Blink and You’ll Miss It

That is, unless you’re off to Washington Bridge’s bus terminal looking to up your fitness level.  Having just moved in, Blink Fitness recently had its grand opening ceremony to mark its newest gym, actually inside the bus terminal.  This marks Blink Fitness’ 63rd location and according to Rose Severino, club manager:

“We are very excited to open our doors to this location at GWB, bringing our Mood Above Muscle philosophy to the Washington Heights community.  We’re sure that Blink will become a healthy, happy hub of activity in the neighborhood.”

To get the youth of Washington Heights motivated, 50 lucky people associated with Fresh Youth Initiatives will be the recipient of a free one-year membership, valued at over $10,000.  The gym will have top quality strength and cardio equipment as well as spaces for training and stretching.  In addition, gym users will be able to call upon the service of certified personal trainers. This was very much welcomed by Eileen Lyons, Executive Director of Fresh Youth Initiatives who said that the non-profit was:

“excited to welcome Blink Fitness into the community, and especially appreciative that they are promoting wellness in Washington Heights.  Their generous donation of 50 memberships to Blink Fitness will enable our own staff, who work hard every day investing in youth and families, to stay fit and healthy.”

In addition, over on Fifth Avenue, NeoU just opened up.  This relatively new concept in fitness – hitting the gym as a nightclub – is really becoming popular and New Yorkers have been given the opportunity to engage in “all out dance-cardio sessions powered by fat balls and kombucha.”

Behind the scenes are Nathan Forster and Michael Alfaro are taking the whole concept to the next level with NeoU.  This “boutique setup and feel with a basement that has a garage-y, CrossFit-style vibe (Forster and Alfaro opened their first box in 2010 in Miami)—plus, three other open-space studios. Expect programming to be constantly changing, including boxing, yoga, bootcamp, and plenty of booty shaking. (The dance cardio divas of Vixen will have a residency there and famed DJ Steve Aoki curated a playlist for its kickoff classes.)”




Staying Healthy in New York

new-york-1113916_1280Tory Burch gives her take on what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to getting and staying in shape in New York. She says that for a healthy snack she goes to Café Habana has a delicious chicken salad and Milos has the freshest Greek salad and grilled octopus. That’s not to say we always resist steak fries from Eisenberg’s; for juices Juice Press, LED facial treatments with Georgia Louise or Tracie Martyn, a ton of options in Flatiron for fitness classes including Lily Miesmer’s Soul Cycling and then of course there’s the not-to-be-missed Central Park option for New York’s joggers.

Unfortunately, wellness is often impacted by wealth. When it comes to New York, there is some of the most extreme inequality vis-à-vis financial status. However, according to Social Security research and earnings records, New Yorkers live a lot longer than those from other US cities. But, this doesn’t really help the poor in their communities as they do die before the rich in their communities. Still, overall, it seems that the research published in published Monday in The Journal of the American Medical Association found New York to be “a model city for factors that seem to predict where poor people live longer.” Much government expenditure goes toward social services for low-income residents and there are lower-than-average rates of smokers.

Maybe another reason that poverty-stricken New Yorkers live longer is because they are less likely to get into a cab. New research has found that cab drivers are not in the best of health themselves and that this can negatively impact their passengers. Think about it: they are on the worst diets (just grabbing fast food snacks), are completely inactive and, other than the initial health exam they have to undergo to get the job, they never have to prove they are in good health. Many of them have been cab drivers for two or three decades in this status, leaving them much more likely to be the victim of a heart attack, seizure, or other related ailments, right while they are driving long shifts!

Perhaps some of these drivers should take a lesson from Tory Burch and make some “me” time to put them into better shape for being responsible for so many New York passengers who are counting on them.

US HealthCare: A Weighty Matter

healthy-foodWhile Americans spend the most on health care of any industrialized nation, they also have one of the lowest life expectancies. Last year figures for healthcare spending reached $3.8 trillion but life expectancy on average is 79, as compared to 82 in Western Europe and the UK, and 83 in Japan.

Why is America doing so poorly but spending so much? The answer seems to be obesity.   Indeed, according to a recent study undertaken by the OECD on wellbeing, out of Asia, the Americas and Europe, the US “is home to the most obese population,” as well as the most “underperforming students and second in murders and assaults.”

What America is high on the list for is its personal wealth and amount of rooms in each personal home, but vis-à-vis obesity, it is the country with the most problems. Unfortunately therefore it seems that the country’s Agriculture Department (which has been removing sugar and salt from school lunches) and Michelle Obama’s work is not having a strong enough impact.

It’s really a wasted opportunity that a country – potentially so rich – is shooting itself in the foot by not combating the obesity war.


Summer New York Fitness Programs

Yoga Practitioners Greet Summer Solstice In Times SquareNew York fitness programs over the summer are currently in full swing for both adults and children. There are many free ones available too.

Union Square offers yoga, CrossFit and running at different times of the day, instructed and sponsored by Fitlst and Lole. New Yorkers can get in their exercise at Bari, Body Conceptions, Flywheel, Uplift and others. For New York fitness outdoors lovers, Yogamaya is located on 14th Street Park every Wednesday.

Shape Up NYC offers dance classes every Sunday, sponsored by NYC Parks, Equinox, NYC Service and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. Free classes throughout the five boroughs are available on a first come, first served basis.

Next on the summer New York fitness programs is the free yoga class given by YogaWorks in conjunction with Athleta which provides the mats at Bleecker Street studio. Sacred Sounds Yoga also offers yoga for children on a Wednesday morning. There are also free classes in Astoria Park and Gantry Plaza State Park so there’s no excuse for anyone to miss a yoga session!

NYC Parks are a perfect summer location for free New York fitness programs. Check out what is available at the times most convenient to you and start getting in shape in New York this summer!