Fun places/ways to get a workout in NYC?
September 14, 2007 3:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm a young woman in New York City, looking for a way to get in shape. (I'm not grossly out of shape now, but a year at a sedentary office job has taken a toll.) Running got boring. I've done the gym thing before and it's fine, but I'd like to find something new to get into: yoga, a martial art, a form of dance, kick-boxing. I'm open. I'd like to find a good place (a really homey yoga or martial arts studio, for example), in lower Manhattan (within the ambit of Union Square would be great) or possibly Williamsburg. Any suggestions on activities and/or places?
posted by toomuchkatherine to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about rock climbing? Gym climbing is a fantastic work out and meshes well with any yoga routine you may get in to.
posted by iamabot at 3:27 PM on September 14, 2007

I've been doing pilates once a week (along with cardio and strength training), and I think it's making a big difference- they say it makes you longer and leaner, and I can see that happening. In general, I find classes helpful in keeping me on the workout track- especially now that I've tried enough classes at my gym (NYSC) to know some teachers and how they run their classes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:29 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Play rugby, and go easy on the post-game beers.
posted by glip at 3:33 PM on September 14, 2007

Horseback Riding! Fun, different and a great workout (take weekly lessons or whatever to get some really great riding skills - don't just do a simple trail ride - really get into it!)
posted by Sassyfras at 4:19 PM on September 14, 2007

CrossFit NYC, ~1.4 miles from Union Square, may be what you're looking for.
posted by chudder at 4:37 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Joao Grande's Capoeira Angola school is on 14th.

Capoeira Angola has elements of martial art and dance, and it will get you fit in no time. It's also a lot of fun. And, Joao Grande is one of the last of the old guys, teaching the real thing. You'll be a special link in a cultural chain if you go learn.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:53 PM on September 14, 2007

I always hating weight training on my own, but I've been doing it for a few months with a trainer (once/week) and with the trainer I enjoy it a lot, and even look forward to the weekly workout. The change in how I look & feel over the last 3 months has been fairly dramatic.
posted by lastobelus at 7:10 PM on September 14, 2007

Figure skating @ Chelsea Piers. Not for everyone, but I (for one) love the dickens out of it. Tons of low-impact aerobic exercise, and not that expensive.
posted by sonofslim at 7:19 PM on September 14, 2007

Roller derby. I appear to have become something of an evangelist, but seriously it's the most fun you'll ever have while vertical (mostly, anyway), it's a great community and great exercise. You will get bruised, though.
posted by corvine at 6:22 AM on September 17, 2007

I adore Dance New Amsterdam, a dance studio near City Hall (not exactly in your target area, but a really easy commute--you can take the 4/5/6 or the N/R/W). The facility is beautiful and it's more welcoming than any other dance studio I've been to in New York. The front desk staff is nice and helpful and the teachers are warm and welcoming to new students. They attract world-class talent, so you'll see some professional dancers there, but they are equally happy to have beginners. They offer some yoga and pilates as well as modern dance, hip-hop, ballet, etc.

I take Simonson technique there, which I’d highly recommend. It’s a jazz technique without the jazz hands. The teachers are focused on working with your specific anatomy, which is great for injury prevention. I’ve taken class with Perez, King, and Alvarez, and they are all fantastic (they’ll learn your name within the first class). They offer beginner classes a few times a week and every time I've been there, there has been someone who's never taken a dance class before.
posted by CiaoMela at 7:10 AM on September 17, 2007

Can't believe I forgot derby! Yeah, the skaters I know are all in crazy good shape and they're all totally in love with the sport. There's a smaller league in Jersey which some people use as a stepping stone to GGRD; might be a less competitive way to get into it.
posted by sonofslim at 5:46 PM on September 17, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. This really helps. PinkSuperhero, where are you doing your Pilates? Lastobelus, where are you getting your training? The idea of a once a week workout that really makes a difference is pretty fascinating -- I'm as busy as everyone else. ;)

The capoeira suggestion is great -- it's an intimidating sport but I'm sure I'd learn a lot -- and I'm going to check out CrossFitNYC and Dance New Amsterdam.

Does anyone have favorite yoga studios?
posted by toomuchkatherine at 1:31 PM on September 18, 2007

Intimidating? Maybe, but so is everything worthwhile when you start from scratch. And capoeiristas are a real community - it's a good way to make friends as well as get some physical activity.

I should point out that Angola is slower, lower, and more thoughtful than the acrobatic Regional style you're probably thinking of. Go and watch a few classes and see what you think.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:22 AM on September 19, 2007

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