Getting into Halloween costume shape may be a challenge for many yet, ironically, it is only challenged by few. With Santa Monica as a backyard, it’s difficult to understand how today’s workout regime can stream over to a responsibility of the endless “tomorrow.” So now is the time to ask yourself, when exactly is this tomorrow going to begin? I wouldn’t hold your breath. But the good news is, with a little bit of local inspiration, you are not on your own. All the valuable tools and resources you need are at most a sign-up away, if not even free.
Try a jog along Ocean Avenue, which happens to be both basic and free. Weather should not be an issue. We live in Southern California. If you get cold, bring a jacket. Worried about the rain? Grab a hoodie. Once en route for 15 minutes or so, consider one of the many concrete benches that you begin to pass. No, don’t rest, instead try a dip. Exercise dips are great for triceps. Simply sit on the edge of the bench, place your hands facing forward underneath your bottom, make sure your feet are planted on the floor so your knees make a 90 degree angel, lower yourself down keeping your elbows in close and push back up until your arms are straight. Once your triceps begin to burn, keep going till you reach 10-15 reps.
For push-ups, place your hands under your chest, a little wider than shoulders distance apart, place either knees or toes on the ground making sure you have a straight line from shoulders to knees, or toes. Lower yourself down slowly making sure your body stays in one straight line, keep your abdominals pulled in tight. If tourist traffic is an excuse enough for a blocked walkway, reverting to these same push-up steps on a nearby fence or wall is not a bad Plan B.
Don’t stop there. Walk over to the curb and begin 16-20 step-ups by simply stepping up one foot onto curb, make sure your heel is planted firmly when stepping up, lift your opposite leg to balance and step back down, alternating feet. The electric and chemical waves should be triggering your brain to continue at this point but, if they need a bit more kick start, jog yourself over just south of the Santa Monica Pier. Here you’ll encounter multiple sets of traveling rings, balance beams, chin-up bars of various heights, and parallel bars which are provided for free. Each piece of equipment is worthy enough to attempt. On the rings, try swinging from one to another. For the beams, practice walking slowly and calmly — this engages many muscle groups and requires concentration. The bars each serve their own purpose but can all be used to enhance similar muscle groups, try a pull-up or 10.
To avoid post workout soreness, stretching is key. Plot out a portion of sand and begin bending over and reaching for your toes, then stand up, take your right hand and grab your left ankle to target affected body parts. If at this point you’re in the mood for additional moves, realize you’re situated in one of the world’s best anti-flab natural resources — sand. “Sand” shoes are all over the market right now, attempting to impersonate what Santa Monica’s beaches have had all along. Walking, jogging, and strength training will tone your body 10 times faster in sand than they would alone. Again, lucky you.
With your new pocket file of resources and tools, it would be criminal to not give your “tomorrow” a try and then, who knows, you might just find yourself with a couple more “todays,” too. Halloween is only two weeks away, so go out to our local backyard and play!
Alex Powers is a sophomore at USC majoring in communications and is spending part of her year interning at O2 MAX. O2 MAX is a youth fitness media company with a fitness training studio based in Santa Monica. For more information about programs including the O2 MAX Family Fitness Program, contact (310) 867-1650 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.