Working out can sometimes feel like a chore. While you can always do free exercises like running, jogging or lifting weights at your neighborhood gym for free, these activities just feel too routine.
For people who are always on the lookout for something new, there are various places and activities where you can burn calories while having fun.
You can get a high from indoor trampoline parks Jump Yard and Trampoline Park – Zero Gravity Zone; relive fond memories from your childhood by jumping into a pool of plastic balls at Ball Pit Manila; see if you have what it takes to be an acrobat at the Flying Trapeze school; learn how to parkour ala Assasin’s Creed at Ninja Academy; or engage in a real life game of CounterStrike with some lazer tag at Lazer Xtreme.
If you’ve already ticked those off your to-do list, here are five more fun activities in the metro for both kids and kids at heart.
1. Climb Central Manila
The Philippines is blessed with beautiful cliffs perfect for outdoor rock climbing. But the safest introduction to the extreme sport would be indoor wall-climbing gyms. Climb Central Manila offers the largest indoor wall climbing gym in the country, with over 45 climbing lanes for up to 100 climbers!
Never tried climbing before? Don’t worry. No prior experience is required here. The lanes are very safe and secure for first-timers and even kids. What’s great is that you won’t be sweating profusely while you climb. The whole place is air-conditioned with lockers and well-maintained shower rooms where you can freshen up after you scale the walls.
Indoor climbing provides a great full-body workout for both strength and cardio and is a great way to relieve stress. Climb Central Manila offers lots of routes for first-timers and advanced climbers. The kiddie walls are up to 10 meters high. For adults, they even have a 12 meter (almost 40 feet) lead climbing wall and separate bouldering area. Indoor climbing is best enjoyed by groups of friends and families but even if you’re solo, you can still try it out! Several walls here have an auto-belay system. All you have to do is attach the carabiner to your harness, climb up the wall and it will safely lower you down once you reach the top or if you accidentally let go of the holds.
Climb Central is located in The Portal, Mayflower St., Greenfield District, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City. Operating hours Weekdays: 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Weekends/Holidays – 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Adult Day Pass for first-timers costs ₱600 + 1 free equipment set rental (harness and climbing shoes). For groups of 10 or more, there’s a group check in option. http://climbcentral.ph/
2. The Bike Playground at Circulo Verde
Cycling is really one of the most fun workouts you can do, providing many health benefits such as increasing strength and endurance, as well as decreasing body fat. Riding faster enables you to burn more calories in the same amount of time.
A newly opened bike park in Calle Industria is quickly getting the attention of Metro Manila cyclists. The Bike Playground in Circulo Verde boasts of a one-kilometer outdoor trail and outdoor track for kids. The trail is well-designed and offers a few twists, ramps and jumps for a quick trail biking fix if you can’t hit other popular mountain biking trails around Metro Manila like Timberland Heights, La Mesa Nature Reserve or Nuvali in Laguna.
The main attraction here is the world-class pump track, a loop of dirt berms and “rollers” (smooth dirt mounds) where you can ride without pedaling. This is the country’s first indoor and first asphalt pump park designed and built by Velosolutions. Bikers on the track are supposed to keep their pedals level and “pump”” their bikes using their arms and legs to push the bike down in order to propel themselves forward, providing an extra challenging yet fun workout.
For those without their own bikes who want to try it out, the Bike Playground also provides rentals of pump track bikes, mountain bikes, kid’s bikes as well as lessons, clinics, coaching, fitness, as well as training programs for basic and advanced skills.
The Bike Playground is located in Circulo Verde, Calle Industria, Bagumbayan, Quezon City. Reguular operating hours: 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Sunday. Entrance fee costs ₱65/4 hours (from 7:00 AM to 5pm) and ₱95 for night rides (5:00 PM to 8:00 PM). For rates on bike rentals and instructors, visit www.thebikeplayground.com
3. Bambike EcoTours in Intramuros & BGC
If you’re the type who likes to go sightseeing, you can have loads of fun and squeeze in a quick workout by taking a bicycle tour. Bambike Ecotours offers fully guided tours where you get to ride bamboo bicycles which are handmade by Gawad Kalinga villagers, a social enterprise in the Philippines.
Their Intramuros Experience tour takes visitors around the historic walled city of Manila, where a bike tour guide provides a background on the history of each destination. This 2.5 hour long tour brings visitors to visit 10 key sites in Manila. The Express Tour is a 1 hour tour where you can choose which sites you want to go to. For those who prefer urban street art over historical destinations and churches, Bambike also offers an Art Tour of BGC on Bamboo Bikes. The most budget-friendly option is to explore on your own without a guide by renting bamboo bikes on a per hour basis.
The tours are more leisurely than biking long distance, and you’ll probably be stopping a lot to take photos, but it’s a good way for tourists to burn some calories while exploring the metro. Special discounted rates for students apply!
The Bambike Headquarters is located in Plaza San Luis Complex, Real St. cor. General Luna St. Intramuros, Manila. Operating hours are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Bambike Tours cost ₱1,200 per person inclusive of bike and helmet rental, bottled water and entrance fees. Tour schedule: 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM. Bike rental costs ₱200 per Bambike per hour. http://bambike.com/
4. Kodanda Archery Range
Interest in archery has risen mainly because of the popularity of movies like The Hunger Games, Disney’s Brave, and The Lord of the Rings. You too can unleash your inner Katniss Everdeen or Hawkeye by trying your hand at an indoor archery range.
Kodanda Archery Range has four branches conveniently located in Makati, Parañaque, SM Mall of Asia and Eastwood, giving the general public a chance to try out this sport. The branches are all indoor, have multiple lanes so several people can play at the same time, and are fully air-conditioned.
As far as exercise goes, archery is said to help improve cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and leg strength. However, archery’s ultimate goal is enjoyment, making it more fun when you are with family and friends. So you can expect some friendly competition with your companions depending on how accurate of a shot you are and who can hit the bullseye most.
Kodanda Archery Range has 4 branches in Metro Manila. Operating hours varies per branch. Regular rates start at ₱580 per hour including equipment rental, range fee, target paper, and basic instructions. For more details, visit http://kodandaarchery.com/
5. Ace Water Spa
Swimming is known to burn a lot of calories and has been regularly praised for its cardiovascular health benefits. Though there are a lot of swimming pools in the metro where you can train, Ace Water Spa is a good choice. It’s an all-weather indoor facility with Olympic Sized pools for laps and hydrotherapy pools with aquatic jets that massage specific areas of the body.
You don’t even have to swim to feel the health benefits. Simple exercises in the water already increases strength, flexibility, and endurance, while reducing stress on joints. Walking at a steady pace in water burns as much as 500 calories an hour. You could try walking against the current in the “Lazy River” which goes around the pools.
You can also soak in the hot herbal pools which can help soothe muscles and release body toxins then submerge in the cold water pools to stimulate blood flow in the skin and underlying muscles. A visit here is probably the most chill way you can get a workout!
Ace Water Spa has two branches in United Street cor. Brixton Street (near Pioneer), Pasig City and 399 Del Monte Avenue (near Banawe St.) SFDM, Quezon City. Operrating hours: Sundays to Thurdays: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Fridays to Saturdays: 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Entrance Fees: (Valid for 4 hours) Adults: ₱550, Kids (4 ft. and below): ₱250. http://www.acewaterspa.com.ph