Hi all! I would like to introduce Hillary from HillaryFitness. She’s a seasoned former New Yorker, and an expert on working out. She now lives in Boston (BU friends, check out her blog for some major fitness inspo!) but she was nice enough to round up some amazing FREE fitness options here in NYC. In a city where almost nothing is free, she came up with some absolutely awesome options that I’m definitely going to have to check out now that bathing suit season is upon us!
For five and a half years, I had the pleasure of living and working in New York City. It’s an amazing place where you can do basically whatever you want 24 hours a day. The day of the week doesn’t matter, and as a resident, you may find yourself losing track. The city is on every day of the year, and its residents are too.
Summer is an exceptionally active time in the city, and its inhabitants wait all year for warm, long days when they can wander the streets eating ice cream, and lounging in the grassy parks. You’ll also catch New Yorkers dashing around the city on their running routes, carry yoga mats or golf clubs on their way to classes, or participating in sports/beer leagues. They also commute to their very expensive gyms for upscale spin classes and boot camps. The operative word being, expensive.
New York City is an expensive place to exist and that is not a secret. The rent is pricey, groceries cost more than they do in the burbs, and the restaurants are expensive. New York City will let you into New Jersey for free, but it’s going to cost you to cross back through those tunnels, or over that bridge. Being the pay for the privilege place that New York City is, you can start to lose your mind feeling like you can’t have fun without going broke. Luckily, there is one thing that you actually don’t have to pay for if you look further than the Equinox at the end of your block, and that it FITNESS. That’s an exciting prospect, isn’t it? Well, it’s true. New York City has plenty of opportunities for you to get a serious sweat on without draining your pockets. Being a somewhat long time New Yorker, here’s a list of Fitness opportunities that I uncovered and enjoyed during my summers there:
- Summer Streets
This happens every year for the first three Saturdays in August. Park Ave. is closed to traffic in both directions from Central Park all the way down to Brooklyn Bridge from 7am-1pm. It’s awesome. People run, walk, bike, rollerblade, etc. up and down Park Ave in the beautiful August sunshine. The mornings are generally fairly cool for the summertime, so it’s a great opportunity to get your exercise in nice and early. There are also water and fuel stops provided along Park Ave so your activity is supported! This is definitely an opportunity that is not to be missed.
- Lululemon Yoga
The Madison Ave. store offers free yoga at 9:30am on Sunday mornings. The Lincoln Center store offers free meditation sessions on Sundays at 8:30am. Wake up (fairly) early and get your Namaste on and have an amazing, peaceful Sunday before your crazy work week begins!
- Bryant Park Yoga
On the topic of yoga, it’s offered on Thursday nights in the summer at 6pm. It’s advisable to get there early to get a spot – this is a pretty popular event, but what could be better? Head out and get bendy with 400 of your closest friends!
- Fitbit Local
Now, this one is date specific, not on-going. On June 12th, Fitbit is having a local fitness event in Union Square. Check out Eventbrite for details! I went to one recently in Boston where I now live, and it was a ton of fun. Boot camp style, and really, really good.
- Pearl Studios Zumba
Free Zumba! This is another one time event. Seriously, who doesn’t love Zumba? If you haven’t tried it, you should. You basically go and dance to all different kinds of music, which is guaranteed to be fun. Unless you don’t find dancing fun. Wait, those people don’t exist. Anywho, Pearl Street Studios is offering a free Zumba class on Friday June 17th _ Their address is 500 8th Avenue.
- Asics Run Club
The Asics store at 420 W. 14th St. in the Meatpacking district offers a run club (with pacers!) on Monday and Wednesday nights at 7pm. Even if you don’t think that running is fun, if you run with a group, you might discover that it actually is!
- Cardio Saturdays
Hub Seventeen at 114 5th Ave. in Flatiron offers free cardio sessions from 10-11am. I’ve never been to this one, but what could be bad about free cardio?!
- Nike Run Club
This one is near and dear to my heart as I was a very active member of this community while I lived in NYC and continue to be in Boston. Niketown at 6 E. 57th has a wonderful run club that has events 7 days a week. Everything is always free. The catch is that you have to sign up. The weekly calendars release on Sundays at 3pm and getting spots can be tough, but worth it. It’s not all running though – they have cross training, yoga, speed days, recovery runs, long runs, etc. And for the first three weeks in August, they do their long runs down Park Ave. during the Summer Streets.
This is just a small smattering of what’s available for free in New York when it comes to fitness. Keep your eyes peeled for events on Facebook, EventBrite, etc. as I’m sure more events will be scheduled as the warmer weather gets closer. And who knows? You’ll probably make some new friends at whatever events you decide to attend, and what’s better than new friends who like to do the same things that you like to do?
This summer, keep you money in your pockets and get in the best shape of your life while enjoying the amazing city that you live in.