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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Exercising in San Diego

For newbies in Nikes, SD has a lot of options.


Boot camps scare me. Especially ones that start at 5 a.m. There's a reason I'm not in the army. Luckily, San Diego has tons of workouts that are doable for non-athletes and non-gym rats. Here are a few where I have seen results and enjoyed myself. If none of these catch… well, our associate editor Kim Cunningham will tell you that “Thai massage is yoga for lazy people.”



Why it’s lazy: What’s lazier than lying on your back while you exercise? A lot of injured people do Pilates because they can, for example, jump by pushing their feet on a springboard and sliding on this carriage doohickey.

Why it works: Resistance, via pulleys and springs, will tone and strengthen you all over. A surprising cardio element can sneak in there, too.

Where to go: I go to Sara at Fit Athletic downtown. Her style is to gently clean up your form, not bark orders, so you’ll maximize efficiency. P.S.: Sara is supercool and hilarious, but don’t complain or she’ll make the workout harder. P.P.S.: You can train in groups of three to save money.



Why it’s lazy: You’re too busy gyrating and salsa-dancing to notice the instructor is making you do squats in between hip thrusts, or that you’re effectively running in place while you cha-cha-cha.

Why it works: One 115-pound woman in class had a watch that measured she’d burned more than 700 calories.

Where to go: At Mind Body Soul Dance on India Street, teacher Jaylin doesn’t stop smiling the entire time, and she is sick-talented.



Why it’s lazy: Every move in classical ballet is based on having really good technique, so, in an hour-and-a-half class, there is some standing around and explaining from the teacher. You can stall further by asking questions, but not to the point that you piss off the more advanced students.

Why it works: Have you seen a dancer’s legs? Long, lean muscles! You’ll also work on your posture and strengthen your core.

Where to go: I love owner/teacher duo Tom and Muriel at Del Mar Ballet (in Sorrento Valley). They teach adults three levels: basic, beginner, and intermediate/advanced. If you’re not sure your level, take beginner (it doesn’t help that you took lessons when you were 8). If you’ve never taken, go to basic. Just sayin’.



Why it’s lazy: Okay, it’s Pilates on crack. Lazy? Well, it’s just 40 minutes, and that should ease your mind. Quick and painful.

Why it works: On the reformer, you’ll do a lot of balancing and core work while you’re working other muscles (e.g. lunge forward while keeping the carriage steady).

Where to go: In North County, BodyRok has a studio in Solana Beach. They’re also in North Park with soon-to-open locations in Carmel Valley, Little Italy area, and more.


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San Diego Magazine's editorial staff (Erin Chambers Smith + Erin Meanley + Kimberly Cunningham + Archana Ram + a handful of smart, thoughtful contributors)  and web designer (Sanna Coates) blog everything from restaurants and bars to behind the scenes gossip to the best events happening this weekend. Looking for foodie and restaurant guru Troy Johnson? He's got his own blog here.

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