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Best of San Diego 2015: Fitness & Health

The best trails, classes, studios, and wellness centers


Best Luxe Cycling: Rhythm + Power

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Sauna Sensation

At this wellness center in 4S Ranch, you can burn up to 600 calories in an hour without lifting anything heavier than a four-ounce juice. Start with an eight-minute whole-body vibration treatment, 40 minutes in a private sauna with TV, and 10 minutes of chromotherapy (translation: lounging with juice in a blue glowing room). At $50 for one 60-minute session, it’s cheaper than a massage, and you’ll walk out feeling just as zen.
16625 Dove Canyon Road, 4S Ranch; saunasensation.com


Sonima Wellness Center

Part gym, part vegan café, part wellness center, Sonima is a trifecta of pleasure for health enthusiasts. The café offers cold-pressed organic juices, alkalizing smoothies, and raw vegan eats, while the bright studio hosts classes ranging from meditation and yoga to hip-hop and boot camps with TRX training. For head-to-toe healing, wellness coaches are on hand. Go ahead and get your om on.
575 South Coast Highway, Encinitas


The stunning view of La Jolla from Trilogy Sanctuary’s fourth-floor terrace is better seen right side up. | Photo by Jay Reilly


Trilogy Sanctuary

The La Jolla yoga studio is putting a new twist, quite literally, on the practice with aerial yoga. Classes take flight on Trilogy’s oceanview rooftop, where yogis hang two to three feet in the air doing a mix of both familiar and aerial-specific poses. The technique encourages deep stretching, decompresses the spine, and makes you feel like a freewheeling kid again. P.S. People love Trilogy’s vegan, GF, and soy-free cafe, too.
7650 Girard Avenue, La Jolla


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Luxe Cycling

Rhythm + Power

This high-end spin facility in Solana Beach is next-level. The digital bikes monitor individual performance, and periodically throughout the class, rankings flash up on a screen. If that doesn’t push you to pedal harder, look for your personalized email after class, which provides stats such as your distance, average RPM, calories burned, and more. For those who love to count and quantify, it’s an after-workout high. For the rest of us, there’s the post-class cold eucalyptus cloths. Bliss.
161 South Coast Highway 101, Solana Beach


Rush Ride

Spin Class with Soul

Rush Ride

San Diego may not have a SoulCycle, but we’ve got the next best thing. Sheri Matthews’ Rush Ride at the Rush Indoor Cycling Studio in Bird Rock is a killer workout with a side of therapy. Sample quotes: “Get out of your comfort zone. Let’s get uncomfortable. Why do we always choose to do what feels okay?” and “Your body doesn’t know seasons or holidays. It’s your health. It’s a lifestyle. Be here today like you would if it was New Year’s Day.”
5628 La Jolla Boulevard, Bird Rock; 11130 East Ocean Air Drive, Carmel Mountain


Performance 360

This friendly, non-intimidating gym offers daily classes right on the water in both Mission Beach and Crown Point. And it’s not the same ol’ boot camp: If CrossFit, boot camp, and yoga had a threesome and created a love child, it would be P360. Game on.
1010 Santa Clara Place, Mission Beach; 2620 Ingraham Street, Crown Point; perform-360.com


Classmate competition heats up at orange theory, where each person’s results are visible to all. | Photo by John Trice



By combining an even mix of cardio and strength training, these intense workouts blast between 500 and 1,000 calories and leave you sore and exhausted—in a good way. You wear a heart rate monitor and aim for intervals that get you close to your peak, which boosts your metabolism after class ends.
Locations in Encinitas, Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Mission Valley, Poway, and Point Loma; orangetheoryfitness.com


Ed’s Waterfront Run

Local runner Ed Agunos counts at least five couples who first met at one of his Tuesday evening runs and went on to get married. He’s even officiated a few of their weddings. Ed’s run is free and attracts a large group of runners who follow either 3- or 5-mile loops around the Embarcadero, then head to the Waterfront Bar and Grill. Everyone goes straight to the bar in running clothes, which creates a relaxed vibe that goes beyond the usual singles scene.
Tuesdays at 6 p.m, San Diego County Administration Center; meetup.com


November Project

The national movement for free group exercises started in Boston as a way to encourage people to stay fit in the winter, but it also has a strong showing in San Diego. The group can attract up to 100 fitness fiends who gather at 6:29 a.m. to run, climb stairs, and do pushups, sit-ups, and other strength exercises. Regulars who don’t show up get called out on the group’s social media pages with embarrassing photos


Grotto’s wall features 13,000 handmade holds. We’re guessing you’ll never make the same climb twice.


Grotto Climbing & Yoga

Since it opened earlier this year, everyone’s abuzz about this snazzy facility with a 7,000-square-foot climbing wall. Scale the low, cavern-shaped wall, designed for an authentic bouldering experience without ropes or harnesses. All skill levels are welcome, and instructors teach everything from proper stretching to climbing upside-down. Post-climb, relax with one of Grotto’s 11 types of yoga classes.
4460 Alvarado Canyon Road, Grantville


San Diego Beer Run


San Diego Beer Run

Most races have plastic cups of basic beers at the finish line, but this August 29 run takes things to a San Diego craft beer-worthy level. After finishing a 5K or 10K along the Embarcadero, runners gain entry to a craft beer festival with local breweries ready to fill their steins. There are also beer olympics and a beer pong tournament.
San Diego Embarcadero Marina Park South; beerrunsd.com


LionHeart Fencing Academy

If you missed the deadline for signing your kid up for a specialty camp last March, there’s still hope to get the little ones moving this summer. LionHeart Fencing Academy teaches fencing and indoor archery for the Hunger Games-obsessed kiddo. Camps, classes, and birthday parties focus on fencing, archery, and medieval sword, no wait list in sight.
1331 North Cuyamaca Street, El Cajon; lionheartfencingacademy.com



This vertical workout keeps raising the bar! Fitwall’s La Jolla location has become a test lab for Fitwall studios across the country. La Jolla members can be the first to try concepts like a movement tracking device debuting this month, as well as new programs like a senior fitness class called Forever Young, and, rolling out in September, Fitwall for golfers.
7710 Fay Avenue, La Jolla; 437 Coast Highway 101, Solana Beach


Junior Ranchers


Junior Ranchers

Where were camps like this when we were little? Rancho Valencia is opening its doors six days a week for kid-friendly yoga, spending time with the resort’s chef, tennis lessons, and more. Sign up your five-to-12-year-old on a daily ($95) or half-daily ($55) basis, through September 6.
5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe


Milo Sports

Milo Bryant brings us San Diego’s first Life Fitness BlueSky Synrgy unit, a tricked-out, outdoor fitness playground. Based at the Del Mar Golf Center, his programs target more than 540 sports. Bryant will fine-tune the body to suit your passion, from golf to Ironman training.
15555 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar; milostrong.com

In 1974, the modern tri was born in Mission Bay. This year, for the first time, the MISSION BAY TRIATHLON is a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event. On October 4, join 1,600 competitors as they swim 500m, bike 15K, and run 5K. Spectators also welcome.

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