5 Places to Exercise (and Enjoy it!) in the City

Hayden Gehr
Staff Writer

Mission Cliffs:
Even if scaling steep cliffs isn’t a true passion of yours (which it probably isn’t), rock climbing can still be a fun, exhilarating way to spend a few hours. Also, rock climbing is a great upper-body workout, and it will have you well equipped for the wilderness trip that your parents want to take you on during summer break. Mission Cliffs offers walls for both advanced, experienced climbers, as well as beginners who have yet to fully conquer the fear of heights or falling. And, if the climbing gets overwhelming, the facility has its own weight room. To top it off, fitness courses are taught that involve boxing, cycling, yoga, and other activities.

House of Air:
You may have a trampoline in your backyard at home, but there is no way it compares to the bouncing paradise that is House of Air. This indoor park features large rooms where the floors are composed entirely of trampoline material. The trampolines even move diagonally up the sides of the walls, and structures are installed in certain areas to make the jumping more exciting. And if it strikes your fancy, there is an entire room dedicated to trampoline dodgeball. House of Air is also located near the Golden Gate Bridge, so it is an ideal way to expend some energy after doing some sight-seeing.

16th Avenue Tile Steps:
This 163-step staircase was admittedly constructed for purposes that are more aesthetic than recreational, but that doesn’t mean that it offers no opportunity for exercise. If you want to strengthen your legs and run some stairs, it may be a bit more pleasurable to glance down at beautifully designed tiles while doing so. Add the scenic view of the Sunset District (and the ocean) that can be seen while running or walking along the steps, and you’ve got yourself a great early morning workout.

Twin Peaks:
Although you may be more inclined to drive or take Lyft to the top of Twin Peaks, the incredible view is much more gratifying if you complete the uphill climb on foot. This is another excellent early morning activity – students often make it to the top in time to watch the sunrise. The winding hike (it’s hard to get lost if you keep going up) can also be performed at nighttime, as Twin Peaks is an ideal place to see the city light up in the dark and gaze at the few stars that can be seen through the cloudy San Francisco sky.

Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center:
Located in the South Block of the Yerba Buena Gardens in downtown San Francisco, this center would be a great place to spend a Friday or Saturday night with some friends. If you need a break from the gym or the basketball court but still want to remain active, bowling and ice skating are activities that require athleticism but also allow one to socialize and enjoy his/her self. The ice skating rink is the only year-round rink in all of San Francisco, but if you would prefer to do your ice skating outside, the Union Square ice rink opens on Nov. 5.

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