One of the best ways to mix up your workout is to take your workout, outside. There are so many great routes / sites to enjoy in NYC, whether you are just getting started or are a seasoned marathoner, one of these routes will strike your fancy. As a coach / trainer, I, Greg Baldwin, enjoy motivating everyone to “Be Great”. And, being great can come in small steps (a brisk walk) and in large ways (a 22-mile bike ride). Here are a few of my favorite iconic outdoor NYC opportunities to get you moving in the great outdoors!
Biking on the Greenway along the Hudson River is my favorite way to spend a sunny afternoon. The Greenway starts on the north end at 181stStreet and ends at Battery Park. Enjoy views of the Palisades in New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty and in the summer, there are boats galore. Time your ride so you head back northbound late in the afternoon as the sun is setting! Seeing the George Washington Bridge with the sun setting is a sight to behold. Round trip, you will enjoy 22 miles of continuous riding in the city with no traffic lights.
Heading to Brooklyn? Run across the Brooklyn Bridge! It’s so NY. Enjoy spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade as well as Brooklyn and NYC skylines. Once in Brooklyn, run around the Brooklyn Bridge Park, adding an additional 1.3 miles. Back and forth over the bridge and once around the park, you will have run 3.5 miles. It’s quick and its fun.
Prospect Park is significantly smaller than Central Park but just as beautiful. You can complete the almost 3.7-mile loop quickly or slowly. For those that like to walk, it is ideal. Don’t discount the health benefits of walking briskly. If you are a runner, I challenge you to slow down to a jog through the shady sections and sprint through the segments that are in the sun. It’s a great workout.
Central Park is special to all New Yorkers of all borrows. The Loop in Central Park is just over 6 miles long. It is picturesque, relatively flat (just one steep hill) and chuck full of opportunities to people watch. Visit during the daylight hours and you will never be alone. Scads of New Yorkers use this loop as their regular daily run. Every season is beautiful in Central Park. You won’t be disappointed. If you have friends visiting from out of town, this run is always a winner with tourists!
Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side is one of the best kept secrets of NYC. Significantly less crowded than the Greenway on the west side, you may feel as if you are on your own in the big city. Enjoy the spectacular views of the East River, Roosevelt Island, Randall’s and Wards Island, RFK Bridge, Gracie Mansion and the NYC skyline. It’s a wide path that is mostly flat. You can access the path from 84thStreet and you can run all the way up to 125thStreet. If you are an early bird, at sunrise, you will see folks practicing Tai Chi.
Wherever you choose to go, bring along plenty of water. A Camelbak works well and wear sunscreen. Always stretch and do a little warm up, your older self will thank you in years to come. When exercising along the Hudson or East River, remember even on a seasonably warm day, it is breezy by the water. On a cool day, it can be downright cold, wear appropriate layers / outerwear to stay warm. Mix things up a bit. Take your workout outside and get a breath of fresh air!
Greg Baldwin is a fitness coach based in NYC. As a competitive Triathlete, Ironman and Personal Trainer, Greg enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion with others. If you are interested in committing to you best self, Coach Greg may be the motivation and commitment you are looking for. Don’t want to do these adventures alone? Coach Greg offers individual Running and Biking sessions. Info@gregbaldwinfitness.com. Follow Greg on social media or visit his website at gregbaldwin.coach. (646) 504-2740.