When you are studying English in California, there is so much to do: new cities to visit, road trips to take, restaurants to try, and a million places to shop, see, and explore. We are proud that many CISL students also take time out of their schedules to stay fit. San Diego and San Francisco are great cities to exercise!
International Student Life: Exercising in the U.S.
There are so many gyms to choose from in San Diego and San Francisco that we cannot possibly name them all! Many CISL SD students join 24 Hour Fitness, which is located in Horton Plaza (a short walk from school). Many gyms offer student discounts, so make sure to ask! For a list of gyms in San Diego, click here. Click here for a list of gyms in San Francisco, click here.
San Francisco was the first city in the world to open a yoga studio in its airport, and San Diego is known for being a leading city in several different types of yoga, including Ashtanga and Iyengar. In fact, both cities were recently named on the list of the top cities for yoga in the U.S. Check out this article on Yoga in San Diego for more information about the different styles of yoga and studio recommendations, and also take some time to read this great guide to some of the best yoga teachers in the Bay Area. (Make sure to check out our posts on Yoga in San Diego and Free Yoga in San Francisco, too!)
This relatively new style of working out has significantly increased its popularity in the U.S. over the last few years. Although it is expensive in comparison to most other gyms, Crossfit is great if you enjoy lifting weights and you like a very rigorous workout. Instructors are known for being very intense and motivating. www.crossfit.com.
Running and Jogging
With agreeable weather and pedestrian-friendly walkways, both San Diego and San Francisco are great cities for jogging. Check out Walk Jog Run for a great list of routes in San Francisco or Trainfora5k.com‘s article, 10 Best Running Routes in San Diego, for SD routes. CISL San Diego students might also enjoy this picturesque jog along Downtown San Diego, courtesy of the San Diego Convention Center.
San Diego and San Francisco also host various marathons throughout the year. Click here for more information on the San Francisco Marathon, which attracts thousands of runners each year, and visit for this site for information on San Diego’s run Rock n Roll Marathon.
San Diego has been called a “cyclist’s paradise,” and it is easy to see why: from flat rides along the beach to intense mountain biking, there is a variety of biking options in and around the city. Check out the city’s biking page for a list of biking options in different areas. Renting a bike is easy: Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and Downtown San Diego have plenty of bike rental companies to lend you some wheels.
If you have taken a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, you have probably seen plenty of cyclists on their way to Sausalito. San Francisco is also a city where biking is incredibly popular. The San Francisco Bike Coalition website provides excellent resources for biking routes in the city.
Would you like to meet new people and participate in a competitive sport? If you are a CISL San Diego student, the intramural sports company Vavi is a great place to start your search; for San Francisco students, check out the Golden Gate Sport and Social Club. Bowling, tennis, softball, even dodge ball are organized through these companies. Vavi also organizes happy hours and other social events to help you make friends while you learn English in San Diego.
CISL has a great list of hiking trails in and around San Francisco: check them out and see why the city is perfect for hiking! San Diego is also a great location for nature hikes: Balboa Park alone has over 60 miles of hiking trails! San Diego Magazine has an excellent guide to 28 hiking trails in San Diego.
Like Crossfit, boot camps are a trendy new way to get in shape FAST (and meet new people in the process). Each boot camp is different, depending on the instructor and the style. Groupon has great deals on boot camps, so be sure to check the website often: new offers are posted frequently. www.groupon.com.