On the Go? Five Great Ways to Fit In Exercise

Put exercise back into your busy family life: here's a family friendly list.


How many of us have been gung-ho about getting fit in 2012, but are already falling off the band wagon? As a busy mom of twins, it is really easy to skip a work out if I don’t plan it. The day just slips by and there I am at 9:00 pm, still in my workout clothes. (What happened? Does this happen to you?)

For me, a new plan: these options that are quick (30-45 minutes) and are available right outside (or inside) my front door.

Take a class. Sonoma has a lot of options for exercise classes available on a daily basis.

Energy Studio: Located downtown the studio offers several different Yoga, Zumba, and Turbo Kick classes daily. (They're closed on Sunday). Classes are priced as low as $9 with the frequent punch card. For every 50 'Box Tops for Education' you bring in to the studio you will receive a free fitness class!

The Yoga Community: Offers a wide range of Yoga and other classes at all times of day, seven days a week. They even offer a family yoga class on Wednesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m., so if you can’t get a work out in by yourself, bring your kids along and enjoy yoga together. They are also offering a new client special for $30 for 30 days. Seems like a great way to try out the Yoga Community!

Bikram Yoga Sonoma: Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class is a demanding series of 26 postures, and two breathing exercises, suitable for all ages and levels of ability. Each posture stretches and strengthens specific muscles, ligaments and joints needed for the next posture. They offer classes seven days a week and a 9:00 a.m. class everyday. Perfect timing after dropping the kids off at school!

Sonoma Fit: Kettlebells are weights with a handle that decrease work out time by upping the intensity of the workout. By their nature, typical kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength. The first class is free!

Join a gym (or actually go to the one you already joined!)

Parkpoint: If you like the option of going to the gym early (they open at 5:30) or want to choose from the variety of classes ranging from hip hop, zumba for kids, indoor cycling to aquatic swim, Parkpoint has it all. They offer everything from Weight Watcher classes, individualized training to childcare. If you are interested in a tour, schedule a visit and find out about their special January membership pricing.

Sonoma Aquatic Club: My family has been a member since last year and we really love it. They have a small exercise gym with all the essentials, two outdoor pools, an indoor pool and a large hot tub.

Members of the Sonoma Valley Mother’s club receive half off the lifetime membership fee ($250 instead of $500 for a family of four) and there is a monthly fee of about $90. You also have the option of freezing your membership for up to 3 months a year. We use the pool all the summer and aquatic classes are offered daily.

Fitness Factory: They offer several classes daily including yoga, pilates and kickboxing classes, superior free-weights/strength training, cardiovascular equipment, racquetball courts and childcare. Open 5:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. weekdays.

Take a Hike

The Overlook Trail is one of my favorites for casual hikers with limited time who want to experience a breathtaking view of Sonoma. It's accessible and gratifying route for anyone willing to walk a country mile to a spectacular view. It is easily completed in less than an hour and less than 2 miles.

To reach this well-traveled, gentle two-mile loop trail, take First Street West from the Plaza. Just beyond the Veterans Memorial Building at 126 First St. East, is a small lot to the right, which is adjacent to the cemetery entrance. Marking the trail is a wayside sign that shows and describes the route.

Bartholomew Park Trail Hike: Another trail with panoramic views of Sonoma and the Bay, from easy-to-reach vista points. It is a little over a mile and a half walk or drive to Bartholomew Park from the Town Square.

At the split in the road inside the Park, drivers should go to the left to park their vehicles. The trails may be entered from either the west-end of the picnic grounds or via the roadway that goes off to the right just beyond the mansion. There are several loop routes on these grounds, ranging from about one and three quarters to two miles in length. There is a descriptive signboard posted at each of the gated entrances to the trails.

This network of trails is opened seasonally during posted Park hours, closed during the rainy season. Much of the trail has been recently reconstructed with edging, wood "steps," and cleared ground cover. Hiking boots are definitely recommended.

Talk a walk along the Sonoma trail: We are so lucky to have a beautiful trail starting at Fryer Creek on the south end of town and winding around to on the east. A favorite local spot perfect for jogging, walking or biking. Nice trail for letting the kids bike while you run!

Whatever way you choose to get your exercise in during the day, just remember it is a gift you are giving yourself. Set a new goal for the rest of the month to try a new class or hike a trail you haven’t been on in a while.

I’m making a promise to myself to schedule my exercise times. Every time I kiss my kids goodnight, I’m reminded of the most important reasons of of all to take care of myself.

Pamela Hawken (C) 2012 January 18, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Your last sentence says it all! Good advice.
Irene Morgan January 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I am someone who always plans to exercise but like you never seemed to get to it. My new plan (which is working so far) is just to take a brisk walk every morning for at least 30 minutes. No driving to get there, just open the door and start. I hope I keep it up and maybe one day I'll decide to go to one of the hiking trails.
Suzanne Barbara January 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I like the camaraderie of a regular class because i am not that crazy abut exercise.
Dorothy January 20, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Thanks for the good tips about exercise options in Sonoma.


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