Our community is a vibrant one – with many residents leading active lives. No matter if you are new to the area, want to mix up your existing exercise routine, or have made the smart decision to start exercising on a regular basis, we’ve compiled a list of various options for fitness classes and activities throughout various neighborhoods in The City (and beyond!).
Now, before we delve into our list, it’s important to take a moment for a quick reminder of a couple things you can do to keep your feet and ankles safe while working out. These include:
- Have the right equipment. When it comes to foot health, this means wearing athletic shoes that fit well and are activity-appropriate. Not sure what you need? Don’t hesitate to ask!
- Ease into new activities. Sure, you might want to give 110% right from the start, but a smarter practice is to start at an easier intensity and then gradually build up over time.
- Stretch your lower limbs. As you’ll see in just a second, this is important prior to activity – but you should consider doing this on a regular basis anyhow. Limber muscles and connective tissues reduce your risk of several sports injuries!
- Always warm up and stretch first. Before you go for a run, play a sport, or start your workout take the time for a 5-10 minute warmup to elevate your heartrate and prepare your body for action. Follow that up with some dynamic stretches.
Keep those injury prevention measures in mind and use them before working out at places like:
- Barry’s Bootcamp – If you want to shed unwanted weight in time for our beautiful spring and summer seasons, you might want to head to Barry’s. During the boot camps, you can burn up to a thousand calories per hour! There are other Barry’s outposts in the world, but the new Marina studio is one of the largest. Barry’s has so many places to run, lift, and get your body into shape. When you’re done, you certainly don’t have to worry about feeling cramped in the locker rooms – they are seriously spacious.
- Pure Barre West Portal – If you’ve never participated in one, a barre workout is a full-body toning experience. At West Portal’s Pure Barre, you will walk out after the session feeling lean and completely exhausted (but in a good way)!
- Core40 – Whereas you might have a preconceived notion as to what a gym looks like and should be, Core40 will completely shatter it. Unlike most other Pilate studios around, this one is located in a former church. The popular Megaformer classes are 40-minute sessions that focus on toning your body with slow, controlled movements and constant muscle tension. This is a great low-impact exercise that gives you a thorough workout, but without putting too much physical force on your feet.
- Yoga to the People – As with Core40, Yoga to the People is another great low-impact exercise you may want to consider incorporating into your fitness plan. (This is especially true if you are a long-distance runner!) As you might guess from the studio’s name, a key selling point for YTTP is that it won’t cost an arm and a leg. In fact, this is a donation-based studio. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not worth the time – experienced yogis will vouch for it!
- Uforia Studios – Need proof that workouts don’t have to be boring? Uforia Studios is the answer! You will break a sweat and burn calories while participating in Uforia’s hip-hop classes. Even better, you can pick up some new moves for the next time you and friends head out on a weekend night.
- Hit Fit – More women than ever are flexing their muscles in all kinds of ways. When it comes to working out, women who previously had no interest in stepping into the ring are seeing the benefit from boing training. Further, they’re seeing that not only does it lead to awesome conditioning, hitting the ol’ bag is a great way to blow off steam. In addition to boxing activities, Hit Fit also has TRX to help you achieve peak physical condition.
- Aerial Artique – If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at being a member of Cirque du Soleil, flying yoga is a great starting point (but without the pressure of performing in front of hundreds or thousands of people). The staff at Aerial Artique will help you find your groove as you get toned in their silks or lyra classes and workshops.
- House of Air – House of Air is always a blast during open jump time, but you can also visit the Presidio-based spot for its 50-minute “air conditioning” classes. Go for a full-body workout that allows you to bounce, fly, and spin while strengthening your core, toning your muscles and burning calories.
Not seeing the results you want from your regular spin classes and elliptical machines? With all due respect to those tried-and-true favorites, you need to spice up your fitness regimen.
As your body adapts to a workout program, repeating more of the same exercises doesn’t cut it. For better results, add a little cardio and strength variety throughout the week.
Super Economic Fitness Options
Given that we live in one of the most expensive areas in America, we’re all in need of ways to offset costs.
When it comes to fitness, remember that we also live in one of those rare locations where it’s actually nice outside almost the entire year.
You don’t need an expensive gym membership or high-cost boot camp to get fit, and you can still enjoy group workouts without spending all your money. Here are some of the best free workouts and classes near us:
Take on the Lyons Street Steps (Pacific Heights) – Head to the Lyons Street Steps almost any morning, and you’ll see people getting their sweat on — often egged on by a personal trainer. But if you don’t want to just run up and down the steps by yourself (and you don’t want to pay for someone to yell at you while you run up and down the steps), then check out some of the MeetUp groups that gather at the popular workout spot.
The Weekend Workout Warriors group has regular, high-intensity Lyons St workouts that anyone is welcome to join. Just be prepared to do some burpees in between stair repeats.
Get your boot camp on at The North Face and November Project (various locations) – If you want a classic boot camp-style class, but you don’t want to pay boot camp-style prices, then the North Face’s Mountain Athletics classes are for you.
The outdoors company teamed up with the November Project to offer weekly, hour-long strength and conditioning classes in five cities around the country.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30pm, North Face trainers lead a workout designed to be a mix of strength and conditioning. Tuesdays are at Marina Green and Thursdays are at The Yard at Mission Rock, and you can sign up for either session beforehand. The November Project also leads its own group workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:30am, as well as special events. Check their Facebook page for the most current details.
Race against a cable car (Presidio Heights) – A Runner’s Mind, holds all kinds of regular community events, from city beer runs to track workouts to runner yoga classes. But its strangest event is the monthly Great Cable Car Chase.
If you win, you get a prize. Even if you don’t win, you still get a workout. Either way, you can end the night with a foam rolling and release class, plus refreshments (if you are so inclined).
Now grab your workout shoes and get going!