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Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

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This week’s cover of Time Out New York caught my eye. “Great Walks, the city’s best strolls,” it boasts.  Inside, the magazine outlines 12 NYC walking routes, that are sure to tickle your calves, your tummy (a lot of them include snack stops), and your cosmopolitan fancy.  Some of the walks include “The Romantic Walk,” “The Dude Walk,” “The Chinatown Eating Walk,” and “The Lesbian Walk.”  My personal favorite is “The Top of the Park Walk,” which begins at Central Park’s beautiful conservatory garden at 5th Avenue and 105th street.  Timeout compares Central Park’s manicured garden to the Garden of Eden.  Personally, it’s always reminded me of The Secret Garden.

conserv-gardenThe walk continues through the north side of the park and out into East Harlem, with stops for some fresh fish, fried chicken, and red velvet cupcakes. The walk ends conveniently in Morningside Heights at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Enjoy, and check out TONY for other springtime strolls in the city.

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Lately, I have been feeling the stress of school, especialy with finals creeping up on me.  We all know that physical exercise can help us relieve stress…but sometimes exercise just seems to take up a lot of time and money.  Well, I can’t help make exercise not take up time but I can help with the financial aspect.   This month, a yoga studio called Yoga Works is having a promotion where they offer a free introductory class almost every day!  They are also having a promotion where you can go to classes for two weeks for only $30!!!!  The Yoga Works website features a class schedule and descriptions of the classes.  So don’t stress. Just grab your yoga mat and breathe!


Yoga Works is located at 37 W 65th St

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“Mama Mia!” Those were the words uttered by my friend as we perused the menu of a fine eatery on the Upper West Side, and no, she is not Italian. She was merely stunned by the overwhelming quantity of calories found in a seemingly innocent bran muffin. Reactions like this have become more frequent ever since New York City implemented a law requiring restaurants to post calorie listings.

This law not only applies to fast food joints, but to some upscale eateries as well. Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgian restaurant/bakery that has various locations throughout the city, for example, has been forced to place the numbers on their menus. I myself was surprised to see that the Organic Grilled Tofu Salad contained a whopping 530 calories. Even as someone who does not count calories, I found myself scrutinizing my food choices more closely. A side of guacamole for 200 extra calories? A slice of dark chocolate mousse cake for 500 calories? Well dark chocolate does contain antioxidants. . .

 

The supposedly pleasurable act of dining out suddenly turned into a mathematical disaster. I felt guilty for indulging when I should have been enjoying the culinary experience. This got me thinking, is it really worth it to post calorie listings? Sure, we live in a state where 25 percent of people are obese, but can posting numbers truly solve the problem? Rather then simply provide numerical information shouldn’t our city take greater efforts to promote exercise and healthy cooking? Or perhaps posting numbers will prove effective and prompt consumers to make healthier choices. Could we be decreasing the staggering rate of obesity or merely creating a society overly obsessed with weight? I leave this question up to you, but as for me, I simply could not resist that velvety piece of chocolate cake heaven.

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As a student in NYC, it’s important that every once in a while we step back,  relax and enjoy what the city has to offer. Sure, it’s hard to do during midterms, or during the lull after midterms, or during the craziness right before finals, but as spring starts approaching and the weather starts warming, it’s a good idea to take a bit of a break and enjoy NYC from the outdoors. Sure, there are nice museums and buildings and lots of things to look at during the winter, but the warm Spring weather opens up a whole new door of opportunities. In addition to the double-decker bus tours and the Circle Line around Manhattan, there are some outdoor activities that combine seeing NYC and exercise!

So as not to bore our avid readers, I won’t go into all the opportunities to bike ride around NYC, but I will briefly mention two things definitely worth looking into: 1 – the Five Boro Bike Tour coming up in May (see my previously posted Daily Apple for more information) and 2 – A bike tour around Central Park, which is a great way to learn the ins and outs of central park, if you’re up for the challenge of a couple of hills along the way! I will, however, inform you of something new I have just learned about – the Manhattan Kayak Company. Sounds cool, right?

The Manhattan Kayak Company offers a whole range of classes of instruction, but their most popular activity is their “short tours.” Short tours are one hour, 1.5 hours, or 2 hours long, and they run both in the middle of the day and in the evening. You can choose your tour by theme: they offer Sunset, Full Moon, Paddle and Pub, Cardio Fit, and Skill Fit tours. There are also a variety of other types of tours offered for intermediate and advanced Kayakers. You can go in a typical kayak, and you can learn how to paddle standing up! The MKC is located on Pier 66, which is three blocks north of Chelsea Piers (26th St and 12th). Visit http://www.manhattankayak.com for more information.

Don’t forget though, that this is just one of the amazing opportunities for outdoor exercise in NYC. When you have that Sunday where you’re just not in the mood to do school work, and the nice weather is calling your name, spend a couple of minutes google-ing outdoor activities in NYC, and your bound to find something interesting!

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I’ve noticed more runners ramping up their training now that warm weather (slowly, temperamentally) approaches. For those interested in participating in a fun, low-mileage race in April–either to stay motivated or to compete–I recommend the Thomas Labrecque “Run As One” 4-miler in Central Park (make sure to register early, as New York Road Runners has begun capping their races). I ran the race last April, and enjoyed the energy of running together with so many others on a beautiful spring morning in the park. I even ended up being offered a summer job by a runner I spoke to for a portion of the race.

If you know you can run the distance, I recommend doing some hill workouts over the next few weeks to prepare, as the course is far from flat. Don’t be discouraged, the hills are very manageable if you are prepared. To train for such a short race, I usually just tack on a hill or two to an easy run or do a few hill repeats instead of a full run–what Ed Eyestone calls a “Short Hills” workout in this article from Runner’s World.

For those who live on Barnard campus or in Columbia dorms on the west side of campus, my favorite hill to run repeats on is in Riverside Park at 96th St. Warm up on the run down there, take the path that loops around the dinosaur playground, and as you head back north, power up the hill. If you’re running repeats, simply slow down and jog back around the playground to recover before powering back up the hill.

For those living in East Campus or in Cathedral Gardens, run along the northern perimeter of Morningside Park. From the corner of 110th Street and Columbus Ave, run north up the hill to where it plateaus at 114th St, jog the flat to 122nd, and then practice running downhill as Morningside Boulevard curves back towards Amsterdam Avenue. Turn around to power back up the hill, recover, and run the downhill back to 110th and Columbus. For a longer run, you can run the entire perimeter of the park–the southern border is mostly flat. There are also plenty of hills within the park, and if you really want to feel the burn in your calves and quads, try attacking the many staircases that prove that, yes, Columbia really is in the Heights.

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About one year ago in Fitbear News, I wrote an article informing the Barnard student body about the Five Boro Bike Tour, which is fast approaching once again! Mark your calendars – Sunday, May 3rd, rain or shine, the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour will begin at 8 AM. The Bike Tour begins just north of Battery Park, and cylists then move up through midtown, Central Park, and Harlem. Borough #2 on the tour is the Bronx, and then cyclists come back into Manhattan, go down the FDR, and cross the 59th Street Bridge into borough #3, Queens. The tour then moves on to borough #4, Brooklyn, and then finally, last but not least, to borough #5, Staten Island. There, cyclists take a break at a Festival, and then ride the last three miles to the Staten Island Ferry which brings them back into Manhattan. Don’t miss out on this awesome 42 mile ride! Click here for registration information.

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naked-yoga-pictureAs a disclaimer, I should admit that I am super confident-borderlining-cocky when it comes to my appearance.  Sure, I have my blah days when I feel like Mr. Snuffleupagus’ unattractive cousin (come on, don’t act like you didn’t watch Sesame Street religiously).  Most days though, I love the way I look.  Curves, extra inches, stretches of cellulite – I still think I’m smokin’.  Perhaps due to this, I’m fond of workouts that are body-conscious and fun.  Latin dancing, striptease aerobics, hula-hooping – count me in!  That’s why naked yoga in the city naturally seems like the next step.  Offered on Monday evenings from 7-8:30pm, Naked Yoga mixes groups of beginning and advanced level participants to enjoy basic hatha yoga moves.  After reading several reviews, I was pleasantly surprised to find that many of the yoga-goers did not come across as exhibitionist at all.  Instead, they maintained the opinion that naked yoga isn’t simply about being naked;  it’s about being confident with your natural body and being open with yourself and others.  In fact, the creator of Naked Yoga in Union Square, Wendy Tremayne, emphasizes this openness and trust in all of her classes.      

 While I may enjoy quirky ways of getting a workout in, I’m not sure If I’m ready to bare all in front of others.  Maybe that will change, maybe it won’t.  But that’s ok.  For now, I think I’ll try it  – in the comfort and privacy of my bedroom.            

Does working up a raw sweat and meeting other like-minded people sound good to you?  Email Wendy at nakedyoga-request@gaiatreehouse.com to join a class.   Single sessions are $15, and packages of 10 run $120.  And remember, bring your own mat!

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