Fitness resolution

Clients at Family 4 Fitness in Vallecito work out in a recent class. As the new year begins, many of those resolving to get fit flock to such facilities.

For those looking to get in shape in 2019, there are more options than ever before in Calaveras County. From Zumba to Buti Yoga, local gyms are offering innovative ways to tackle fitness – regardless of age, gender or experience level.

According to Director of Economic Development Kathy Gallino, there has been a “definite trend” in recent years toward health and fitness. Gallino says there are a number of young people in the area seeking to open businesses geared toward healthy living.

Jennifer Stock, owner of the Angels Camp Body Shop on South Main Street, says there’s no longer a good excuse not to pursue a fitness regime in Calaveras County. “If you want a male trainer, a female trainer or a dance class, we’ve got it all.”

Since opening the Body Shop four years ago, Stock says she’s seen a blossoming of fitness in the county, with several new facilities catering to the heightened interest of locals.

“I think it’s a huge testament to our community putting more value in fitness and wellness, and realizing the value of spending on health,” Stock said. “One thing that I’m proud of in our community is that we have more opportunities for fitness than we have fast food restaurants.”

Membership at the Body Shop has increased significantly over the past two years, according to Stock, with a diverse range of clients flocking to find new ways to exercise like yoga with some boot camp mixed in and suspension training using a TRX frame.

Regarding the seasonal influx of folks seeking a healthier lifestyle following the holidays, Stock says she doesn’t subscribe to New Year’s resolutions, but rather supports the idea of “Pushing the reset button.”

“I’m not a resolution person because after six weeks with fitness, people usually stop. What we’re looking for is longevity and consistency,” Stock said. “If you’re somebody who hasn’t been working out but has been thinking about it, pushing the reset button is finding something or an instructor that you love. If you’ve dropped off after the holidays, it’s making that commitment again, and for a number of people committing to fitness during busy holiday times, it’s setting a higher goal to make it more challenging.”

For a nutritional reset button, a trip to the nearest health food store may be in order. Janie Nelson, manager of Sierra Hills Natural Foods in Murphys, recommends cutting down on sugar and taking the time to research healthy eating as well as how and where produce is grown, though individuals should consult with a physician before radically changing their diet or taking supplements.

“Since we opened seven years ago in January, it’s been very exciting to see how people have taken responsibility for what they’re eating,” Nelson said. “I see it growing every day.”

Here are some innovative fitness options to try in 2019:

Better Together Fitness Center, San Andreas

San Andreas will get its own fitness facility for the new year. Set to open in late January, this “community, fitness and nutrition” facility on West St. Charles Street will offer child care and avenues toward healthy living for members of all ages.

CrossFit Calaveras, Angels Camp

Opening Feb. 1 on North Main Street in Angels Camp, this strength and conditioning program employs barbells, gymnastics and a group mentality to take fitness to the next level.

“Part of what makes CrossFit Calaveras different from every other gym is the personal attention we give in talking about nutrition, goal setting and lifestyle,” reads the facility’s website.

Anyone interested can learn more by setting up a free consultation with a trainer via the CrossFit Calaveras website.

Valley Springs Martial Arts, Valley Springs

Owner and chief instructor Pierre Joubert teaches martial arts and kickboxing using a “unique and highly functional training style in a traditional, disciplined and respectful environment.”

The dojo on Vista del Lago Drive caters to children as well as adults, offering a fitness regime that increases confidence, mental focus and self defense skills.

Olde Iron Fitness, Angels Camp

Personal trainers Troy and Karina Davis opened this “innovative gym with a genuine olde school attitude” in 2018. The facility on North Main Street in Angels Camp offers Zumba, yoga and high-intensity training, with an emphasis on weightlifting.

Intelligent Body, Murphys

This restorative retreat on Main Street offers a plethora of daily wellness classes including Forest Yoga, New Moon Meditation and private pilates sessions. Enthusiasts can also follow instructors to retreats across the globe.

Family 4 Fitness, Vallecito

A time-tested favorite, this 8,000-square-foot facility on Highway 4 is always adding something new to its wide array of equipment and classes. Clients of all ages and skill levels come for the complementary personal training sessions and stay for the social scene.

“We make it a really non-intimidating gym,” said owner and trainer Kenny Lee. “We make sure there is something for everybody, so everybody is comfortable here.”

Lee encourages those who are just starting a fitness regime to stick with it for at least three months and “Give it a chance.”

“You don’t have to exercise like a triathlete – just get moving. It’s all about habit and part of having quality of life. Everything you do at the gym makes everything you do in life easier and better.”


Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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