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Hiking the Trails: A Guide to Your New Personal Workout

Didn't make it to the gym yet? Here's a fun way to get in shape during last few weeks of summer.

Okay, so the summer is coming to a close, and the fitness plan you made the last week of school, well, that didn't happen. Why? Because gyms are no fun, and motivating yourself to get dressed and drive there is even less fun.

I've found a method of exercising in a ways that doesn't feel as much as an effort. You can even work on your tan while your at it. A last ditch effort to make yourself more fabulous before school resumes.

I am an avid outdoors activities person. I’d rather spend my time not thinking about the exercise I’m doing, burning just as many calories as I would in the gym, but having fun while doing it (as you can probably guess by ). So I’ve spent the past few years frequenting this area’s trails.

One of my personal favorites is the “butt hike,” to which it has been affectionately referred by my friends and I, because of its reputation for working your glutes. Located in the Oak Park Community Center, the trail is a deviation from the main paved path, found on your left hand side right after crossing the bridge.  It features three nearly vertical hills. Wendi Li, a regular to this hike, states “The duck pond hike is actually pretty intense. Don’t try to climb it in flip flops!” The trail conveniently lets out on Kanan near , allowing you to quickly re-consume the calories you just worked off (come on now, we all know that we really work out so that we can consume a “grande double-mocha-frappe-upside-down-no-whip-extra-pump” guilt-free) and cool off in an air-conditioned environment. We all love nature, but you can’t beat technology and chain coffee shops.

Another great workout is the China Flats Trail, a meandering, steady uphill trek that connects Westlake Village to Simi Valley. The entrance is at the end of a cul-de-sac, King James Court, off of Lindero Canyon Rd. While the trek up is long and rather bland, once you reach the peak of the mountain, the view of the valley below is phenomenal.  Also, if you want to skip the 101/23 traffic and you are certified hardcore, you can use this as a shortcut to Simi Valley.

For a nice view, locally, head down Thousand Oaks Blvd. until it ends, and take one of  the Janss Conejo Ranch trails to a beautiful river with a waterfall. The trek down is easy, but it’s all uphill going back, so you still get a good workout in.

If you’re up for a bit of a drive, Malibu offers fabulous hikes with astounding views. Point Dume is one of the best. Located near Kanan directly off of PCH, this seaside hike is uphill but not too strenuous.  The peak of the mountain features a promontory that overlooks the ocean with a secluded cove to the left and a long stretch of California coastline to the right. In the spring, this area is known as a lookout point where one can observe humpback whales, often with their young, feeding in the waters below. My recommendation for after-hike refueling is Coogie’s Beach Cafe, a casual restaurant in the Malibu Colony Shopping Center that offers good food at decent prices.

So, put your workout shoes on, and head outside!

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