Take part in New York City’s outdoor fitness scene this summer. For the individuals who don’t want to be confined to a gym, the five boroughs are home to a number of alternatives combining fitness and the outdoors, perfect for taking advantage of the warm spring and summer weather.
These outdoor fitness regimens are ideal for the time-pressed traveller looking to get in a good workout while simultaneously exploring some of New York City’s most iconic parks and green spaces.
“Fitness is an integral part of the New York City lifestyle,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “From running and cycling to boxing and kayaking, the City’s outdoor fitness offerings are far-reaching and provide exciting ways for people of all experience levels to exercise and stay active this summer.”
Highlights of some of the City’s outdoor fitness offerings include:
BODIESYNERGY: Leading fitness fans through Prospect Park’s grassy hills, stone steps and picnic tables, BODIESYNERGY promotes organic fitness through specialised outdoor workouts ranging from personal training and group fitness to outdoor boxing, cycling and kettlebell training for extra strength conditioning. The organisation also offers a unique stroller-friendly cardio workout program for parents called Babie Synergy. Visit bodiesynergy.com for more information.
Bronx River Alliance: The Recreation Program works to introduce individuals to the Bronx River and the developing Greenway through canoeing, kayaking and bicycling. During the summer paddling season, the program offers a full calendar of public canoe tours along all eight miles of the Bronx River. Private tours for groups and individuals are also available. Visitbronxriver.org for more information.
Circuit of Change: Circuit of Change’s popular Outdoor Mind Body Bootcamp returns to the Pier 46 waterside expanse this spring/summer, combining plyometrics and interval training with yoga, martial-arts movements, gymnastics and meditation. Classes take place on Wednesdays at 6.45pm To register, visit circuitofchange.com.
Fit Tours NYC: One-hour long tours taking place in and throughout Central Park combine exercise with sightseeing. Workouts include a Central Park 5K Fun Run, Power Hour, Super Walk and Yoga Stretch and Sunday Run Day in addition to private and group tours. For details, visit fittoursnyc.com.
Hudson River Park: Visitors can experience summer in New York City by kayaking on the Hudson River. A combination of free and expert lessons are offered at several locations, including Pier 26, Pier 40, Pier 66, Pier 84 and Pier 96. For additional information, visit hudsonriverpark.org.
Mile High Run Club: In addition to the studio’s indoor running and strength-based training classes, Mile High Run Club holds Outdoor Group Runs, weekly guided runs led by an Olympic coach and open to runners of all experience levels. To register for a class, visit milehighrunclub.com.
Morning Fitness at Fort Tryon Park: Venture to Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings for an hour of walking, stretching and strengthening exercises. Organised by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, the program runs from May 1 through December 24 (nycgovparks.org). The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation also organises a number of free fitness events, activities and workshops, ranging from yoga and meditation to boot camps, tai chi, Zumba, cardio and body strengthening. A calendar of upcoming fitness events can be accessed atnycgovparks.org.
New York Road Runners: The organisation hosts free Saturday morning open runs during the summer months, in locations like Staten Island’s Silver Lake Park and Brooklyn’s Marine Park. Anyone can participate and registration is not required.
For locals, New York Road Runners holds group fitness programs, like its signature NYRR Group Training (Central Park and Prospect Park), broken down into Turnover Tuesdays (interval training and hill repeats) and Tempo Thursdays (steady runs at a challenging pace). Other class offerings include NYRR Deep Water Running (92 Street Y, John Jay College, St. Bart’s Church) and NYRR Treadmill Running classes (held at Mile High Run Club). Open to both NYRR members and non-members, these programs run approximately four to ten weeks. In order to participate, individuals must sign up for the entire series of classes. Visit nyrr.org for more information.
November Project: This free fitness movement class takes place every Wednesday and Friday morning. Classes meet at Gracie Mansion Grotto with the exception of the last Wednesday of the month, where workouts take place on Wards Island. For those who like a little suspense, Friday’s workouts are held at a different location each week, announced on the organisation’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. For more information, visit november-project.com.
The Rise NYC: The Rise NYC offers free outdoor fitness Monday through Friday at 6:30 a.m. in a number of unique locations across the five boroughs. Classes meet at Washington Square Park on Mondays, Brooklyn on Tuesday, Bryant Park on Wednesday, Queens or the Flatiron District on Thursday, and the Williamsburg Bridge on Friday. This program provides a unique opportunity for individuals to experience some of the City’s most popular areas, and with early class offerings, visitors can spend the rest of their day exploring the City’s other activities and attractions. For daily workout descriptions, visit therisenyc.com.
INK 48: This boutique hotel offers a complimentary Bike NYC program from June through October, where guests can borrow a bike and explore Manhattan. For more information, visit ink48.com.
The James New York: The James has partnered with Serene Social, the international conscious women’s wellness community, to host weekly private and group yoga classes on its rooftop overlooking the Hudson River. The rooftop series is open to hotel guests and the public from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Classes are held on Thursdays at 8:00 a.m. For additional information, visit jameshotels.com.
Trump International Hotel & Tower: Hotel guests can sign up for a 60-minute bootcamp in Central Park, just across the street from the hotel. For those who forget to pack workout gear, the hotel’s Travel Fit program offers complimentary Under Armour t-shirts, shorts, sneakers, socks and sports bras for loan. Visit trumphotelcollection.com/