We all know the story: you pay something ridiculous for a gym membership and swear that this time, you’re gonna use it. Really. But 5 p.m. comes around, and the last thing you want to do is run like a hamster for 30 minutes in front of a flat-screen. You want something more from your workout, something… alternative. Lucky for you, you live in Brooklyn—where football is circular, bar-hopping is aerobic and exercise need not be boring.
Brooklyn Hash House Harriers
Whoever said drinking isn’t good for you (ha!) obviously hasn’t tried hashing. Let’s call this part scavenger hunt, part foot race and part pub crawl. Starting at a predetermined point, participants race on foot to find chalk marks along a trail. After about an hour of racing, the marks eventually lead to a bar. Then, the party begins. Average cost is around $15, but this is a workout and bar-night all in one.
7 p.m. on Mondays. Visit HashNYC.com for weekly start locations.
Circle Rules Football
There’s a ball, and you can use your foot if you want to—that’s about where the similarities between this and the other games of football end. Half sport, half art, the game was born from NYU’s experimental theater program. Played every Sunday in Prospect Park, the rules call for players to gather on a circular field, with the objective of getting a yoga-style fitness ball through a central goal from one side. The opposing team defends and tries to pass it through from the other way. This sport doesn’t take itself too seriously, and beginners are welcome. But for those who want to make it to that inner circle, there’s always league play.
Open Play: Long Meadow, Prospect Park, 2 p.m. on Sundays
League Play: N. 10th St. and Kent Ave., Williamsburg; 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays
Captain Quinn’s Boot Camp
Rise and shine, soldier, and report for an hour of aerobics, strength building and teamwork exercises in the crisp, morning Brooklyn air. Jon Quinn, a certified personal trainer with a real passion for getting people in shape, created his Boot Camp to provide the benefits of personalized training in a group setting for a fraction of what it would cost at a gym. With a suggested price per session of just $10 and a policy of never turning away anyone due to limited budget, you’ll always be able to work something out. Register for a free one-week trial using the code “BROKELYN” and the good captain will waive the $15 reservation fee AND give you an extra week free.
Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights (times vary by location), 888-850-1674
The old Daily News garage in Gowanus has been completely transformed into one of the most extensive rock climbing gyms in the city. Brooklyn Boulders is a challengingly-satisfying way to get one serious workout, with walls for climbers of any skill level. Rates during peak hours are $20, but you’ll save by buying in bulk (membership deals range from 10-pack passes to a year of unlimited access). And if you’re a night owl or can sneak off during the day, the off-peak rate is $15, which includes a day pass and gear rental (shoes, chalk, harness). Discounts also are available for kids, students and seniors.
575 Degraw St. at Third Ave., Gowanus, 347-834-9066
Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club
With free canoeing all summer long, the Gowanus Dredgers are taking the ‘d’ out of Superfund. Take one of their canoes out for a tour of Gowanus Bay, or link up with the Red Hook Boaters and visit Hallets Cove on the East River. A strong sense of adventure and a tolerant sense of smell are highly recommended.
Check schedule for times; Boats launch from 2nd St. near Bond St. in Gowanus, and Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park in Red Hook, 718-243-0849