If you think of America as a country of overweight people, coming to NY you'll have to change your mind!
Of course, even here one of the most watched reality shows is ‘The Biggest Loser’ - in which the presenter and two personal trainers help the participants lose weight and start a new life – but, on average, New Yorkers are super fit people!
Speaking of being fit and feeling good, I need to mention smoking: the mayor has forbidden smoking in indoor public places and, in some cases, even outdoor areas are also divided between smoking and non-smoking areas. But now the new proposal is to limit smoking to households only. If the law passes, anyone who smokes on the street will be fined!
Going back to fitness, the most popular type of group exercising in NYC is definitely yoga.
Yoga events are held all over the City, from Times Square’s yoga flash mob events to yoga classes organized at Bryant Park, the green lung of 42nd Street, which offers free lessons open to all and mostly attended by office workers during the lunch break.
Since I’m passionate about yoga, I try to make the most of every free lesson offered in NYC parks.
One of my favorite yoga studios, The Yoga Room, offers free yoga classes outdoors on Long Island City's pier and at the poolside terraces near Astoria Park.
Plaza State Park in Long Island City is a wonderful little park overlooking the Manhattan skyline and you can only imagine the poetry of doing yoga with the sound of the waves crashing onto the pier in the background and with the view of the Empire State Building on the horizon.
Together with the Brooklyn Bridge Park, this park offers one of the most beautiful and evocative views of Manhattan.
Hundreds of yogis every year also take part in the biggest free yoga event in the world which takes place in the heart of Times Square and the atmosphere is simply amazing!
It’s that time of the year when the most beloved tourist neighborhood (usually avoided by New Yorkers due to the crowds, traffic and bustle) becomes a place of serenity for the soul.
Everyone can find peace in themselves in the silence away from everyone and everything and it’s the magic of yoga if that can happen even in the heart of the busiest and most business-oriented city in the world!
The enthusiasm and participation remind us of New Year's Eve in Times Square, only that during the yoga event, people gather to find a deeper connection with others and with themselves in the crowd.
A new type of fitness is on the rise in town and it’s called Cycle Karaoke because it consists of a spinning lesson combined with karaoke. While on the TV screens you can follow the lyrics of the songs, the fitness instructor leads the spinning class with help of some entertainers (including drag queen) who give the microphones to the participants.
After the lesson the fun continues and it often goes on with karaoke, toasts and dancing to the rhythm of music. The atmosphere is casual and even if you are not a good singer, everyone is welcome because having fun and exercising are the main ingredients.
The class is approximately one hour long and the fitness instructors come up with a mix of karaoke tracks to keep everyone entertained during the class. They even accept requests and suggestions from the participants.