Surf your way into shape!

California’s immaculate coast line, lends itself to many things, one of those being surfing. Regardless if it’s northern or southern California, Californians enjoy indulging in the sport.

A local surfer paddle’s out by the Pismo Beach Pier.

Surfing is a hobby for many people; however there are also health benefits associated with it as well. It can be used as a rehabilitation source for those wounded, as well as a daily cardiovascular exercise. Surfing’s unique because that it utilizes the entire body.

Avid surfer and Cal Poly student Rachelle Beaudoin describes the benefits of surfing for both health and pleasure.

“It’s a great way to work out every muscle. Not to mention it’s about being connected and experiencing the water and your body on a new level. There’s nothing that feels or compares to surfing,” Beaudoin.

Two local boys attempt to surf in Pismo Beach.

Vicki Richardson who works at Ampsurf highlighted the benefits surfing has for disabled veterans. “People feel stronger, more empowered and overall feel like they can do anything,” Richardson.

Surfing is an outlet for disabled veterans because it not only allows them to conquer something they might not have thought was possible, but it also allows them to get out of the house.

Surfing can be therapeutic; hence surf companies such as Ampsurf specialize in amputees, and disabilities through their adaptive surfing. Ampsurf has specialized instructors who understand the specialized needs that someone with a disability might face when attempting to surf. The specialized instruction allows for better success in surfing, further empowering the person.

There are many surf spots that line the central coast. Each spot has varying conditions which allow almost anyone to find the right fit for them. Rachelle mirrored that thought stating, “Surfing is great because anyone can do it regardless of age or body type and it’s still a great workout,” Beaudoin.

Ampsurf uses primarily Pismo Beach for lessons. “We use the south side of the Pismo Beach pier for Ampsurf because the waves are more calm and easier,” Richardson.

Other local surfing spots include but are not limited to, Morro Bay, Shell Beach and Vandenberg.

Hayden Costell, a Cal Poly alumnus is also an avid Morro Bay surfer. “Morro Bay is unique because there are some great tubes when the weather is right, not many places are like that,” Costell.

Vandenberg is an Air Force Base located on the central coast near Santa Maria. Ampsurf utilizes the area for sometimes for surfing; however it is not preferred because it lacks the same calm that Pismo Beach has.

For anyone who is debating learning how to surf, there are numerous surf shops which offer lessons along the central coast.

Surfing’s benefits for the disabled as well as veterans are seemingly extensive as discussed previously. There are also however numerous benefits health-wise for anyone debating to start surfing.

Surfing requires many muscles, the most obvious being numerous arm muscles. Paddling requires bicep and triceps muscles. Battling the incoming surf when paddling out will help to build these muscles more extensively.

Another key component in surfing is waiting. Any surfer will tell you that waiting for the “right wave” is essential. Surfing requires a strong core when waiting for the “perfect wave.” Straddling a board for long periods of time can be strenuous and therefore the more core muscle attained to assist in balance will be highly beneficial.

Several surfers patiently awaiting the “perfect wave.”

Lastly, overall physical health is improved via surfing due to the sheer amount of energy exerted throughout the entire process of paddling out, waiting for a wave and lastly catching a wave.

Surfing is a overall body workout, however it strongly is centered on cardiovascular exercise because a surfer’s stamina and energy level is built upon being physically fit.

Finding outlets in which exercise is seen less as exercise and more as a hobby are key.

Hunter Maul, a Cal Poly alumnus describes what surfing means to him. “I love surfing because it’s the definition of living in the present! It’s healthy, relaxing, exciting, and natural all at once,” Maul.

A person is more willing to spend time doing what they love rather than doing something obligatory. Therefore, surfing is a seemingly great alternative to hours of cardiovascular exercise and strength training in the gym when living in California.

Below is a map of local surf shops in the greater San Luis Obispo area. Most of the stores sell surfboards, and other surfing essentials such as wet-suits.

“Life is alot like surfing…When you get caught in the impact zone, you’ve got to just get back up. Because you never know what may be over the next wave.” – Bethany Hamilton, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board


Stay in shape the Cal Poly way!


Want to stay in shape like a Cal Poly student? Ride a bike!

The first thing any visitor to Cal Poly will notice is its bike friendly campus.

Students ride bikes to stay in shape, beat the high gas prices and conveniently maneuver the sometimes treacherous downtown streets!


“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”- Albert Einstein

Oh so Pinterest-y!

Many of you are most likely familiar with the popular website PinterestFor those of you that have not heard of the website, it is a site in which people can find creative recipes, craft ideas, fashion tips and much, much more!

Pertinent quotes are uplifting and inspiring and personally, quotes help to propel me forward when I am having a discouraging day or time. One of my favorite past times is to find inspirational quotes relevant to what I am pursuing at the time.

Pinterest for most is a hobby, however the website can be used advantageously when attempting to lose weight, stay or get in shape. Many of us have heard and been told that we are a certain type of leaner.

Personally, I am a very visual person.

What Pinterest allows a person to do, is build a virtual inspiration or dream board. During my first year of college, one of my teachers assigned a dream board project. At the time the project was assigned, I saw it as a fun thing to do but never put much merit to what I could achieve by collectively putting my ideas in a visual manner.

It is easy to lose sight of goals due to the hectic life many of us lead. What a dream board or inspiration board accomplishes, is that of a constant reminder of what you want to do. Hence, you are made more personally accountable for your goals.

The way that I created my dream board in class was by using a poster board and cutting out pictures of what things I want to achieve. To date I have accomplished three things on my dream board.

This new way of creating a dream board via Pinterest is much easier and less time consuming than the way I accomplished my board.

A person first must sign up for the Pinterest website, but no worries it’s free! After signing up, you can choose to link your account to your Facebook account so that you can find friends and then look at what they have “pinned” on their Pinterest accounts.

After signing up and choosing whether or not to link it to your other accounts, you will be able to choose a few pictures out of a collection of pictures for which you respond most to. By choosing these pictures, the Pinterest website then attempts to show you more things that are analogous.

Moreover, Pinterest allows you, the user to create different “folders” to categorize your “pins.” Therefore you are able to create separate folders for things such as healthy recipes, workouts, splurge recipes and even inspirational quotes.

The idea might seem juvenile and pointless at first, but I beg you to attempt to give it a chance. Motivation and inspiration are the two most fundamental facets of continuing to stay on track.

Here is a snap-shot from my personal Pinterest account!

Holding yourself accountable by creating a visual board for which you can look back and see your accomplishments is advantageous. Moreover, as time passes you will most likely want to add to your board because you want to accomplish additional things.

“Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

SLO…Let’s lay out the details


Sometimes it’s easier when you map things out. The city of San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas have so much to offer that at times it can be overwhelming to decide what to pursue. Therefore this week, I decided to share a map of a few places in SLO that are must-sees. From Thursday’s Farmer’s Market to the unique Cal Poly architecture graveyard- this map will allow you to see where to find it all!

The map below lists two popular hikes in San Luis Obispo County. First and foremost, Bishop’s Peak is the quintessential hike for anyone wanting a panoramic view of Cal Poly as well as the surrounding San Luis Obispo area. The second hike is at Montana De Oro State Park. Beach lovers, this hike is for you! Montana De Oro is located near Morro Bay, an area just a few miles north of San Luis Obispo. The area has hikes along with a plethora of other features and activities, such as pristine beaches- perfect for any tourist or student to explore! If you go to the places on this map you are sure to experience some of the treasures that might have otherwise remained obscured.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain


What is “SLO Skinny” about?

 As the writer of this emerging blog, I feel obliged to let you know a little more about who I am. My name is Alexis, I am a junior currently attending California State Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo. I am in the process of finishing my Bachelor’s Degree for Journalism with a  concentration in broadcast and a minor in Law and Society.

Originally from San Diego, the central coast and college life has been quite an adjustment. “SLO Skinny” is aspiring to reach college students in an attempt to highlight how to have fun while away at school, without overindulging in the wonders that college can unearth.

This blog will be a lifestyle blog featuring fun workouts, healthy recipes and tips on what to eat and do when you want to splurge. Overall, my attempt is to reach out to all you college students with “SLO Skinny” by posting about things pertinent to your everyday lives.

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”- Benjamin Franklin

As a fellow blog reader, I have found many blogs over the years that have inspired this blog itself in one way or another. Some of these blogs many be of some use or liking to the readers of “SLO Skinny,” so here are some of my favorite lifestyle blogs. 

Stay Healthy Fitness is a blog that shows viewers healthy recipes as well as motivational quotes to aid in keeping the reader involved. I am hoping to attain motivation through this blog with quotes and inspiring pictures that will allow college students to know that what they are striving for is attainable.

How to Stay Healthy on Holiday is a great blog that highlights how to stay healthy when there are temptations. As a college student, the temptations to eat poorly and consume more calories is always an easy trap. How to Stay Healthy on Holiday essentially tries to point viewers in the right direction with regards to eating the healthiest in an unhealthy situation. This is one of my objectives for ” SLO Skinny” as well.

Some people are more visual, therefore the Get Fit Stay Fit tumblr is ideal. The tumblr has before and after pictures which highlight what the hard work will amount to with regards to eating healthy and regularly working out. In a world of temptation it is easy to be waylaid, therefore I hope that my blog will be able to inspire people to stay on track as this tumblr does to some people.

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney