We’re back! After a lovely family hiatus in beautiful South Africa we’re recharged and re-energised. To celebrate, here's Part 2 of our Healthy Holidays guide to LA and its gorgeous surroundings. While it’s tempting to throw your normal active routine out of the window while you’re away, being on holiday doesn’t mean you have to forgo your fitness habit. Why not use exercise as a way to explore a different angle to your destination of choice, whether that means hiking your nearest natural wonder or challenging yourself with a new class you’ve never tried before. Your body will thank you for it when you get home!
LA is the perfect city to explore in this respect, whatever your preference. Alongside stunning scenery you’ll find cutting edge exercise trends. Plus, what better fitspiration is there than having Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely or Alessandra Ambroisio next to you in class? We’ve also included a few of our favourite health and wellbeing shopping destinations for those souvenirs and hard to find superfoods and supplements that haven't made it to London yet.
The concentrated masses of the body beautiful in LA means there is an exciting exercise option on almost every corner. We've included a few of the more unusual below for you to check out. Getting back to nature is a way of life in SoCal, as I’m sure it would be in London if we had the same stunning scenery (and weather!). Make the most of it and explore some of the beautiful hikes and other outdoors options while you’re in town.
Pound, various locations
An intense cardio workout developed by two female drummers. The class, self-styled as "boot camp meets band camp", leads you through a series of moves borrowed from aerobics and Pilates, all while drumming out various rhythms with a pair of neon green, quarter-pound drumsticks called Ripstix.
Pop Physique, various locations
Don't be put off by the American Apparel style branding, Pop Physique is one of LA's hottest ballet barre-based classes. The brainchild of Jennifer Williams, a former professional ballet dancer and Pilates Instructor, Pop Physique provides a modern LA spin on the original Lotte Berk concept that was created in London in the '50s and promises to create long, lean lines and tight, compact muscles.
Cirque School, 5640 1/2 Hollywood Blvd.
Founded by an ex–Cirque du Soleil aerialist, this 6000 square foot studio in Hollywood dedicated to developing and honing your circus skills and body with classes in everything from trapeze to contortion as well as frequent specialty workshops taught by experts from around the world. The School’s classes are all taught by working circus professionals and utilize a unique hybrid of both professional circus training and Pilates.
Hoopnotica, Venice + Santa Monica
Relive your childhood with a hula hoop class that claims to burn 400 to 600 calories an hour. A full body workout - Hoopnotica uses brightly-colored weighted hoops for a low-impact aerobic workout that focuses on loosening your hips and toning your core.
Runyon Canyon Park, Hollywood
You know how you always see photos of celebs hiking with their dogs? Chances are they were taken at this 160 acre park in Hollywood. The park offers tons of hiking trails of various difficulties although the three main trails are Runyon Canyon Road, Star Trail, and Hero Trail which offer stunning views of the city.
Head up to Malibu's stunning beaches for some celebrity house spotting. Take a run on one of the gorgeous beaches, making the most of the steps to take things up a level. Alternatively, why not try one of LA's hottest trends Stand-up Paddleboarding or "SUP". The more adventorous (and balanced) can even try SUP Yoga - wobbling into Warrior I while floating on a large surf board!
Forget Rodeo Drive and the other tourist trail shopping destinations, here’s our round-up of the markets and stores not to miss!
The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St. LA
An LA institution since 1934, this daily farmers market is a wonderful place to spend a day ambling around the hugely varied mix of restaurants, stores and stalls offering the best of LA’s local fresh produce and delicious groceries and speciality goodies.
Erewhon Market, 7660 Beverly Blvd., LA
A pioneer in the natural foods industry since the '60s , this is a great health food and grocery store stocking a wide range of local and organic fresh produce and health food brands from trusted suppliers. They even offer free consultations with their in-house naturopathic doctor.
Santa Monica Farmers Market, Santa Monica
Actually a collection of four different certified farmers' markets which operate at various locations around Santa Monica. Check their website to find out what's on when you're in town but bursting at the seams with amazing local, fresh seasonal produce. They take integrity seriously here with all vendors subject to regular on-farm inspections and other checks.
Co-opportunity, Santa Monica
This local community owned grocery store has one of the best selections of fresh goodies on the west side, all served up in an eco-friendly and energy efficient space.
Earth Bar, Various locations
A concentrated nutritional powerhouse, come here to stock up on all kinds of amazing probiotics, supplements and superfoods. We recommend the West Hollywood flagship on Santa Monica Blvd.