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I'm Miracle Joy, the creator of Frugal Urban Fittie. I'm a Brooklynite who is on a never-ending journey to achieve optimum health and wellness, without breaking the bank. Learn more...

NYC: Best City to Live in for Fitness

NYC: Best City to Live in for Fitness

Hey, Hey fitties! What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City? I'll go first: when I think of New York, I think of high rises and even higher prices. It's no secret that New York is a playground for people who have lots of money to spend. But, can a city full of millionaires also be a mecca for fitness enthusiasts on a shoestring budget? I think so. Let me explain...

The City is your Gym

This might come as a surprise, but New York City is home to over 1,700 parks, playgrounds and Recreation Centers. That's a pretty impressive number for a city that is second to Hong Kong for the highest concentration of Skyscrapers. Sure New York City is notorious for its dirty subways, littered streets and rush hour traffic, but we make up for all of that with our beautiful green spaces. If you like going for runs or prefer exercising outdoors, 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. There's also Prospect Park, Battery Park, the High Line and Roosevelt Island. Our most coveted outdoor workout spots? Hands down our bridges. There's the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and George Washington Bridge. On any given day, you'll see bikers, roller bladders, walkers and runners taking in some fresh air. The views from our bridges are stunning and they make any exercise worthwhile. By the way, we currently have 18.5 miles of protected bike lanes in the city. 

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. You might be having a bad day or you might be super exhausted, but seeing your fellow commuters squeezing onto the A train with their stylish gym wear and colorful nike trainers, inspires you to dig deep and make your way over to your studio home. 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 for fitness enthusiasts because it keeps you disciplined and focused on your goals.

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 at an exclusive gym like Equinox. Lucky for you and I, the city understands that being healthy shouldn't require a small fortune. To better assist us, the New York City 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 our options are limitless. If you try a new class and don’t feel “at home,” there's always a different 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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