8 Outdoor Workouts That Will Make You Want to Ditch the Gym

Yes, the treadmill is a great time to catch up on episodes of The Affair, but that’s not why you went to the gym, is it? While the days are still long, consider taking your workout routine outside to get your heart pumping instead. From poolside yoga to boot camp by the bay, we’ve rounded up eight outdoor classes you’ll love. Less screen time more fresh air does a body good.   

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Furry Flow

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it—the goat yoga phenomenon has taken the country by storm and is as weird and great as it sounds. Plan a day trip down to Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay for a 45-minute class (through August) in which 15 baby goats will roam around the outdoor classroom licking your toes and hopping on your back during poses. Class ends with “petting zoo” time, when you’ll have the chance to brush and feed the animals. You’re guaranteed to leave less stressed and with a big smile on your face.

girl monkey bars outside
Public Recreation / Facebook

Get Hiit

If you’re looking for a new way to work out, try a class with Public Recreation. For $50 a month, you’ll get access to unlimited classes—and they all take place in the great outdoors. Breathe in that crisp bay air while you target different areas with a daily mix of classes, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), total body conditioning, yoga and, our personal favorite, abs.

Sweat Session

Fitbit Local hosts a free monthly boot camp on the Marina Green led by top trainers, where you’ll squat, hop and lunge your heart out during a vigorous 60-minute workout. Right as you’re about to give up, remember your reward—breathtaking views of the bay…and a big protein-rich brunch after class.

yoga on beach golden gate bridge
Outdoor Yoga SF / Facebook

Dance + Downward Dog

If you’ve never tried a silent disco—when you and a group of strangers put on headphones tuned into different DJ stations—it’s time to get on board. What’s better? Adding a yoga class to the mix. In fact, Silent Disco Beach Yoga is our favorite new combo and it goes down four days a week at Baker Beach. Bay Area teachers guide you through a 75-minute all-levels practice, where you can get your dance on between poses. Cap the week off right with Friday evening’s sunset class or kick off the weekend with a Saturday-morning ritual. You can’t go wrong either way.

park core blue excercise outside
National Fitness Campaign / Facebook

Park Core

SF’s Parklab has partnered with the National Fitness Campaign to build a free outdoor gym in Mission Bay, where you get to call the shots. The bodyweight circuit-training hub features step platforms, rails, ladders and rungs for a full-body workout that can be as low-impact or intense as you want. There’s also a free Fitness Court app to learn new routines, track your training progress and compete in fitness challenges.

Balance At The Banya

What better way to soothe tired muscles than to relax in heated pools and saunas at Bayview’s popular Russian bathhouse? Get yourself a day pass to Archimedes Banya and take advantage of the rooftop yoga class (every Friday and Sunday) for a truly Zen experience—post-class pampering required. Bonus: Weekday “Happy Hour” gets you a three-hour pass for $35, and Friday’s yoga class is included in the price.

girl running on boardwalk
The Assembly / Facebook

Cardio Club

The Assembly, SF’s swanky new wellness and co-working center, has a gorgeous vaulted-ceiling studio where it hosts regular fitness classes, but we’ve got our eyes on outdoor activities, like the occasional meditation and guided journaling in Corona Heights and weekly Run Club sessions that take your workout to the city’s streets and hills. Short-run classes include short-distance runs, drills and intervals; long-run classes take you three to six miles at your own pace. 

people doing yoga outside list
Phoenix Hotel / Facebook

Community Class

New-to-SF minimalist active-wear brand Outdoor Voices is fostering a sense of community among fitness enthusiasts by hosting a calendar of regular workout events, including a weekly Joggers Club, in partnership with neighborhood juice shop Urban Remedy, and Phoenix Rising, a monthly poolside yoga class (plus pool access until 3 p.m.) at the newly revamped Phoenix Hotel.

allison mccarthy

San Francisco Editor

Allison McCarthy is a writer and editor with 15 years of experience in the industry. She's currently the San Francisco editor at PureWow, where she covers the best of what's...