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Shape up in the New Year

January 20, 2017
  • Defy Gravity in Corona del Mar

Shape Up

From veggie drinks to downward dog, Newport Beach offers many ways to find health and wellness in the New Year.

Taste the Rainbow

A healthy lifestyle begins with healthy eating habits, says April Murray, dietician and founder of OC Nutrition Coaching. “This means being aware of what ingredients you are putting into your body and making mindful choices,” she says. Avoid processed foods and those high in sugars. Eat only when you are hungry and put down the fork when you feel satisfied. “I also believe that allowing yourself to enjoy foods you love — chocolate, wine — without guilt is a must,” April adds. “Moderation is the key to life-long success.” April doesn’t advocate juicing exclusively, but she does recommend sneaking a green smoothie into your regular meal plan. (Her personal recipe: a mix of fresh greens like kale, celery, spinach, parsley, cucumber and lime, plus ½ an orange and ginger.) The key word here is “green”: Most fruit juices have an entire day’s worth of sugar, April explains. “Choosing mostly vegetables keeps the sugar content low.” It’s hard to resist dining out in Newport Beach, where a host of haute restaurants beckon; fortunately, many cater to health-conscious palates. Some of April’s local favorites are grilled fish tacos with avocado, ahi poke, and seaweed salad from Bear Flag Fish Co.You can also get your green fix in a glass (or bottle) at Pressed Juicery, Nekter (be sure to request the organic produce), Sejuiced, and Whole Foods Market.

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Drink the Wild Air

“I have never been a gym guy,” says professional mountain biker and hobby surfer Richie Schley, who spends many a day on Newport Beach’s network of dirt trails and in the ocean. “I need to be distracted by how much fun I am having while doing an outdoor activity so that I don’t even realize I am exercising. …Whether I am climbing a mountain with my friends, chatting while on the bike, or standup paddleboarding, I am so focused on having fun. Get outside; it’s the best way to exercise!” Fortunately, there’s no shortage of outdoor fun in Newport Beach: Surfing, SUP, kayaking, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, and beach volleyball are among the many sports that the local landscape and year-round sunshine offer. Get the tonic of fresh air and a heart-pumping workout at Crystal Cove State Park, whether you hike or bike its many high-incline trails, run it’s sandy shoreline, or swim in its deep-blue waters. Newport’s Back Bay is another fun way to while away the day in nature: jog the path, tone your arms with a kayaking session, or sign up for a standup-paddleboard yoga class with Pirate Coast Paddle Company. The city’s quiet coves feature more scenic places to scuba and snorkel, and The Wedge serves up serious surf for experienced bodyboarders. Whatever your sport, you’ll find the perfect spot in this diverse landscape.

Bring the Outdoors In

If you need a place to work out on rainy days — or if being one with nature just isn’t your thing — bring your outdoor activities inside. “Cycling and Pilates are the perfect partners for the best full body workout,” says Shannon Barbadian, co-owner of Defy Gravity in Corona del Mar, whose studio offers both, as well as The Split class, which includes 30 minutes of each. “While many people worry about having the time to get their cardio in along with their strength training, [this] is the best of both worlds,” she says. A “better than barre” class called Bodhi Barre is a new 55-minute suspension-Pilates workout that “perfectly combines strength, balance, flexibility, and core conditioning,” she adds. Tone your muscles and your mind at YogaWorks Newport Beach, where classes combine physical, mental, and spiritual conditioning. “Beyond the physical body, scientific studies have also show that yoga can improve your overall outlook on life,” says manager and yogi Celina Carey. “It can make you happier and even improve your IQ scores — particularly for those practicing meditation and breathing techniques. … Yoga is a lifestyle. It is not just about getting a good ‘workout,’ it is about ‘working in.’” You can also get your spin on at Spin Cycle CdM; tone those muscles through isometrics at Pure Barre and The Bar Method; run, jump, swing, lift, and sweat your way into shape at CrossFit Newport Beach; or ‘om’ your way to outer beauty and inner peace at Rayoga (first week is free and unlimited for new students).

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Written by Ashley Breeding

Ashley Breeding is a full-time magazine editor and freelance writer. Splitting her time between Palm Springs and Orange County, Calif., she covers feature stories, fitness & outdoors, architecture & design, fashion, health & beauty.

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