The weather is beautiful and the sun is out; why not make New York City your gym! There are several parks in NYC that are perfect for calisthenic training, equipped with pull-up bars, benches, monkey bars, and more. I am here to share the benefits of training outdoors, guide you to the hot spots for outdoor fitness, and provide a bodyweight workout for you!
Benefits of Training Outdoors
When the weather heats up, take the time to get off machines, become more creative and have fun with your training. There are several benefits connected to outdoor fitness. Moving in a natural environment will improve your mental and physical health. Many times when working out we are focused on the physical benefits. However, taking your fitness outdoors is an excellent mental boost. A team of researchers from Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry analyzed a population of adults and found outdoor exercise not only increased their energy and revitalized them, but decreased confusion, anger, depression and tension (https://www.sciencedaily.com). Participants also enjoyed their workout more than those that kept their fitness indoors, which is key to sticking with a regime.
Not only is outdoor fitness beneficial to mental health, it is a great opportunity to catch some D3. Vitamin D3 provides healthy bone and metabolic function. Also, exposure to sunlight during the day can help you sleep better, improve immune system, and increase endorphin – those ‘feel good’ hormones (http://www.healtharticlesworld.com). Use the summer months to change up your typical routine once or twice a week and explore some outdoor fitness.
The Hot Spots in NYC
Once a week my training partner and I will take our training outdoors and use the equipment in the park to design a workout. It’s an excellent option to get out of a traditional gym and provides a wide variety. There are several parks in the city that are equipped for outdoor fitness and I have provided some of my favorite places.
Top NYC Parks
1. *John Jay Park
Located on the Upper East Side; the space is small and equipment minimal but it still has what you need for a total body workout.
Part of a beautiful riverfront view of the East River and runs under the Brooklyn Bridge. It includes athletic courts, a bike trail, a 400 meter track, and more. Taking your fitness to the East River Park will provide endless options.
Located in Alphabet City near the East Village. One of New York City’s well known park made popular by Al Kavaldo. It is equipped with monkey bars, a variety of pull-up bars, arched horizontal ladder, and many of the city’s strongest calisthenic athletes. Meet Al Kavaldo at Tompkins Square park
A beautiful park located between 120th Street and 124th Street and Madison Avenue. The park contains a hill with plenty of stairs. The fitness area contains a variety of equipment – pull-up bars, two taller and shorter ones, monkey bars, vertical ladder, diagonal bar, and push-up bars.
5. *Astoria Park (My stomping ground)
With a gorgeous view of the East River, the park sits between the Triborough Bridge and the Hellgate Bridge. The conditioning workouts are endless that can be done on the track, bike trail or open field. It’s newest addition is the adult fitness area that includes pull-up bars, parallel bars, diagonal bar and more, along with guidance on how to use all the equipment.
* My favorite parks to train
Try This Park Workout
Warm-Up: 5 minutes
- Dynamic Exercises of athlete’s choice
Work: 10 repetitions of each exercise/ 3 sets
- Bench /Box Jumps
- Skaters (per side)
- Hanging Knee Tuck
- Walking Lunges (per side)
- Horizontal Row
Looking for more park workouts? Stay up to date on @bodyspacenyc for announcements on the next BSF outdoor workout with me!
Sarah teaches classes Monday mornings and Friday nights. Click here to sign up for a class with Sarah and ask all your burning questions regarding outdoor fitness and eating right in person!
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. “Benefits of outdoor exercise confirmed.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204130607.htm>.
Leo Eigenberg. “4 Benefits of Using Outdoor Fitness Equipment.”
HealthArticleWorldYour PremiumHealthArticlesSource. 3 March 2017.