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Not feeling it? Go take a hike.

It’s time to work out. You pack a bag, change into work-out clothes, and you’re off to the gym again to pump up your muscles and burn some stored calories, but something doesn't feel right. Either your muscles need a day off from the “same old - same old” or your brain needs a little more stimulation from the “same old - same old”. Even if you have the best workout routine in the world it is essential that you occasionally listen to your body and give it a little “active rest”. One of the best ways to rest, but stay active, is to take a good hike.

You may not get your usual gym eye candy in the great outdoors, but your mind and soul will appreciate the nature that surrounds you. From ocean vistas to 360 degree views, what surrounds you will not only keep your mind off the difficulty of the workout, but invigorate and ultimately relax you from life's stressors.

The hikes I recommend to clients are what I call fitness hikes. Fitness hikes should take less than 1 1/2 hours, do not require any “outdoorsy” equipment beyond a water bottle, and they should be within 20 minutes of the city's urban core. These hikes don't have to be slow walks either. For individuals who are in great cardiovascular shape you can create a hike/jog interval workout. For example you can hike, or walk, for around three minutes followed by a one to two minute light run or jog. This will definitely accelerate your metabolism, burn extra calories and challenge smaller stabilizer muscles that often get neglected in the gym. One major point though, do not try interval running down any declines. It is much safer and easier to maintain your traction when trying the interval running when heading uphill or on a flat area.

Southern California offers some great hikes that are conveniently located near many highly populated areas. Since I am writing from San Diego here are two of my favorite hikes in the area:

1.)Torrey Pines State Park and Trails. Located just north of La Jolla and south of Del Mar, Torrey Pines offers some of the most spectacular ocean views in San Diego. The trails are relatively easy and you can combine many of the short ones together. Along with the beautiful views you will be rewarded with sandstone formations and small Torrey Pines forests. This seems to be the most popular group of hikes in San Diego.

Best Trails: Guy Fleming and Parry Grove (back to back). The Guy Fleming trail is by far the most scenic of all of the Torrey Pines State Park. Add the Parry Grove to increase the distance.

Estimated distance: (Guy Fleming and Parry Grove) 2.5 miles from the lower parking lot

Park cost: $10 (opt for the yearly pass because you are going to want to come back!)

2.)Cowles Mountain hike at Mission Trails Park. Located 20 minutes east of downtown San Diego, Cowles Mountain hike is an excellent workout. If you get up to the peak in 30-45 minutes you will have definitely burned plenty of calories. Your reward at the end is an awesome 360 degree view of San Diego.

Estimated distance: 3 challenging miles

Park cost: Free

Diverge Personal Training Gym opened in 2008, yet it has had its roots within the Hillcrest neighborhood for over 10 years. The co-owners Brian White and Derek Heintz have been helping the community with their fitness goals since 1998. They have created a fun and distinct training facility that fuses both traditional and modern styles of training. They continually push the boundaries of fitness and weight loss.