches and hiking trails for exercise. Along the way a remarkable thing happened: I developed a healthy obsession for capturing the beauty I saw all around me. I especially grew to love sunset chasing; walking, kneeling and running along the sand to catch the perfect light reflecting on the water and shore have consumed my new-found photography hobby. 

Now that 2013 is gone and 2014 is staring us in the face, why not make this a banner year for your fitness goals and discover something new along the way? 

I've updated this site to include a partial list of SLO County organizations and business that might appeal to your sense of adventure. I believe one of the most important aspects of exercise is doing something that you personally find enjoyable—an activity that not only gets your blood pumping, but also nourishes your soul. The list I've compiled is by no means exhaustive and I welcome your input.

Whether you enjoy working out at the gym, paddle boarding, horseback riding, swimming, surfing, sailing, diving, kayaking, kite boarding, golfing, running, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, dancing, practicing yoga or the martial arts, I believe SLO County's got you covered. 

When it comes to fitness, everyone's sense of adventure is different. I hope you find and enjoy yours. 

Today I headed to Morro Rock Beach in Morro Bay. After a very long walk on the beach breathing the fresh, salt-scented air and listening to the soft crashing waves, I found my place of enlightenment.
 I'm always amazed at the bevy of activity on this quiet stretch of beach. Today I saw everything from fisherman and paddle boarders, to walkers and joggers, to horseback riders and surfers. Morro Rock Beach is quite a place to get the exercise of your choice. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from San Luis Obispo County

My family's Christmas ta-da takes place on the eve of the 24th. We tend to celebrate with an abundance of special food and drink and our menu is never quite the same. This year we settled on crepes, with a variety of scrumptious fillings that left me with a food hangover the next morning. But I wouldn't change a thing, as each of us brought our own flavor component to the holiday meal, making the feast extra special. 

Although I logged in some exercise both days by taking walks on Pismo Beach to soak up the fresh salty air, the blue skies and warm temperatures, I definitely need to hit the gym during the upcoming winter months to work off my past and future indulgences. 

The colors at Pismo Beach during the early morning hours of Christmas Eve were cool, calm and collected.
The sun rose quickly, as did the roar of the high surf.
These critters pranced about on the shore.
This surfer headed straight for the crashing swell.
After the beach, I headed to the northern part of San Luis Obispo County to spend time with family for Christmas Eve dinner. We had a blast. For our menu, first a cheese and charcuterie plate with tasty bites from The Cultured & The Cured; then a crepe station accompanied with crab legs, shrimp, smoked salmon, roasted veggies, and grilled sausages and peppers. I even opened a special bottle of wine from Switzerland: petite arvine from the Valais region.
Even after all of this indulgence we found room for a flaming dessert: Crêpe Suzette. My brother is a professional chef in San Luis Obispo County and he knows how to work magic in the kitchen.
On Christmas Day, I headed back to Pismo Beach to soak up more of the beautiful weather. I hope you found some brilliance and sparkle in your holiday, just as these wave mongers did.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SLO Universe

I haven't logged much exercise this week, but I did catch last night's sunset. Way to work your magic in San Luis Obispo County, Universe.