Let’s face it, gyms are convenient but many are expensive, constantly crowded, and just isn’t fitting for everyone. There are ways to be fit and active without necessarily being a “gym rat”. If you’re avoiding the monthly gym fee but want a way to get a good workout in, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do to help keep your body moving. Not only is it easier, but it’s the perfect excuse to be outdoors. Here’s our list of 5 outdoor locations to visit and workouts to do in LA.

MICHELTORENA STAIRS

3324 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 9002

The Micheltorena Stairs, a hidden gem in Silverlake, features artwork by local artist Corrine Carrey. The bold rainbow color scheme and heart prints create a recognizable look for this location. You can find the staircase featured in various LA magazines as it has become the city staple used for stair climbing by both locals and tourists. Benefits of this exercise include high calorie burn, strength development, and improves endurance and sprint performance. The workout is equivalent to doing lunges or the leg press machine with every step, so it’s the perfect way to incorporate leg day when you’re outdoors.

Image via Korea Daily

THE GROTTO

12896 Yerba Buena Rd Malibu, CA 90265

Grotto Trail is an ideal location for anyone looking to get a good hike in around the LA area without the crowd. The 2.7 mile loop trail is located near Malibu and you’ll get about a 1.5 hour workout out of it. Hiking has become a favorite exercise by many all year round to build strong legs and core without the gym equipment. A one-hour hike can easily burn up to 400 calories and can provide similar benefits of lunges such as strong glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Not only is it a great workout, but a perfect stress reliever if you’re looking for some natural health therapy.

Image via Cosmology

COVE PADDLE FITNESS

23823 Malibu Rd Ste 50-111 Malibu, CA 90265

Cove Paddle Fitness focuses on “committing to healthy living, a balanced life, and just having fun”. They provide various workout options such as stand-up paddle boarding lessons, paddle board fitness classes and other services including rentals and tours. SUP, also known as stand up paddling, has become a popular trend in outdoor exercise and is accessible at almost every beach area. If you think SUP is easy, you’ll be in for a major surprise. The more waves there are, the more intense your workout will be and will target every area of the core, arms, and legs for an intense full body workout.

Image via Yelp

BALLONA CREEK BIKE PATH

3459 McManus Ave Culver City, CA 90232

Ballona Creek bike path starts from Syd Kronenthal Park in Culver City, extending about 7 miles along the Playa Del Rey beach. It originally started out in the 1930’s as a service road for maintenance vehicles, but eventually opened up to the public for bikers, joggers, walkers, and skaters. For convenience and a quick morning workout, this bike path is commonly used by local commuters. It’s become more common nowadays to ditch cars and hop on bikes to get to work, adjusting to a more active lifestyle. When you don’t have time to hit the gym after work, biking in the AM is the perfect solution. The exercise benefits include high calorie burn, strong legs, healthy heart rate, and stress relief to name a few.

Image via Spinlister

SILVER LAKE RESERVOIR

The Silver Lake Reservoir has been around since 1908, serving as one of LA’s favorited scenic and recreational spots around. Here you’ll find a selection of outdoor workout/activities to choose from including a 2.2 mile walking path around the reservoir and playing basketball at the recreation center. It’s the perfect location to incorporate a cardio workout during a visit. Cardio is known to increase metabolism, reduce the risk of high cholesterol and diabetes, and improve your state of mind to keep you focused and stress free. Try doing speedwork for a 30 minute sprint workout, threshold session of 30 to 60 min at a steady pace, or a relaxed long run.

Image via Curbed