One of the many things we love about living in L.A. is that there are plenty of opportunities to exercise – and most are built right into the landscape. Lifestyle blogger Lauren Gores Ireland is showing us how it’s done at one of favorite outdoor workout spots in the city – the Santa Monica Stairs. Follow Lauren’s outline below to make the most of this fitness hotspot, step by step!
If there’s one thing L.A.’s mastered – it’s non-traditional workouts. Among the best? The famed Santa Monica stairs.
The steps serve as a welcome alternative to my typical fitness routine. If you’ve ever made the trek yourself, you know it’s a thigh burner. The (approximately) 170 steps leave you feeling sweaty and accomplished. The area is usually busy, regardless of the time of day. But if you throw on a good playlist and let your mind wander free, you’ll forget about the crowd.
There’s also something innately encouraging about the workout. I think it’s the idea of accomplishing something one step at a time – never looking back – that inspires me every time. For those of you who love feeling both fit and mindful, here’s how to master the trek…
Note: There are two sets of Santa Monica stairs – wooden and concrete. The following photos were snapped at the wooden set.
Spend a few minutes stretching before making the hike up, specifically focusing on your legs. The steps are certainly a bum and thigh burner, so a good stretch goes a long way.
Begin the walk up, choosing a pace that’s comfortable for you. You’ll notice some people prefer to trek slowly, while others are nearly running. There are a couple of resting areas as you make your way up.
HYDRATE + REFLECT:
Once you reach the top, there’s a small lookout area where you can catch a view of the ocean (the view from the concrete steps is even more picturesque). Take a moment to hydrate and reflect.
There’s a residential area where you can take a brief run (at the top or bottom). This will keep your heart rate up and make the workout more of a challenge.
Take a few minutes to stretch again, before making the trek down. Your legs will thank you later!
Begin the trek to the bottom, while controlling your pace.
A number of people choose to take the stairs a handful of times before wrapping their workout. Each set will take you roughly 15 minutes, depending on your pace (excluding the run).