Shape up! Unique workouts in San Francisco

Things to Do, Travel Tips, What's New — By Mary Polizzotti on January 7, 2011 at 7:45 am

The debauchery of the holidays is over. Time to get out of sloth-mode and move, just a little bit. Shed that fruitcake! San Francisco is not only home to one yoga studio per block (kidding…well, not really), but also an array of unique workouts, which one-up the standard New Year’s joining-of-the-gym  (there’s plenty of those too).

San Francisco’s hills will literally kick your butt and are enough of a challenge. The stairs on Taylor or Mason at Pine St are astoundingly steep, or take the Greenwich steps up to Coit Tower.  Alternately, brave the Tenderloin to walk or run end to end of leafy Hyde, Larkin or Leavenworth St (roughly 2 miles and 45 minutes one way). All routes afford beautiful, multiangular views. The route to Upper Haight via Hayes Valley and Alamo Square provides a slow crawl uphill to Golden Gate Park. Buena Vista Park is worth the zigzag trek upwards for the stellar downtown view.

Steep Stairs in Russian Hill

For those who crave more of a structured workout, give The Dailey Method a try to tighten, tone, and strengthen. Workouts are in a class format amped up by techno music and radio hip-hop. There are tons of teachers to choose from, and the downtown location offers what feels like classes every half hour at convenient times. Kind of like an energetic yoga/pilates/barre combo, you can purchase a single class for $20, 3 classes for $45, or an unlimited month for $100.

No boys allowed at S Factor, where girls get there groove on around the pole, yes the pole! It’s fun and sensual, though tough, you will definitely feel it the next day. A great overall workout, but it’s not the cheapest. An intro class is $40 for 1-2 hours.

Tough guys and gals, make your way to Fight and Fitness, which specializes in classes of Muay Thai, Boxing, and Mixed Martial Arts. Don’t be intimidated, an intro class is only $15, a drop-in day pass is $25, or rather, split a private lesson for two at $80.

While most of the country gets their exercise scraping ice off the windshield, San Francisco is blessed with mild winters and occasionally abundant sunshine. And that sun is warm when it shines. Locals and visitors alike frolic freely outside without fear of slipping on black ice or soaking in dirty slush. Don’t hate us for being smug.

Photo courtesy of mightyohm/Flickr

Tags: activity, exercise, fitness, hills, san francisco, stairs, workout