You should exercise, they say. Okay, fine.
You should go to the gym, they say. Lol what?
The city is our gym. NYC is our personal trainer, dishing out tough love and making us break a sweat.
No one gets a better workout than a New Yorker. We walk fast, we talk fast, and we get sh*t done.
Day to day life in New York is a freaking workout. Seriously, count all the ways the city is your own personal gym. Like...
1. Taking the stairs
You don’t need to use a StairMaster, you are a Master of the Stairs. Down to the subway, up from the subway, up, up, up to your fifth floor walk-up. Who needs a machine when you can conquer the real thing?
2. Carrying your groceries
Talk about lifting weights! Who knew avocados, Greek yogurt, and kombucha could be so heavy? Make sure to alternate arms so you get swole on both sides.
3. Living in an un-air-conditioned apartment
In the middle of summer, you sweat even more in your apartment than you would in a gym.
4. Putting your a/c unit in the window
Once you do cave and buy a window unit, installing it is like doing a deadlift. (Or so I imagine, I’ve never actually done one.) As with a deadlift, make sure you have a spotter—no one wants to waste a $250 a/c unit dropping it out the window. (And no one wants to be killed by a falling air conditioner.)
5. Juggling hot coffee, a bagel, and your phone
Improve your muscle coordination and fine motor skills by attempting to balance your morning breakfast while answering an “urgent” text from your boss about why you need to be in the office rightthissecond.
6. Running to catch the train
Practice your sprints by chasing after a subway / LIRR / NJ Transit / MetroNorth you’re never going to catch. You gotta get that cardio in!
7. Squeezing onto a crowded subway car
You really have to engage your core to stand your ground and not get a whiff of bad breath from mouth breather behind you or accidentally lean into and piss off the person reading in front of you.
8. Giving tourists directions
You’ll really get those biceps working with the amount of pointing you’ll have to do to explain how to get to Times Square. Not to mention the amount of effort it will take to remain patient.
9. Daring to ride a CitiBike
Yes, riding a bike is exercise no matter where you do it. But riding a bike in NYC is extreme exercise. Swerving around pedestrians, avoiding speeding cabs, trying to handle a clunky CitiBike.
10. Sharing a ride service
This is mostly an exercise in keeping your mouth shut when all you want to do is tell the girl speaking THISLOUD on her cell phone right next to you to STFU.
11. Spending money
And this is a test of your will—your will not to spend all of your money on all the myriad shopping opportunities, concerts, restaurants, Broadway shows, comedy acts, and food festivals this city has to offer.
12. Avoiding eye contact
Keep those eye muscles sharp by continually scanning your surroundings, never focusing on another human’s eyeballs.
13. Keeping your cool
Whoever says mental workouts aren’t as difficult as physical workouts has never tried to keep their cool while standing behind a tourist who has somehow never been to a Starbucks.
Or sitting next to someone eating sushi on the subway. Or listening to a Seamless delivery person explain why your order was 30 minutes late. You get the picture.
Keeping your cool in NYC is the ultimate test of strength.[Feature Image Courtesy NYMag]