We all know that the best way to deal with the daily hustle and bustle of New York City is to get it out of your system, literally. If you don’t happen to have a standing desk at your office or have an extremely active full-time job, you’re most likely sitting for at least eight hours a day.
To keep you sane and give you the opportunity to recharge your batteries, we’ve gathered the absolute best running and workout spots in NYC. Plus, we’ll point out tips and tricks or prime times to hit these hot spots.
Beautiful Brooklyn Bridge
PC: Cornelia Holzbauer
Let’s start with a classic. If you’re a regular runner or cyclist, conquering Brooklyn Bridge is probably not even a challenge for you. Running or cycling those nearly 6,000 feet will give you the ultimate NYC experience.
Hot Tip: Aim at hitting Brooklyn Bridge at six in the morning. The only people you’ll encounter will be other athletes, tourists don’t normally make it outside this early.
Additionally, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing sunrise. Crossing the bridge, while running with similarly minded people, will give you a real sense of community and achievement.
Avoid the bridge around midday and at sunset at all costs. Tourists love these times of day and you won’t be able to run or cycle at your regular pace.
Can’t Get Enough of Brooklyn
If you’re ambitious and love a long workout, extend your Brooklyn Bridge run to the beautiful Brooklyn Heights Promenade and Brooklyn Bridge Park. This stretch of land that comes with a park, a few restaurants and bars, and a marina is the perfect spot to recharge and get a few miles in.
Hot Tip: If you don’t live in Brooklyn, but don’t want to do the full bridge and promenade package, take the 2 or 3 train to Clark Street and walk or run down to the promenade.
Even though running here at sunset is beautiful, it also gets rather crowded. Aim at running either in the morning or at midday. Reward yourself with a delicious ice cream, lemonade, or full lunch afterwards. If you’re too exhausted to get back to the subway afterwards, go ahead and take the ferry back to Manhattan.
Moving Up West: Riverside Park
Riverside Park runs along the Hudson River, all the way from 72nd Street to 158th Street. According to NYC Parks, Riverside Park is one of the eight officially designated scenic landmarks in the City of New York, so it’s well worth a visit for any activity. Running, cycling, or walking there will give you a panoramic, unobstructed view of the Hudson River, while you’re keeping fit.
Hot Tip: If you have a dog, Riverside Park is the place to be. It’s lined with countless dog parks, to ensure both of you get a great workout.
Classic Central Park
Central Park is a great choice for workouts of any kind. New York City’s most famous park stretches all the way from 59th Street at Columbus Circle to 110th Street. If you’re an experienced runner or cyclist, enter the park at any point and conquer its entirety.
Hot Tip: Apart from the several ponds and the reservoir, there’s also an actual swimming pool at Central Park, and it’s free! Located between 106th Street and 108th Street on the east side of the park, Lasker Pool is an Olympic swimming pool in the summer and an ice-skating rink in the winter.
New Star on the Rise: Greenpoint Waterfront
PC: Cornelia Holzbauer
Aside from Brooklyn Bridge and all its surroundings, Brooklyn offers another great running and workout spot by the water. The Waterfront Promenade in Greenpoint offers scenic views of the East River. Enjoy a long run or go through your workout routine outdoors in this lush spot that offers over 50 acres of parkland.
Hot Tip: Even if you don’t live in Brooklyn, the promenade is only a subway ride away. Take the G train to Greenpoint Avenue and walk or run half a mile to get to the water.