Hippie in the City: 5 Ways to Stay Active While Visiting NYC

In a definitive ranking of things I’m most passionate about, the order goes:

  1. New York City
  2. Everything Else

Although my first time actually experiencing the city didn’t happen until a couple years ago, I’ve spent my whole life daydreaming about living there (all you native New Yorkers are probably rolling your eyes right now!).

And, full disclosure: I will live there someday. Once I’ve successfully convinced Amy Poehler that we’re second-cousins-once-removed. Meanwhile though, I’ll settle for weekend visits — against my bank account’s better judgement. But, hey…no regrets!

In fact, I just got back from spending Labor Day in New York, and as per usual, New York did not disappoint. I could write an entire novel about my trip, but rather than a gratuitous “I heart NY” recap, let’s give this post a wellness twist. ‘Cause I’m always on the lookout for healthy tidbits, after all.

So, if you’re planning a Big Apple getaway this fall, include my Top 5 Picks for Figure-Friendly Fun in your travel itinerary:

1. Rent a Citi Bike

Citi Bikes 1

my cycling-obsessed main squeeze!

Citi Bikes 2

Citi Bike central

This cycle-sharing transit system allows you to cruise the Manhattan streets from a two-wheeler vantage point. Simply stop by any docking station (located in various neighborhoods around town), select your payment plan (24-hour or 7-day) from the touchscreen kiosk, pedal away on a Concrete Jungle adventure, then return the bike to another station along your route.  Exercise + Sightseeing = Win-Win Situation.

2. Check out Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market 1

this way to pure happiness

Chelsea Market 2

so many choices!

Chelsea Market 3

Japanese lentil & rice bowl from Takumi Taco

This enclosed food court, flea market and art gallery extravaganza might just be the Meatpacking District’s trendiest attraction. Located inside a brick industrial building, the urban architecture, artsy vibe and tantalizing smells make Chelsea Market a can’t-miss on your NYC agenda. Over 35 restaurant vendors are featured, running the gamut from kale smoothies to imported cheese. I recommend Takumi Taco (a.k.a. Japanese-Mexican-fusion-amazingness).

3. Walk the High Line

The High Line 1

amazing views of the Lower West Side

The High Line 2

historic freight railway

The High Line 3

Hudson River from the High Line

The High Line 4

Empire State Building from the High Line

The High Line 5

selfie with graffiti!

This above-ground walkway meandering through Manhattan’s West Side is actually a refurbished freight line. Ogle at panoramic spectacles including Lady Liberty, the Hudson River, the Empire State Building and other iconic landmarks. Traipse along old railroad tracks, bursting with seasonal foliage and colorful blooms. Even participate in wellness activities such as Meditation or Tai Chi. Because life’s better over street level!

4. Explore the Parks

Central Park

the happy couple in Central Park…

Bryant Park

…in Bryant Park

Washington Square Park

…and in Washington Square Park

These next stopping points on your Big Apple checklist offer a unique juxtaposition of nature surrounded by skyline. From iconic Central to shore-lined Battery, the thriving New York park system provides ample space for hiking, cycling, recharging with fresh air and even relaxing in the shade. Whether you’re uptown or downtown, this sprawling metropolis is also a tree-hugger’s playground.

5. Visit a Green Market 

Green Market 1

all the veggies!

Green Market 2

seasonal…local…delectable

This urban farmer’s market initiative takes place during the entire week, throughout various city-wide districts. My personal preference is visiting the Union Square location on Saturdays. Sample organic herbal teas, stock up on locally-sourced produce and peruse artisan “foodie” finds. It’s a health-conscious flavor tour that both your waistline and taste buds will appreciate.  ‘Nuff said.

Know any other wellness-centric activities worth adding to the list? (Looking at you, New Yorker peeps…) Sound off in the comments section below! 

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