Thomas Jefferson once said: "Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning."
And while we do love reading here at HuffPost, we also know how much Angelenos love to exercise. Life is all about balance, and since we recently brought you the Best Donuts In LA and Best Cookies In LA lists, we now balance that out with the Best LA Workouts around town. But this June, instead of highlighting the nicest gyms or the best class schedules, we branched out to find the most quirky, fun and silly classes around so that everyone can have a jolly good time getting in shape for the summer.
<strong><u>Why</u></strong>: Participants learn how to properly use a Stand-Up Paddle Board and how to perform multiple yoga poses while serenely floating on the natural splendor of calm water in the harbor. Because the poses are being performed on a moving surface, you will engage muscles that you would not normally on a hardwood floor. Because the poses have to be aligned just perfectly for even weight distribution on the boards, you will not only benefit from a challenging class, but you will also be improve your in-studio yoga practice as well. Get ready to get toned! And tan! And don't worry about drifting off somewhere - while you flow through your yoga practice, your board is safely anchored to the sea floor with with it's own 5 pound anchor. <strong><u>Where</u></strong>: <a href="http://yogaqua.com/" target="_hplink">YOGAqua</a> in the Marina Del Rey and Newport Beach.
<strong><u>Why</u></strong>: Forget the hula hooping days from childhood. Hoopnotica users burn as many calories (400-600/hr) as if they were running at the gym, just without the monotony of a treadmill. According to research, "Exercisers can expect similar results from hooping as they'd get from boot-camp classes, step aerobics and cardio kickboxing." <strong><u>Where</u></strong>: <a href="http://www.hoopnotica.com/find-a-class/los-angeles.html" target="_hplink">Classes</a> can be found at The Loews Hotel in Santa Monica on Sundays; 1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401. <strong><u>Bonus</u></strong>: Celebrity Hoopers include Michelle Obama, Pink, Zooey Deschanel, Selena Gomez, Kevin McHale and Jason Mraz (seriously).
<strong><u>Why</u></strong>: Stretch further and hold challenging postures longer using a flowing fabric hammock as your only prop. With the fabric as a soft trapeze, you'll learn simple suspension techniques to move into seemingly impossible inverted poses to relieve compressed joints and align the body from head to toe. <strong><u>Where</u></strong>: <a href="http://www.crunch.com" target="_hplink">Crunch Gym</a> in West Hollywood or Burbank.
<strong><u>Why</u></strong>: Aloysia Gavre, a Cirque du Soleil veteran, founded Cirque School with a vision to create an opportunity for "anybody with any body" to run away with the circus. Classes are taught by working circus pros and utilize the best of both professional circus training and Pilates. This hybrid method helps students gain strength and flexibility, as well as physical and mental wellness, through one of the most intense, exhilarating and safe circus arts programs ever developed. Walking into the door, you'll notice immediately that going to Cirque School isn't at all like going to the gym. <strong><u>Where</u></strong>: <a href="http://www.cirqueschoolla.com/Welcome.html" target="_hplink">Cirque School</a>; 5640 1/2 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. [Bonus: These pros provided circus training for Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz on the feature film "Water for Elephants."]
THE SWEAT SPOT
<strong><u>Why</u></strong>: The Sweat Spot is designed to be a warm and non-competitive environment for anyone who loves to dance. Students run the gamut from professionals to brand new beginners, and unless noted, all classes are open level. The emphasis here is not to get it perfect but to experience the joy of moving your body without inhibition, as well as experiencing the fun of dancing in unison in a room full of people. Best known for it's "Sweaty Sundays" and "Wet Wednesdays." Students leave absolutely drenched in sweat and usually smiling and laughing. <strong><u>Where</u></strong>: <a href="http://www.thesweatspotla.com/about-us.html" target="_hplink">The Sweat Spot</a>; 3327 Sunset Blvd, LA, CA 90026 (Silverlake)
SKY ZONE INDOOR TRAMPOLINE PARK
<strong><u>Why</u></strong>: Sky Zone is the creator of the world's first all trampoline, walled playing court. One of their premier classes, SkyRobics, is a 60-minute trampoline fitness class that combines core exercises, advanced calisthenics and strength building aerobics. Some activities performed in SkyRobics include laps the length of the trampoline, jumping jacks, skiing, squats, high knees and circuit training. Things are looking up: expect to burn 1,000 calories while doing it! <strong><u>Where</u></strong>: <a href="www.skyzonesports.com" target="_hplink">Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park</a>; 1625 W 190th Street, Gardena, CA 90248.
<strong><u>Why</u></strong>: Slide seat rowing engages nine major muscle groups, combining anaerobic and aerobic exercise. You can burn up to 800 calories in just one hour without putting stress on the joints, all the while improving posture and cardiovascular strength. Oh, and you get to be outside. <strong><u>Where</u></strong>: <a href="http://whitehalldelrey.com/" target="_hplink">Whitehall Spirit Rowing Club</a>; 14024 Panay Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292. [Other options: Be sure to also check out the indoor rowing class at <a href="http://www.equinox.com/" target="_hplink">Equinox fitness clubs</a>.]
<strong><u>Why</u></strong>: Yoga + weights, known at YAS as "RIPPED," is a total body workout" designed to tone and sculpt every major muscle group. Free weights serve as your own personal adjuster, adding extra length and depth in each yoga pose. Jack up your metabolism, burn 800 calories per class, and never complain about your arms again! <strong><u>Where</u></strong>: <a href="http://go2yas.com/" target="_hplink">YAS fitness centers</a> in Venice, Silverlake, Downtown LA and Costa Mesa.