In a city that’s famous for its beautiful year-round weather and beaches, it’s no surprise that San Diego has consistently been ranked one of the fittest cities in the U.S. According to the latest American Fitness Index from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation San Diego is the 10th fittest city in America. It’s one of three California cities to make the top 10.
Many San Diego residents invest in their health with gym memberships where they can regularly workout but making it into the top 10 points to the all-around healthy lifestyle many San Diegans lead. When you dig into the American Fitness Index data you see that the personal health ranking in San Diego is even better than the community as a whole. San Diegans have been consistently surpassing target health goals for the last three years. Some of those accomplishments include:
- 83.1% of those polled participated in physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days.
- 62.9% met CDC aerobic activity benchmarks.
- 21.9% met the CDC aerobic and strength training activity benchmarks.
How are San Diegans working in all this physical activity? They supplement gym time with outdoor physical activities. It’s no surprise to find, the outdoors is a big draw. In the vast expanse of San Diego County, you’ll find a variety of outdoor activities that are uniquely suited for the area and people who live there.
Surfing Up and Down the Coast
If there’s one thing Southern California is known for, it’s surfing. On any given day you can head down to Ocean Beach, Windansea Beach or La Jolla Shores and find surfers gearing up to take on the waves. They may be riding the waves, but taming them takes a lot of energy.
The number of calories you burn while surfing depends on the number of waves you catch, but it doesn’t take much to get your heart rate up. An hour-long surf session typically burns up to 410 calories. If you’re a newbie that’s still getting your bearings on a board you can still expect to expend around 200 calories catching waves.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding the Bays
It may seem like you’re just standing there floating along, but stand up paddle boarding requires more energy than meets the eye. Paddle boarders get a great core workout since you’re continuously keeping everything balanced. It’s also a great way to work your upper body since the water creates resistance with each stroke.
Inlets like Mission Bay and the La Jolla Cove Marine Sanctuary offer paddle boarders plenty of calm water to tread. The experts at SUP World Magazine estimate that you can burn anywhere from 300 to 430 calories during an hour-long leisurely paddleboard excursion. Up the intensity to torch an astounding 1,125 an hour going full throttle.
Yoga With a View
Those who are looking for a less intense form of physical activity can turn to outdoor yoga sessions. Yogis take full advantage of the spectacular sunsets with cliffside workouts that burn anywhere from 180-600 calories.
Another popular activity in San Diego is to combine paddle boarding with yoga. If you have the balance for it, you can get a great workout that blasts up to 540 calories in 60 minutes.
Hiking Through the Hills
San Diego is home to one of the most diverse trail systems in the U.S. There are over 100 parks with more than 350 miles of hiking trails in San Diego County. It’s one of the community high notes for San Diego on the American Fitness Index. An astounding 22% of the city’s land area is pristine parkland that’s open to the public.
People from around the world make the time to hike scenic spots like Torrey Pines whenever they are in San Diego. Along with an album of amazing pictures, hikers can also get a workout that burns 430-550 calories for every hour you’re on the trail. But that all depends on the trail you’re blazing and the pace.
Join the Southern California Skateboarding Culture
Skateboarding culture was born in Southern California back in the 1970s, and today it is alive and well in San Diego. It may seem like a pastime for kids, but skateboarding can actually be a good workout.
Like paddle boarding, the balance required for skateboarding works your core. You’re also getting a lower body workout every time you push off. After an hour of skateboarding you can expect to be at least 250 calories lighter.
Running Marathons Through the City
San Diego is a hot spot for running events thanks to the near perfect weather. The city is a regular on Runners World’s list of Best Running Cities. Last year San Diego took the 4th spot out of 250 U.S. cities. It also ranks 7th for city populations that run the most.
Whether you’re going down the hard-packed coastline of La Jolla or jogging through Balboa Park, you’ll need to fuel up. Runners typically burn around 650 calories an hour. Of course, if you’re going uphill that number will be even higher.
Do you have a favorite San Diego activity you would like to share? Let us know all about it in the comments section below!
// Your La Jolla Sports Club team