Top Alternative Sports & Fitness Activities In San Francisco

July 11, 2011 9:31 AM

If the gym or the daily run isn’t really doing it for you anymore, maybe it’s time to step things up a bit and find a new challenge to rekindle or even replace your flopping fitness routine. Here’s a handful of alternative sport and fitness activities to get your heart rate up.

Tough Mudder

(917) 338-2135
Tough Mudder

If you haven’t heard of Tough Mudder yet here a few key words: grueling, grimy and gritty. The Tough Mudder events are not for the faint of heart nor the weak-willed, but for those looking to truly test and challenge their mental and physical endurance — and who don’t mind getting filthy in the process. Participants face a series of challenges (running, swimming, rowing, climbing, etc.) through an extensive obstacle course, keeping in mind that Tough Mudder is not a competition but an event to help build confidence, camaraderie and character. The next events for NorCal are scheduled to go down on Oct. 9 nd Oct. 10 and registration will run you $160 if you sign up by Sept. 25.

Shaolin Temple USA

5509 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 666-9966
Shaolin Temple USA

Ever thought about learning martial arts? Well, learn it from the best — real Shaolin monks from China well skilled in the 1,500-year-old disciplines of Kung Fu and Chi Kung. To boot, classes are free since Shaolin Temple USA is a nonprofit, but they do accept those tax-deductible donations. Classes are held Tuesday through Sunday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., for both children and adults and involve a mix of fist and weapon forms, wellness exercises and mediation.

San Francyclo’s San Francisco Bike Tours

2446 Lake Street
San Francisco, CA 94121
(888) 732-2952
San Francyclo

Although primarily geared toward out-of-towners, bike shop San Francyclo offers bike tours through San Francisco for all skill levels and promises it’s routes are not the usual fare. For $50 to $150 you get a 2.5-hour tour the city’s hidden gems, beaches and parks and more. The company provides bikes, helmets and water bottles, so all participants need to really bring is a few layers of clothing, energy food and a little cash for stops along the way. Even if you are a native San Franciscan, there’s a good chance you’ll be discovering something about your home city for the very first time.

Jim Russell Racing Drivers School

Turn 1, Infineon Raceway
29359 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476
Jim Russell Racing Drivers School

You don’t have to be considering this sport as a professional career move — unless that’s what you really want to do, of course. The Jim Russell Racing Drivers School is for the speed freaks and adrenaline junkies, and there are even classes for those looking to become better drivers. Racing school courses range from advanced to high performance and can last half a day or three days, depending on your needs. Prices start at $995, but could hit nearly $6,000, again depending on your needs. The same company also facilitates courses with the Mitsubishi Driving Schools and the Jim Russell International Karting Center.

San Francisco Gaelic Athletic Association

Brian Whitlow
(530) 570-9645
San Francisco Gaelic Athletic Association

Hurling is not an old Irish drinking game, but is instead an ancient Gaelic sport that combines the skills of baseball, field hockey and lacrosse, supposedly making it the world’s fastest field game. Thanks to the GAA Western Division Board’s Hurling for Beginners program, athletes of the male, female or youth persuasion can participate by joining any of the dozen or so teams in the San Francisco Bay Area. Start with the list of clubs catering to whatever category fits you:

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