We’re a few days into Spring 2011, and this of course also means otherwise to some, which is that we gotta kick it into high gear ’cause skin-baring season is right around the corner. But let’s just say that sunshine n’ better weather should be motivation for anyone, really. Then again, for some of us this also means the giant down-factor: Goodbye delicious food?? Nah, trust me, there’s still a way 🙂
I’ll be first to admit it: Exercising Sucks. Yes, it is absolutely wonderful and beneficial and blahblahblah, however it is not easy and I will be first to admit that. Lately of course, I have been getting back into the swing of things since my body is not quite in the fine dancers’ shape it once was 10-years-ago, and the elliptical machine at the gym is my very dear friend. Yes, exercising does become fun and your body truly does need it, but keeping up with it is quite something to behold. Does it really just boil down to time & effort? or just routine, routine, routine. Or both?
But in the grand scheme of things, it is true: Food +Exercise + Fun need to go hand in hand, and I’ll give you a great example. While visiting Paris for spring break in my last year of college, we did not necessarily eat “healthy” food as one would identify. There was PLENTY of cream, fresh bread, chocolate (I ate fresh Pain au Chocolat every morning from the boulangerie across the street, nutella crepes, chocolate mousse, and Petit Ecoliers every night!) Not to mention we drank plenty of wine and ate nearly every meat, cheese, and pastry in sight! HOWEVER! Despite all within this fabulous food fest, we all came home and literally, all of us had lost about 6-pounds!!
It was pretty undeniable that yes, portions are different in France and ingredients as well, however really, what was it that kept us all trim despite all the richness? Pretty much here it is: Ya just gotta get WALKIN’.
New Yorkers, we average plenty of it and do it all the time. I found it so funny when I was in L.A. how much driving there was, and how all the people who came to visit NYC would be huffing and puffing over a mere 3-block radius!! Honestly, think how much we miss when whizzing by in cars and subways every day. Sure, when it’s freezing cold I’m not the biggest fan, however since it’s warming up I’m finding plenty of excuses. What can I say? I’m a walking fiend. Despite my bit o’ jelly-belly, my legs have maintained a decent amount of solid muscle and because of walking all these, it is pretty much why:
- BRIDGES: My goal pretty much is to walk every bridge in NY over the next few years, and so far I’ve only covered a few: the GWB, Queensboro, Williamsburg and of course, the Brooklyn Bridge. But if you get a chance, definitely do it. Between the stairs, intervals, and walking over the water, it’ll give you an entirely new perspective.
- BLOCKS: A mile in NYC = 20 North – South blocks = 4 Avenue blocks East – West. What more could you ask for?? I know it’s not the same everywhere, but if I say if the distance is short enough, just save your gas and use those feet. When I’ve got some time to kill, steam to blow off, or would rather get there faster than the bus or train ever could, I’ll get moving. Some of my friends think I’m crazy for being willing to walk 40-blocks for kicks. One time, when my hard drive crashed on my computer? I literally walked from my apartment in Astoria all the way down to Union Square in Manhattan (in the rain!) to meet my friend because really, there was no other way I was going to relieve some stress other than to walk it off! Honestly though, try it sometime. You’d be amazed at how much you can discover around, and finally find all those great places you’ve been meaning to see!
- TAKE IT TO THE PARK: They’re not just for kids, folks. If you have one nearby, take a lil stroll on through. I’d like to think sometimes that again, this will give you some insight to what’s around you: picnics, sleepers, kids playing, people runnin’ and lounging around. You can’t get this kind of education anywhere else.
PS – for the record, I would LOVE to have the option of walking in a National Park every day with those gorgeous mountains!
- BROWSING & WINDOW SHOPPING: Shopping is fun for some, not for others 😉 but you’d be surprised at how much your heart’s trying to keep up when you’re doing all that moving around!! I killed 20 minutes browsing Bloomingdale’s yesterday before an appointment and weirdly enough, it worked up a sweat!
- BEACH WALK: Now, we don’t have many beaches around NYC, but for every beach that I do find, I just walk up and down the shoreline for what seems like ages. There’s a priceless factor that comes from walking a boardwalk or on the sand, because not only is there the land, but the water nearby. Plus, let the sand strengthen your ankles better than any concrete ever could!
- MUSEUMS: Those benches are there for a reason! You are on your feet for this lil trip a very, very big portion of the time and a good testament to those who are just looking to take it all in another way. If I do need to sit, I’ll try to zone out to what’s in front of me. Screw the camera and bring a sketchpad. Your heart n’ legs don’t necessarily need to be the only muscles you exercise on your walk through the museum.
my personal favorite museum in NYC 😉
- FOOD TOUR!!: Of course, we leave the best for last 😉 I say if you’re willing to plan it? go for it! And I do this a few times a year. Pick a few destinations of what you’re planning to eat for that day, try to space them out if you can. But this doesn’t mean you’re going to indulge in a smorgasbord in every visit! It’s a trail of small bites, if you may. One example I could give is when I go up to the Upper West Side in Manhattan: I start at Alice’s Teacup on 73rd & Columbus (since there’s going to be a wait, I put my name down and venture off). I go an avenue down to the Gray’s Papaya on 72nd & Amsterdam, and have a hot dog to tide me over. When it’s time to venture back to Alice’s? I get a small pot of tea and a ham & cheese scone. Now, I could go to Buttercup Bake Shop a block over afterwards to pick up some treats, however I might opt to go a little further. I take a walk down to the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle and venture downstairs to Whole Foods or upstairs to the Bouchon Bakery to see what’s going on. If nothing tickles my fancy there, I’ll see what’s up at the 53rd & 6th Ave. Halal chicken & rice truck (though the line might be down the block!). And with luck? If I’m still craving something I can always indulge in a waffle from the Wafels & Dinges truck if it’s still hanging around by Central Park near the Plaza Hotel. And then? it is time to go home, time well-spent, tummy full, and knowing I used these legs to get everywhere with a good amount of my own fuel!
(PS – take your food tour on vacation! our last vacation food tour was in Epcot Center in Disney World, FL. Made it all the way around the world until the weather decided otherwise in “China” and we were rained out. My determination to get a crepe in “France” was foiled and we gave up somewhere around “Norway”. However, we both have a nice lil tour in mind for our upcoming trip back to Vegas in April, so stay tuned!)
Whip out your pod, create one awesome playlist, and get movin’ the best way you’ve known how to!
with a full Spring in your step. (cheezy, but you get it!)