Hundreds of exercise devotees use two staircases that drop down into Santa… (Suzanne States / For the…)
NOTE: This is a blog about two guys attempting to lose weight over a six-week period. They kicked off their weight loss "strategies" last Monday.
It just figures that I'd learn about a great free workout the same week I join an expensive gym.
When word got out that I was changing my diet and starting to work out regularly, I got a message from Sarah Metzger, editor of the health-focused LiveStrong.com website, inviting me to join her at the Santa Monica stairs.
Apparently, hundreds of people a day have been climbing up and down two sets of steep stairs in a picturesque Santa Monica canyon for years. Me, I'd never heard of it, even though many moons ago I lived a few blocks from the popular site.
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Sarah led the way as we descended the narrow steel stairs near 4th Steet and Adelaide Drive in Santa Monica, not far from the beach. We then headed east for a good block and climbed the wooden stairs, then made our way back to the metal stairs. Sarah said a good workout would be five laps of this circuit.
Seems easy enough until you actually climb these steep, unforgiving, beautiful stairs. There are 170 stairs and a few landings where you can catch your breath. But about halfway up the wooden stairs, something hits you in the gut. Gravity or something says, "Hold up, there, partner." And the walk in the park becomes a bit of a struggle.
Two laps of this, plus the ridiculously lovely 75-degree weather, and I'd worked up a good sweat. Five laps had me breathing deeply for a few minutes. Thirty-six hours later, my legs are slightly sore, in a good way.
The 50-minute hike was quick, cheap, but not that easy. Which is great. I'll be back.
Strange sight: a young mother who decided it was a good idea to put her infant in a Baby Bjorn and climb the stairs with her bundle of joy on her back.
The Santa Monica stairs were such a nice, casual, low-key way to work out that I took a few laps up and down the stairs in Barnsdale Art Park in Hollywood on Sunday after the football games.
Diet: Friday: Banana for breakfast. Chicken salad, no dressing, for lunch. Chicken sandwich and 5 sweet potato fries for dinner. There was drinking: two beers, two rum and Diet Cokes. Saturday: 1 granola bar and a banana for breakfast. I made a turkey sandwich for lunch. Low-fat Italian wedding soup and about 20 reduced-fat Wheat Thins for dinner. Sunday: Granola bar, banana and 8-ounce apple juice for breakfast. Foot-long turkey sub with Swiss cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato from Quiznos. Three packets of oatmeal for dinner. 50 peanuts for a snack.
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