Break a Sweat

El Paseo fitness classes cater to all levels, while retailers offer a variety of chic athletic wear and athleisure in Palm Desert.
Photography by Brandon Harman

Get Moving

In a locale where you can play tennis and swim laps all year, it should come as no surprise that desert dwellers and visitors are always on the move. El Paseo’s suite of studios and gyms open their doors for fun, social workouts, including slow-paced strength-builders and high-energy sweat sessions. Hop on a reformer at ChiroPilates to improve flexibility and strengthen your core. If you’re easing into exercise after an injury, book a private class at Movement Bottega, where owner Missoni Lanza can help you get in touch with your body and ease the strain with a Pilates-based plan.

Further combine mindfulness and movement with a hot yoga session at Bikram Yoga Palm Desert. The silent 90-minute flows encourage you to follow the leader sans verbal instructions. If you prefer that your cat and cow poses come with a few more cues, dip a toe in with the studio’s newbie-friendly community classes.

Craving a faster-paced, heart-pumping exercise sesh? Pick your inspiration: ballerinas or boaters. Pure Barre hosts 50-minute classes packed with mood-boosting music and high-intensity movements that target each muscle group in turn. OrangeTheory Fitness members take to rowing machines for low-impact, full-body workouts followed by cardio (choose a treadmill, stationary bike, or strider) and strength training with weights.

On days when you want to freestyle your workout — or get your pup in on the action — lace up your walking shoes and go for a window-shopping stroll up and down El Paseo. A round-trip loop clocks in at more than 2 miles. (And if you follow your trek with a mimosa or two at Wilma & Frieda, well, all the more evidence of your skill at balancing work and play.)

Break a Sweat

On her: Grayse top and pants. On him: Saks Fifth Avenue long-sleeve shirt, undershirt, and shorts.

Get Dressed

Whichever class you choose, gear up to move in resilient workout wear. Yogi standby Lululemon vends buttery soft leggings and flares in solid colors and prints that are suitable for pairing with a sweater for a post-workout brunch. Women will find supportive sports bras, impact-reducing training shoes, and staples like gym bags and scrunchies. A men’s line includes comfy shorts, joggers, and moisture-wicking shirts.

In addition to yoga pants, stretchy tanks, and cozy wraps to cradle you during shavasana (the ultimate mediation pose), Athleta offers specially designed sports bras for women who have had mastectomies. The inclusive athleisure brand focuses on empowering women and embracing sustainable production practices. Bonus: They also carry options for girls.

In that same spirit of versatility, local brands Nūspört and Grayse create athleisure intended to be worn beyond the exercise studio. Structured tops and jackets and cotton bottoms that resemble trousers but feel like sweatpants provide a comfortable uniform for days when a workout is far from the only thing on your schedule.

Il Corso - El Paseo Restaurants Palm Desert


Missoni Lanza
Owner, Movement Bottega and ChiroPilates

Movement specialist Missoni Lanza tailors Pilates training for one-on-one clients at her boutique studio, Movement Bottega, while teaching larger sessions at a second location, ChiroPilates. Both are located on El Paseo. Lanza applies the transformative, personalized philosophy she honed at her flagship space to group classes at the latter.

“I still apply hands-on touch as I would in a private class,” she explains. “I can see how a body is moving and make adjustments as needed, if it’s welcome, of course. Some people don’t like hands-on touch, so I’ll do verbal cues [so] people can adjust themselves.

“I’m known for making jokes because it calms down your nervous system, so you’re not as self-conscious. I’m very light-hearted with how I approach a class because I’m trying to get you to be comfortable. Your tissues are going to move better.”