Fitness on a Dime

A benefit of living on the Westside of Los Angeles is being able to achieve a healthy lifestyle at either a fraction of the cost or entirely free. After tuition, textbooks, rent, utilities, and other typical college student expenses, money for a gym membership can be hard to come by.

Workout spots scattered around Santa Monica, Culver City, Mar Vista, and Venice attract active visitors daily, and most of them are entirely free. Places such as these make it possible to achieve a fit body while simultaneously saving money.

The coast provides an endless place where you can run, walk, and swim – either way, the beach offers an effective exercise at no cost to its fans.

Within the Mar Vista area, the Mar Vista Recreation Center, located at the corner of Palms Boulevard and McLaughlin Avenue offers a number of gym machines in the outdoors. The machines adapt to its own user's weight, making them accessible to anyone regardless of fitness level.

Los Angeles hikes provide nothing short of breathtaking views. Such a sight can be admired at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, situated on Jefferson Boulevard in Culver City.

A popular set of staircases (about 300 steps—great for the buns) takes visitors to the top of the hill. A walk on a curved path takes hikers to the top of the hill where a view of the beach, the Hollywood sign, and downtown Los Angeles can be seen.

Santa Monica residents can receive the same benefits by frequenting the set of about 180 steep stairs located on 4th and Adelaide Drive.

In downtown Santa Monica on Arizona Avenue, those with a desire to possibly combine spirituality with physical challenges can attend Bhakti Yoga Shala, a donation-based yoga studio. Suggested donations are about $10-$15 per class. Most classes are 90-minutes long.

Around the corner, yogis can also attend Bryan Kest's Power Yoga Studio on 2nd St. and Arizona, where the suggested donation for the 90-minute classes is $14. A second studio is available at 522 Santa Monica Blvd.

Beautiful scenic hikes and classes taught by trained professionals are just some of the ways to combine fitness and thrift living.