8 Reasons Why Workouts Don't Have to Always Involve Gyms in NYC

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Joining a gym is usually the easiest and most obvious way to get your daily workout in.

Many New Yorkers often look no further than Blink, Equinox, or Planet Fitness to fulfill their fitness regimen-- and who can blame them with all the great membership deals always going on?

While going to the gym certainly has its benefits, there is also a multitude of other ways to achieve a good workout-- ways that could be even better than the gym. So here they are, 8 reasons why workouts in NYC don't always have to involve the gym.

1. Practice relaxing

Sometimes, it’s almost too easy to get stressed with your life in NYC, so wouldn’t it be nice to find something that enables you to both workout and relax?

Taking up yoga is a great way to help you relax, as it is a mind-body practice that strives to help you achieve inner peace. Candlelight Flow may be just what you need to unwind if you’re looking for a gentle and soothing class.

If you want a more demanding workout, consider doing a hot yoga class-- it will get you sweating, for sure, and help you build your strength.

2. Cultivate a new skill

Why not learn to defend yourself while also getting a workout in?

Although NYC crime rates have been declining in recent years, it still can't hurt to learn some Jackie Chan moves if anyone tries to mess with you (I’m not promising you’ll achieve Jackie Chan levels, but props if you do). Start by taking some Krav Maga classes to equip yourself with the skills necessary to defend yourself.

3. Experience a new environment

[via evannclingan.com]

The gym environment can start to feel stuffy after a while, and you may get tired of staring at rows of weights, treadmills, and ellipticals.

Taking a fitness class somewhere new-- such as a dance or yoga studio-- can give you a welcomed change of scenery. Trying new places around NYC to exercise can also mix up your routine and keep things interesting… so remember to switch it up every once in a while, will ya?

4. Get some fresh air


Well… this is as fresh as fresh air can be in NYC. Go for a run over the Brooklyn Bridge, ride your bike through Central Park, find a pooch to take for a nice stroll, or go iceskating in Bryant Park (before it's too late).

Whatever you choose to do, it will be rejuvenating to experience the great outdoors-- especially if you spend a good chunk of your time inside an office.

5. Let loose

Forget what anyone thinks of your dance moves and let loose with a dance class in the city.

Whether you’re the awkward dancer who throws their hand in the air and sways their hips in a robotic fashion, or the one who truly moves and breaks it down, there’s a place for people of all levels.

A high-energy Bollywood dance class, or an upbeat salsa dancing class, could be just the activity you need to workout and have a blast while doing it.

6. Meet new people

2014 TCS New York City Marathon
[via flickr]

A lot of times, fitness classes feature partner exercises or group exercise, which enables you to workout closely with other people. Going to a class at the same time every week also means that you’ll likely see some of the same faces, and also have the opportunity to meet people that you wouldn't have met otherwise.

And being in a big city where you probably rarely run into the same people twice, taking a fitness class could provide you with a community atmosphere that so many of us yearn.

7. Improve your neurological health

When most people workout, they probably aim to build muscle, work toward a bikini body, or improve their cardiovascular health.

But what about enhancing your nervous system? Some fitness classes focus primarily on neurological health, such as Revolution in Motion’s Slip ‘N Slide class. Slipping and sliding your way to a fitter you sounds like a pretty fun way to get your exercise in anyways.

8. Learn something new

Working out somewhere other than the gym gives you the opportunity to learn something that you’ve always wanted to do, or never even imagined doing.

Want to finally get around to some tennis lessons? Ever consider capoeira? How about Japanese sword fighting? Whatever your heart desires, this city is sure to have it. It's just up to you to find it, that's all.

Got a hot tip or correction? Drop us a line at tips@spoilednyc.com