7 Fun Ways to Stay in Shape in San Francisco

San Francisco, with its jagged landscape and moderate climate all year round, is the perfect place to work up a sweat. The fantastic views and agreeable weather reward your efforts and help you keep the momentum going. Plus, the many healthy and organic food options make it even easier to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Regular exercise has so many amazing benefits. Some of the top reasons are for weight maintenance, to fight diseases like cancer and diabetes, to enhance the mood and self-confidence while being a great outlet for stress.

Our easy and fun tips will help you get motivated to put your exercise shoes on and venture out into San Francisco’s urban nature.

Biking around the City

It’s no secret that San Francisco has a huge bike culture. The city has bicycle lanes in every neighborhood. Cycling may be one of the best ways to get around and see the city. With the city’s 7x7 mile geography, nothing is too far away. You can even take your bike on public transport; Caltrain, BART, and Muni buses are all bike friendly. Just check out their sites for their rules and restrictions before you get on board. Don’t own a bike? There are many rental shops in San Francisco where you can rent a bike per hour or per day whenever you need one.

Urban Hikes

It’s easy to reconnect with nature in San Francisco without going too far. If you want to go on a guided tour, check out Urban Hiker San Francisco. They give great hiking tours which provide a proper workout and a history lesson, while enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

If you prefer unguided tours, these are excellent options:

Walking Tours

Walking tours not only give you a workout, but are an excellent way to discover the city. San Francisco is full of historical sites worth visiting. The SF Public Library offers daily free walking tours with local guides who can show you hidden gems and tell you fascinating stories about their areas. You can also get a guidebook with information on self-guided tours. Some of the best walking tours are the Barbary Coast Trail, Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Bridge stroll, Nob Hill stroll, Union Square and 1906 Earthquake stroll, and North Beach stroll.

Yoga and Dance Studios

Feed your mind, body, and soul with yoga and dance classes. It’s a great way to improve strength, flexibility, and to destress. Many studios in San Francisco, such as ODC, offer the first class for free so you can decide whether you like their vibe and teaching style before you sign up.

There are also plenty of free classes offered throughout the city. Reconnect with nature every Saturday morning in the Golden Gate Park where a free yoga class is taught at 11 am. Stop by Grace Cathedral in Nob Hill for their free 6 pm yoga class every Tuesday evening. These are just two examples of what San Francisco has to offer!

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

If you like a challenge and are looking to build upper body strength, climbing may be your thing! Rock climbing and bouldering are very popular in San Francisco, and the city houses some of the best climbing gyms in the country, like Planet Granite, Mission Cliffs, Dogpatch Boulders. If an indoor gym is not your style, there are many places to take rock climbing and bouldering outdoors, not too far from the city.

Dog Walking

Did you know there are more dogs in San Francisco than children under the age of 18? Walking a dog provides good exercise for both you and the pooch. Going for a run with your dog on one of the many beaches and parks is a perfect work break or a great way to end or start the day.

There are only a few places that allow dogs off-leash, so make sure it’s permitted before you let your dog run free. For dog-friendly parks, visit the Golden Gate Park and Bernal Hill Dog Park. If you want sand under your feet, take your dogs to Baker Beach, Crissy Field Park, and Fort Funston Doggie Beach. Urban areas that support dogs are the Union Square and the San Francisco Embarcadero rail-trail.

Healthy Eating

Eating can be fun and healthy in San Francisco’s diverse dining scene. There are many healthy and delicious restaurant choices where vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are plentiful. For example, the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market has great vegan bakeries, grain stores, pop-up restaurants, and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

If you know where to look, you can buy high-quality fresh fruit and veggies on the cheap in stores and markets. Good neighborhoods for affordable produce include the Mission District, the Inner Richmond, Chinatown, or at the farmer’s markets. If you want to cook at home but struggle with recipes or getting the groceries, there are amazing food delivery services like  Gobble, Thrive, and Sprig, which will deliver amazing, healthy meals to you with little preparation required to create a fresh home-cooked meal.

Vegetable juices are very popular throughout the city, too, and sold at the many juice bars throughout the city.  

Stay in Shape in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the best cities in the country to stay in shape with its many fun activities. It won’t even feel like you’re working out. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you do to keep in shape in San Francisco! #SFhealthyliving

Dr. Payal Bhandari Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is a leading practitioner of integrative and functional medicine in San Francisco.

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