LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Looking for a way to keep your New Year’s resolution to get fit? The answer may be on a hiking trail near you.

“Getting on a mountain, there’s really nothing like it,” said Lisa Burgos, who recently has taken up hiking as a hobby. “You’re literally using every muscle in your body.”

Burgos should know. She lost 70 pounds after joining a hiking club.

Last week, she was hiking Eaton Canyon Falls with dozens of friends dressed in Christmas attire, as part of an event staged by the “Hiking With Friends” group.

“Hiking With Friends” is both a social club and exercise class, drawing dozens of outdoor enthusiasts at events throughout the Southland.

Effin Gentry started the club after his friends flaked on a number of his planned hiking trips. He began opening the trips up to the public, and has seen attendance skyrocket.

“It’s free. We don’t charge anybody anything,” he said.

The group caters to all ability levels. While some hikers like to keep to local trails, others have climbed Mt. Whitney — the state’s highest peak. The club is planning a trip now to Big Sur.

There are many benefits to joining, Burgos said. Perhaps most importantly, she has a new social group to keep her engaged with new activities.

“We all became a family,” Burgos said. “It’s really beautiful.”

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HiKingwFriends/?fref=nf

 

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