December 14, 2015
One Visitor’s Account of Staying Active in Todos Santos
I’ve overslept this morning and missed the chance to take my usual morning run, but that’s ok. Instead, I strolled over to the Hub in Todos Santos, where I was able to rent a mountain bike and helmet. Now, just over an hour and several miles later, I’m breathing harder than I have in a long time, and have renewed my acquaintance with my quadriceps, which are burning with glee as we muscle our way up yet another rise.
Since maintaining an exercise routine when you’re away from your regular gym or trainer can be a challenge, here’s an idea: use your time at Tres Santos to try something different. Not only will you enjoy your time outside, but you may, as I did, rediscover a few new muscles (and skills) along the way. And that’s a good thing, says Dr. Russell Pate, professor of exercise science at University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. “The old adage of “use it or lose it” is true when it comes to fitness,” he says. “Changing your routine will help you develop fitness in alternative muscle groups.” Runners who hop on a bike, for instance, will get their cardio fix along with a very different workout for their calves, hamstrings and quads. There’s also evidence that exercising outside has mental benefits as well. A study recently published by NIH showed that exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. “
Changes don’t necessarily need to be drastic to be effective either. “Just changing your running surface from a treadmill to the uneven terrain of a trail will engage different muscles,” explains Dr. Pate. The theory works for yoga as well. Holding a pose on Tres Santos’ breezy platform overlooking the sea requires a bit more strength than in a windless studio; sinking into the sand or balancing on damp earth will force you to focus on keeping each muscle engaged and balanced.
Jacki Gillespie has always been a runner, but since moving to Todos Santo this year, she’s rounded out her routine with surfing and mountain biking. Already fit, she was able to keep up with her husband Shannon—who races mountain bikes in his spare time–after just a few weeks of biking Tres Santos’ many trails. Surfing required lessons, but the skilled and patient team at Mario Surf School on Cerritos Beach soon had her catching waves on her own. “If you want to try a new activity, like surfing, definitely take lessons,” says Dr. Pate. “It will get you over the skill hump so you can begin to really turn the activity into a way to gain fitness.
She still enjoys running, too, taking advantage of the paths and trails that loop through Todos Santos, including a 2.5 miler around town, which gives visitors a chance to find out where things are, and a beach trail that meanders past a herd of horses and through a grove of bamboo on its way to the beach. “You can vary your return to take you through a local neighborhood that offers some terrific views of the ocean,” she says. Of course, you can always run Tres Santos’ Community Path, a 10-k round-trip over rolling desert hills to Punta Lobos beach and back. Whatever you choose, it’s hard to go wrong with any running options in and around Todos Santos—as long as you’re up for the challenge!