Lifestyle and Fitness Blogger Katie Austin Tours Orange County For the Best Workouts in the New Year
Written By: Katie Austin Blogger Katie Austin’s 8 OC Spots to Keep Fit and Eat Well
Photographed By: Hunter Cole
Congratulations! You made it through the holiday madness. The New Year is the time to get on track with your fitness goals and find your new health obsession. It’s like a fresh new start and it’s never too late to get out there and work on what you’ve always wanted.
Katie Austin, blog founder, Get Fit With Katie @katie.austin
I’m not from Orange County—I’m not even from California (although both of my parents were born and raised in Southern California). I’m a Virginia girl living in sunny Los Angeles and attending USC. But sometimes it’s good to get an outsider’s perspective. While driving, I’m not used to seeing so many health and fitness places around me. All throughout California, there are tons of juice places, fitness centers and salad restaurants. You definitely don’t find this in every state, so why not take advantage of all these amazing opportunities?
A lot of my friends at USC are from Orange County, so sometimes I go home with them, or visit them in their neighborhoods. I fell in love with a few spots here that could be your new health obsession, so read on and discover some of my favorite places.
For those of you who would rather keep things close to home, I have a great e-book called Love Your Body, Love Your Life: 28 Days to a More Beautiful You. It’s filled with workouts you can do anywhere, healthy recipes and motivational tips that will keep you going on your resolution to get in shape!
When you are in the mood to elevate your workout a few notches, head to SoulCycle in Fashion Island and you will not be disappointed! With killer instructors who motivate you to push yourself further than you ever thought you could go, music that makes you feel like you’re in the club and great energy, it comes as no surprise this 45-minute exercise class has a cult-like following (it’s definitely a change from riding my beach cruiser on the strand!). The facility is sparkling with clean white walls, lockers, spacious bathrooms and high-end stationary bikes. This total body workout may intimidate first-timers but just have fun with the class and eventually you will get into the groove. I love that some instructors have specific music outlined on the site for their class, such as Britney Spears vs Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé vs Jay-Z or Taylor Swift vs Kanye West, along with genre themes like hip-hop Friday and rock vs hip-hop. Make sure to reserve your bike ahead of time because these classes fill up quickly. For those of you who are more ambitious, Soul Survivor classes tack on an extra 15 minutes of heart-pounding body moving. This total body workout will leave you feeling like you can take on the world—I totally understand why people are so addicted.
What to Wear:
Make sure to wear your favorite exercise tee or tank top and form-fitting pants or shorts because you will be doing a lot of moving and the last thing you want to worry about is having your wardrobe get in the way. Also, the bikes require you wear shoes that have clips on the bottom so you can clip into your bike and not worry about having your foot slide off in the middle of your Justin Bieber set. Don’t worry if you don’t own a pair of these because Soul Cycle offers rentals for $3 dollars a class. Also, don’t forget to bring your water bottle, because you’ll definitely need it.
1177 Newport Ctr Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.759.7685 | www.soul-cycle.com
If you are looking for a workout that is intimate, high intensity but no impact, and has a great sense of community, then Pure Barre is the class you want to take. This exercise is great for anyone who has knee or joint issues or wants to ease into a new fitness routine. The 55-minute classes consist of an ever-changing roster of choreographed, concise isometric movements that lift your rear, tone your thighs and flatten your abs in no time. For each class the studio will provide you with weights (that will only be used in the beginning of the class to tone your upper body), a tube and a ball. One of the most challenging things you may encounter with Pure Barre is keeping the proper form and your movements small and controlled. It will take a few times to get used to the movements, but don’t let that discourage you. Starting in November, Pure Barre began its Platform class, in which cardio is integrated into the 55-minute class to improve endurance, kick start your metabolism and burn off calories Another added bonus of this location is that if you buy their package deal you can attend classes in all of the Orange County locations: Irvine, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Mission Viejo.
What to Wear:
It is extremely important to keep your body warm while taking a class at Pure Barre, but don’t fret if you can’t find the proper gear in your closet because the studio also has a small store that sells everything you need, including its own Pure Barre brand.
6791 Quail Hill Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92603
949.500.5924 | www.purebarre.com/CA-irvine
Jan’s Health Bar
One of the most important things you need to kick off your healthy new year is to focus on cleaning up your diet. For your body to run at optimum performance, make sure you’re eating the freshest and cleanest foods so your body easily absorbs the nutrients it needs while detoxifying from all of the not-so-good-for-you treats from the holidays. Luckily, we live in sunny California where there are an abundant amount of healthy and organic restaurants and cafes. My OC friends highly recommended I check out Jan’s Health Bar. There are two locations, the original in Huntington Beach and the one I visited in Costa Mesa. Jan’s offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, smoothies, fresh juices, healthy breakfast options and bowls, as well as vegetarian and vegan options. My favorite is the tuna and avocado sandwich. The portions are large so you can eat some while you’re there and save the rest for later!
Native Knowledge: The current owner of Jan’s, Poppy Holguin, had her first job at the original HB location while attending Huntington Beach High School.
250 E 17th St Ste D
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
949.650.4856 | www.janshealthbar.com
While on your healthy New Year kick, it’s also important to incorporate rest days into your routine so your body can recuperate. Perspire Sauna is a great place to visit when you need to take that break but still want to sweat. The private infrared saunas are clean and equipped with flat screen TVs, chromotherapy, robes and cool eucalyptus-soaked towels to wipe yourself down after your 40-minute session. It is extremely important that you are well hydrated when you go because, believe me, you are going to sweat. The sweating process is great for your well-being and allows your body to detoxify from impurities that have been building up. Sweating also improves circulation, relieves stress, helps your body burn more calories and soothes sore muscles. Bring a change of clothes for this one because you’ll need it! Like any new routine, it is important that you start slow, gradually letting your body become accustomed to the environment. If you feel like it is getting too hot for you, open the door to get some fresh air, then shut it and resume sweating. Perspire recommends building up your tolerance and going 2-3 times a week to get the full benefits of the saunas (if you want to be more aggressive, 4-5 times a week). Their saunas are also great to visit after you’ve worked out but still want to sweat a little bit more.
What to Wear:
When you know you are going to be sweating it is best to wear lightweight shorts and tops with breathable fabric. At Perspire, they also recommend going in your bathing suit or, if you are comfortable, sweating naked—that’s fine too.
488 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
949.722.1264 | www.perspiresaunastudio.com
This isn’t your everyday Pilates studio—FIT uses the Lagree Fitness Method created by celebrity trainer Sebastian Lagree. This overall cardio and full-body workout strengthens, lengthens and leans you out using a special machine called the Megaformer. Now, the Megaformer may look daunting to those who are not familiar with the classic machine, but this piece of equipment is an excellent tool that uses all your muscles, along with bringing out muscles you never thought you had. The studio is small, with eight machines, so reserve your spot ahead of time. With such an intimate environment, however, you are guaranteed an instructor will be close by to ensure you are doing the exercises properly and getting the most out of your workout. FIT has a variety of 50-minute classes to choose from, like FIT Pilates which combines traditional Pilates, cardio, weight and interval training all into one. Another popular class is FIT Barre, which incorporates a cardio workout with elements of a Barre and Pilates class. If you want to get the perfect backside, then the FIT Booty Blast is what you’re after with its heavy focus on thighs, lower body and, of course, booty. You’ll get that sculpted rear you’ve been wanting in no time. FIT has a free beginner class for first timers to familiarize themselves with the Megaformer and the basic moves. I cannot wait until they open a studio in LA!
What to Wear:
Any fitness attire is fine but make sure you wear grip socks to the class, as it is mandatory for safety and sanitary reasons. If you happen to forget your socks, no problem: The studio sells a variety of them for that reason.
24000 Alicia Pkwy Ste 300, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
714.421.2127 | www.fitpilatesstudiomissionviejo.com
I frequent Pressed Juicery locations often but hadn’t yet visited the Newport shop in Westcliff Plaza. It’s a great location with plenty of outside seating (also a great stop after a SoulCycle class to pick up their Citrus 1). The shop offers a variety of fresh-pressed juices and freezes (a nondairy, gluten-free, vegan frozen treat) with a variety of toppings you can use to customize to your liking. The freezes are exclusively available at the Newport locations (Fashion Island and Westcliff). If you’re looking for something that will boost your energy, I recommend their new 2 oz. Wellness and Vitality or, if you want one of the classics, go for the Greens 3, which is extremely energizing with kicks of lemon and ginger to lift your energy levels. Other popular juices are vanilla almond and chocolate almond—both great juices to drink before a workout because they are loaded with protein for your muscles, healthy fats and B-complex vitamins to give you that boost of nutrients your body needs. I think visiting Pressed Juicery should be on the top of everyone’s list when trying to start the new year with a clean slate; living healthily but not ignoring your hunger! Many times people slip into unhealthy eating habits because of busy lifestyles, but with Pressed Juicery, this doesn’t need to be an issue anymore!
1116 Irvine Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92600
949.650.0661 | www.pressedjuicery.com
My mom, fitness icon Denise Austin, has been practicing yoga for many years, so I have also incorporated it into my fitness regimen—which is why I was really looking forward to Ra Yoga. Ra, by the way, is the Egyptian sun god of creation. Ra Yoga has two studios and offers 19 different types of yoga, plus over 70 handpicked instructors so you will be able to find a class and instructor that suits your personality and needs. They have everything from hot yoga, yogalates (a combination of yoga and Pilates), Vinyasa and meditation. It is important to remember yoga is a practice and not only focuses on the body but also on the mind and maintaining inner balance. Don’t be intimidated by postures you may encounter in one of the classes because everyone in that class started right where you are. This is a great workout for those who need to step outside of their busy life, focus on themselves and quiet their mind all while honoring their body. Don’t worry if you do not own a yoga mat, forget your towel or your water bottle, because Ra Yoga has plenty for you to use. Not only are the staff, instructors and attendees very friendly and helpful, they just added a new adorable member to the team, Atlas the dog. Atlas will be there to greet you and solicit your affection while you wait for your class! There is an overall sense of community and well-being here that needs to be experienced.
What to Wear:
Wear comfortable clothes that allow your body to move freely and hold positions easily. Ra Yoga’s website will tell you the temperature of the class you are going to take so make sure you dress accordingly. If you plan on taking one of their hot yoga classes, be prepared to sweat a lot!
3077 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714.708.3060 | www.rayoga.com
One of my favorite things to do is dance, and when you mix dance, cardio and weights together, you get Enerji Barre. They offer three different classes, each with its own focus. Barre cardio is a high-energy 60-minute dance workout that uses small hand weights to tone your upper body followed by cardio-pumping ballet barre exercises, finishing with some core exercises and deep stretches. If you’re looking to sculpt your body and get ready for warmer weather, try Barre Sculpt. For this hour-long class you’ll work on strengthening and lengthening your muscles using small isolated movements, and if you enjoy using props, this class is for you: hand weights, resistance bands, straps and exercise balls accompany you through the movements. When you are short on time and looking for an intense workout, the third class is the best option. Barre HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a 30-minute cardio and strengthening class that uses quick intervals of ballet-inspired plyometric exercises. The studio is clean, the instructors friendly, warm, inviting and are really given free rein to come up with their own routines, which makes Enerji a lot of fun and keeps your muscles guessing. I love that I get an amazing sweat out of it but I forget that I’m working out. For all of you who will be first timers to the class, your first class is free!
What to Wear:
For Barre Cardio and Barre Sculpt classes, bring grip socks with you as it is a requirement for these classes. Because Barre HIIT is such a high-energy class, you’ll need tennis shoes to help absorb all the activity you’ll be doing. And for all the classes, bring a yoga mat (if you don’t have one, the studio can provide one), a towel and water.
18331 Irvine Blvd, Tustin, CA 92780
714.584.8143 | www.enerjibarre.com
5 Quick tips to keep in mind for your healthy New Year kickoff
1. Set a goal. Write it down, and stick it over your bed or on the refrigerator, so every single day you have a reminder of what you’re working toward!
2. Make that goal realistic. Don’t expect to lose 25 pounds in three weeks. Don’t set goals that you know you cannot reach, it will just discourage you. Make your goal doable, so you know you can stick to it!
3. Make it something you love. If you don’t like a certain type of fitness, don’t force yourself to go to the classes you don’t enjoy. If you love to dance, go to some dance classes! Why not have fun while you work out?
4. Stay positive. No complaints, just positive thinking!
5. Come up with a personal mantra. Mine is “I believe in you.” Create one for yourself, and repeat it every time you feel down, so you remember why you started.
F I T /// Right In To The New Year. Katie Austin