Stay Fit in the City

Urban fitness tips

08.01.11
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Purposely miss your subway stop.

Invigorate your commute and easily add 10 or more extra blocks to your exercise routine by getting off the subway before or after your destination. "Make it actual exercise by walking briskly or taking a route with different inclines," says Kelly Cassano, MD, a family medicine physician with Beth Israel Medical Center.

20 NYC blocks = 1 mile

Put the brakes on unhealthy food carts.

Food carts are infamous for being fast and fattening. If you need a quick, inexpensive lunch on the go, pop into a local market. Many feature sandwich delis, salad and juice bars, where you can craft your own tasty and healthy lunch.

The NYC Green Cart initiative sells only raw fruits and vegetables. Learn more here.

Find a farm in the city.

To find the freshest fruits, vegetables and whole-grain breads, ditch the supermarket. “Walking to a farmer’s market is a nice way to incorporate exercise into your day and healthy, whole foods into your diet,” says
Dr. Cassano.

NYC has more than 100 farmer's markets rooted throughout the city.

Act like a tourist.

New York is the city of neighborhoods, so why not get out and explore them? Put some serious miles on your sneakers by checking out a new area of the city on foot a few times per week. Cobble Hill, Riverside Park, East River Esplanade and Hudson River Park are a few spots that have fitness-friendly paths.

Central Park was the first urban park in the United States.

Enlist a furry friend.

Pets and other animals make great exercise companions. Take your dog to an agility class or try a new activity such as horseback riding. You and your furry friend will both reap the cardiovascular and other health benefits of weekly exercise.

New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation has dedicated horseback riding trails.

Rest easy in the city that never sleeps.

NYC knows how to take full advantage of the 24 hours in each day. But don’t be tempted by late-night restaurants and entertainment. Make sleep your favorite nighttime activity by shutting out noise; nixing caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime; and sticking with an exercise routine.

Seven hours is the ideal amount of sleep you should get nightly.

Step up your fitness.

We live in a vertical city, so why not take full advantage of it. Taking the stairs in lieu of the elevator or escalator when possible can help you burn calories two to three times faster than walking briskly at an incline. Besides, elevator music is never any good.

The Empire State Building hosts stair climbing races each year to benefit national charities.

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