Beyond the Gym: Affordable Fitness in the Bay Area

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These days, it seems you can't walk a Bay Area block without passing a boutique gym or high-end spinning studio. But what options exist for those of us already stretched financially? We'll discuss affordable workout resources and how to get the most bang for your fitness buck.

Low-Cost Fitness Recommendations by Our Guests and the Forum Community

Fitness Centers and Classes

TiltFit Sign up for TiltFit’s Twerk Lab, Fight Club, and other one-of-a-kind fitness experiences.

East Oakland Sports Center Family-friendly sports facility offering state-of-the-art fitness, aquatic and dance centers, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and a tot lot.


Daniel Clayton, San Francisco project co-leader of The November Project, a free outdoor fitness program

Jeremy Cheung, personal trainer at OxSalon Fitness in San Francisco and owner of the fitness company Twisted Twilight

Martha Zepeda, cultural arts program director and fitness instructor at East Oakland Sports Center with Oakland Parks and Recreation

Maryanna Quigless, founder of TiltFit, which offers drop-in fitness classes

Stephanie Snyder, yoga teacher at Yoga Flow in San Francisco


 The November Project A free fitness movement that started in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England winters.

OxSalon Offers small-group trainings to help you reach personal fitness goals.


Tilden Park Includes Lake Anza, a botanical garden, and 2,000 acres in the East Bay Regional Park District.

Bay Area Ridge Trail There are more than 350 miles of trail for hikers and cyclists.

Glen Park It has a recreation center, ball field,  tennis courts, and a large urban canyon with dramatic rock formations.

Indian Rock Park This Berkeley park features a rock outcrop with carved steps and areas for rock climbing.

Castle Rock State Park Along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, features coastal forests, steep canyons and rock formations. Popular with rock climbers.

Lyon Street Steps A stair-climbing experience, without the stair climber.

Golden Gate Park Perfect for trail running or tennis.

Mountain View Cemetery This 226-acre Oakland cemetery, designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, was suggested as a place for walking.

San Mateo Central Park San Mateo’s signature park with lighted tennis courts, a playground and a baseball field.

Oakland Urban Paths  Hosting walking treks and sharing a community archive of Oakland’s paths and stairs.

Yoga and Tai-Chi

Yoga Tree Intro pass available offering three classes  for $20.

Yoga to the People Donation-based yoga classes in San Francisco and Berkeley. Stream yoga classes on your computer, tablet, mobile phone, or television. Streaming online yoga classes. $18 a month with free 15-day trial.

Esther Ekhart Teaches Hatha and Vinyasa yoga styles in online video tutorials.

Tai-Chi in San Mateo Central Park Held every Saturday. Follow the link for more Bay Area locations.


City Dance Studios Listener recommends jazz dance with Ann Barrett.


Project Floaters Dragon boating in Redwood City.

California Dragon Boat Association Dragon boating resources throughout the state.

Straits of Mare Island Rowing Association Community nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of Maritime History in the Vallejo area. Hosts an annual Community Benefit Row and participates in boat racing events.