Fit in the City

Feeling a little doughy?  Looking to get some exercise and shed some weight before being seen in that new two-piece or set of trunks you just ordered from*?  Of course, the city offers a wide array of gym chains, specialized fitness studios, and trainers for hire.  All good options.  But why not experiment with your fitness routine and try something new?  If you are looking to take advantage of warm weather and get away from fluorescent lights, here are a few outdoor fitness activities to try:

*I just made that up.  I take no responsibility for what is ultimately to be found at that web address.

Paddle Sports:

Looking to get out on the water? There are a variety of kayaking programs throughout the five boroughs, some of which are FREE!  Based on your experience and skill level, you can start small with a beginner class (or refresher course if you are returning years after a summer camp experience in the Poconos) or graduate to more difficult paddle tours and excursions around the city.  Kayaking provides multiple health benefits:  it is a great upper body workout, helps improve both your range of movement, and increases flexibility.  And since it is low-impact, it is a great option for people looking for a fitness option that will help ease some of their achy joints.

Paddle Sports

Kayaking is a perfect fitness regimen for people who loves water and nature. Photo Credit:

Check out New York City Boathouse (free kayaking sessions), Red Hook Boaters (all programs are free), New York Kayak Company, or Manhattan Kayak Company.


Ever fancy yourself as some kind of aerialist?  Ever wanted to work on or perfect your trapeze routine, should ever you want to run off and literally join the circus.  You’re in luck!  Trapeze School New York offers classes devoted not only to its namesake, but also classes in silks, juggling, and trampoline, among others.  The school has two seasonal outdoor school locations (at Pier 40 in Hudson River Park and Governor’s Island), as well as one year-round indoor training facility.  The school boasts specialized instruction, small class sizes, and a focus on safety. 


You may have seen this aerial act on circus but it is now a popular fitness activity for people who loves extraordinary adventure. Photo Credit:

Choose an outdoor class at Pier 40 and enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the Statue of Liberty in between your passes at the flying apparatus.  Trapeze School New York has group classes for all skill levels and private classes are also offered.  Work on the trapeze builds core muscles, increases flexibility, and intensely works your arms.
Check out Trapeze School New York for class schedules and registration information.

Ultimate Frisbee:

Jonesing to get in on a team sport?  Ultimate Frisbee has really grown in popularity over the years and while it is a blast, it can be pretty badass, too.  People form advanced teams and play in competitive leagues that are complete with team standings and rival team (friendly) trash talk.  But for the more casual player, New York City Public Ultimate League (NYCPUL) offers pickup games for all players of all levels in Central Park, Astoria Park, and Prospect Park.  Check their website for times and locations.  Ultimate Frisbee provides a great cardio workout with its nonstop action.  You will burn lots of calories, increase lower body strength, and make some great friends in the process.

Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is an anywhere-anyday regimen perfect for families and friends. Photo Credit:

Check out New York City Public Ultimate League (NYCPUL) for details on leagues, tournaments, and pickup games.  Another great resource is NYC Social Sports Club for other organized team sports within the five boroughs.  The site provides information on a variety of team sports from Ultimate Frisbee and Soccer to Dodgeball and Inner Tube Water Polo (!).

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