By Luke Field
The hardest part about exercising is getting out the door. Nobody gets really excited to leave a comfortable couch and work up a sweat in a crowded gym (and if you do, stop it. You’re making the rest of us look bad). I need to be tricked into being active, just like my parents got me to take bad-tasting medicine when I was younger by shoving it into a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Here a few alternatives to a regular gym membership that may help you through the incredible pain associated with physical exertion.
The Philadelphia Bicycle Club
Contact: Membership: firstname.lastname@example.org; Info: email@example.com
Price: $15/year; $10/year for students
The Philly Bike Club won Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly award for Intramural Sport in 2009 for good reason. Whether you are a novice biker or a regular Lance Armstrong, the Club has something for everyone. Each day features several different rides, rated on difficulty and mileage. The rides are often paired with a meal/hangout with your new friends.
Hours: Tues 6:30pm, Thurs 6:30pm, Sat 8am
For most people, running for exercise is the worst thing they could imagine doing. In order to relieve that pain, Philly Runners offers regular friendly runs for the best price of all: free. If you are in training for the next big race or just trying to get fit, you are bound to meet someone here with whom you can commiserate. Stick around post-run for a nice brunch or dinner and good conversation.
Hours: Sun 4pm-8pm
The grade school classic is now a serious competition. Grab twenty of your best friends to form a team with the cleverest name possible and start practicing now for the upcoming spring season. If you absolutely have to get out there and be active, then why not do it in the most childish way possible.
1200 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Hours: Varies based on league
Price: Varies based on league
Website & Reviews
Not only is it a great guy’s night out, PEP Bowl also offers some of the best league action in the city. The quaint basement alley provides a fun and intimate setting for a little friendly competition. PEP offers leagues for beginners, intermediates, advanced, and seniors at very reasonable prices. Bowling counts as a sport, even if it isn’t as strenuous as running or biking, and you’ll at least have one very strong arm.
Sankhya Yoga School & Wellness Center
725 N. 4th Street, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs 6pm-7:30pm; Tue 11am-9pm; Sat to Sun 11am-12:30pm
If you’ve ever considered trying yoga but didn’t want to get roped into a long class schedule or pay a membership, then Sankhya is the place for you. All of their classes are just $7 and you can show up whenever you like, no registration required. You don’t even need your own mat; you can literally show up off the street and start centering your chi any time you want.
Have a recommendation for a sports club or intramural? Share your thoughts below!
Luke Field is a writer, comedian and office drone living in Center City. You can see him perform every month with The Philly Improv Theater.