NYC: Best City to Live in for Fitness

Manhattan Bridge view from DUMBO

Manhattan Bridge view from DUMBO

I hope that your May is off to a great start! In terms of fitness, April was a very productive month for me and I'm looking forward to staying consistent with my fitness goals and making the most out of the new month. I'm committed to being active at least 3x per week and can't wait to start doing some outdoor activities like biking and kayaking. On that note, I'm happy to share with you all that last month, I tried three new classes: Wukkout (Caribbean Dance), weight training and animal flow. If you're unfamiliar with animal flow, it's a ground-based workout where you do various animal poses like beast and apex in order to improve your strength, mobility and body awareness. It requires A LOT of coordination - figuring out which hand is your left when you're in scorpion reach is legit impossible. Animal flow was completely out of my comfort zone, but I'm headed back this week to learn more! With all of the new classes that I tried in April (of course, I didn't make it to everything that I scheduled) and the new classes/events that I'm signed up for in May, I've realized that New York City is the best city to be a fitness enthusiast. I know that sounds odd since most of us associate the city with high prices and high-rises, but that's not the complete picture. Truth be told, New York City is a mecca for anyone looking to get in shape and improve their health on a budget. Let me explain...

The City is your Gym

Would you have ever guessed that New York City is home to over 1,700 parks, playgrounds and Recreation Centers? Yup, it's true. That's a pretty impressive number for a city that is second in the world as having the most skyscrapers. While New York City is known for its dirty subways, littered streets and rush hour traffic, we also have some beautiful green space. If you like going for runs or prefer outdoor boot-camp, you can hit up one of the most visited urban parks in the U.S., Central Park. A full loop of the park is 6.1 miles and it's not unusual to see marathoners preparing for an upcoming 5k or charity race in the dead of winter. Not to mention we have Prospect Park, Battery Park, the High Line and Roosevelt Island. Have you gone running in all four parks yet? The benefit of living in an urban city is that we also have non-traditional outdoor space. Our most coveted outdoor workout spots? Our bridges. There's the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and George Washington Bridge. On any given day, you'll see bikers, roller bladders and runners taking in some fresh air and staying active. The views from our bridges are pretty stunning and they make any exercise worthwhile. Oh and in case you didn't know, we currently have 18.5 miles of protected bike lanes in the city. I almost forgot to mention one of my favorite outdoor events: Summer Streets! Summer Streets is a free annual event where the city shuts down about 7 miles of streets so that New Yorkers can get outdoors and play, dance, bike, etc. I love this event and make it a priority to go every year with my brother. I even volunteered at Summer Streets a few years ago. Hopefully this summer, I'll make the cut for zip-lining *fingers crossed*. 

The beauty of living in New York City is that whenever we get bored working out in an enclosed space, we can venture outdoors and get fit in nature for free.

Empire State of Mind

As cliché as it may sound, the hustle and bustle of New York City plays a huge role in motivating you to set ambitious fitness goals and crush them. When you notice that everyone around you is disciplined enough to make it to the gym after a long day of work, then you're inspired to put your big girl pants on and get moving. You know exactly what it's like to be on a crowded subway with a fittie sporting her new cross training sneakers and fierce leggings. She's a walking advertisement of dedication and discipline you want to be just like her. Even if NYC is sometimes overwhelming, you can't deny that the high-energy and and fast-paced vibe motivate you. New York City is the perfect environment because it keeps you constantly focused on achieving your goals and keeping up with everyone else's level of commitment.

As an urban fittie, you live by the philosophy of #NoDaysOff.

Budget Friendly

We all know that New York City has lots of privileged people who don’t mind spending $26,000 on a yearly membership to an exclusive gym like E at Equinox. Lucky for you and I, the city understands that exercising and maintaining an active life shouldn't require a small fortune. To better assist us, the City of New York has created several programs that provide free and affordable fitness resources. As a fittie in NYC, you have complete access to gyms and classes through programs like NYC Parks and Shape Up NYC. I talk more in-depth about why I love these resources and how you can start taking advantage of them here. Beyond what the city offers, popular fitness brands are also doing their part to keep you in shape! Brands like Lululemon, Athleta and Adidas offer complimentary classes and fitness events at their flagship stores year-round. These classes range from boot-camp to dance and they’re the perfect place to find a tribe of other like-minded fitties. Last month, I went to an event at Lole that my friend @Monique hosted to discuss healthy eating habits. In fact, Monique and I first met at a free fitness class hosted by wanderlust at Samsung 837. How many other cities can you name that offer high-quality fitness classes and events for free? P.S. I update my Frugal Friday Calendar every week with new classes that brands are hosting so be sure to check back often!

Living in such a diverse and large city means that we have limitless options. If you try a new class and don’t feel “at home,” there's always a different exercise or studio down the block that you can explore. We're lucky to be fitness enthusiasts in the concrete jungle because it means that we don't have to settle for less. We can switch things up and try fun new classes like wukkout or animal flow, all without breaking the bank. 

Which workouts are you getting into this week to take advantage of living in New York City?

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