Movement to Self Improvement: Getting Fit the Fun Way

Photo by Luke George

January is famously the month of resolutions. It’s a time to buckle down on our workout routine and diet. But often, these seemingly healthy habits fade away in the following months. In 2023, let’s shift the focus from obtaining our ideal body to having the most fun while challenging ourselves to try something new.

If you are subscribed to our Patreon, you’ve seen our October article on a scary self-improvement challenge. For those who didn’t read it, the basic idea is that we see the most growth in ourselves when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone.

Combining that idea with the overall goal of moving our bodies, I’ve put together a list of local activities that will help you get fit while having fun and stretching the limits of your comfort zone.


Touchstone gyms are scattered across the bay area and offer an exciting way to tone your entire body while simultaneously challenging your brain. The act of climbing causes your brain to zero in on physical movements, problem-solving, and exertion. A great way to destress after a long work day.

Gyms tend to be very intimidating, but you’ll find overwhelming support from climbers at Touchstone. Whether it’s your first time on the wall or you’ve been climbing for years, climbing is more of a community sport than you’d think. “Strangers” will cheer you on regardless of your experience level, and friends are quickly made while asking for advice or figuring out a particularly difficult problem together.

Touchstone gyms also offer fitness classes and have plenty of training equipment. The closest location is Diablo Rock Gym in Concord, but there are gyms scattered across California from LA to SF.

Day passes start at $25, and a complete equipment package rental is only $5. If you fall in love with it, the most popular membership is $90 a month.


j.POWERStudio, located at 991 Lincoln Street in Benicia, offers a few incredibly fun classes to choose from. Taking a pole dancing class is one popular way to work out with friends. Laugh and spin to fun music, then nurse your sore muscles at brunch the next day. There’s no need to be shy in these beginner classes. Everybody is there to have fun and sweat it out!

Not ready to jump on a pole? Try out chair dance/floor work classes. Designed to empower and inspire women to feel comfortable expressing their femininity and sensuality, these classes also help you work every muscle imaginable.

Aerial yoga is a gentler way to stretch and engage your muscles at j.POWERStudio. These classes are safe for all levels and help reset the body and the mind.

A single-class drop-in is $40. Visit to book your classes!

Fat Shafts Archery

Did you have a Legolas or Katniss phase as a kid? Well, get ready to live your childhood dream with the help of Fat Shafts Archery.

Fat Shafts Archery is an indoor range, service shop, and retail store for all your archery needs located in Benicia at 3001 Bayshore Road, Suite 9. Whether you’ve never touched a bow or have years of experience, Fat Shafts Archery can cater to your needs. Need lessons, equipment, or a variety of other services? Fat Shafts Archery has your back.

Tuesday Night Adult Classes are offered Tuesdays from 6:15 pm-7:30 pm and are $25/per person.

Get your kids involved with the Junior Olympic Archery Development (ages 8-20).

Private lessons are also offered for $50/per person per hour.

Open Range hours are 12 pm to 6 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. $20 per hour with rentals or $15 per hour with your own equipment.

Visit for more information.

Griffin Fitness

If you want a more personalized and guided fitness experience, you might want to try out Griffin Fitness.

Griffin Fitness offers personal training in a private studio with custom programs designed for you. Stress free and performance focused, Griffin Fitness trainers will help you see the positive physical changes you’re striving for.

With Griffin Fitness, you buy “Fit Blocks” which are 15 minute training segments that allow you to easily fit your workout routine into your busy schedule. 16 Fit Blocks is priced at $360, this equals two 30 minute sessions a week for one month. They also offer Bootcamps, 1 hour classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. You can buy 5 Bootcamp classes for $80.

Did you make a fitness resolution with a friend this year? Griffin Fitness offers a Buddy Program, available for all packages, that gives you 25% off per buddy!

Benicia Fitness

 Not sure what sort of classes you’re into? Benicia Fitness offers a large range for you to try out this New Year.

Cardio strength, barre, yoga, and spin are just a few of the fun group classes you can take at Benicia Fitness. Burn some calories while dancing to salsa, flamenco, and merengue music in their Zumba classes. Try out kickboxing in a 45 minute high intensity workout that improves your cardiovascular fitness, strength, balance, and coordination.

Benicia Fitness also offers a variety of outdoor classes on their patio or at the park as well as live online access to all of their classes via Zoom.

A membership with access to the gym as well as classes is $70 a month for individuals or $65 a month if you sign up with your partner. They have discounted memberships for students, seniors, members of the military, and teachers!

If you want to take a class and explore the gym before committing to a membership, day passes are $12.

These activities are bound to be a blast regardless of your age, gender, or fitness level.

Challenge yourself to give each of these activities a try at least once this year as an experiment with different ways to be kind to your body while keeping it active. If your friends aren’t interested, don’t be afraid to go by yourself. You’re bound to meet inspiring people when you get there! Remember that the focus is on having fun, not on being perfect. If you need help, ask for it. If you feel silly, laugh at yourself. You will find a loving community in all of these spaces.