How to Stay Fit and Fend Off Weight Gain when Traveling in New York City

In the city that never sleeps, there is literally never a time in NYC when a restaurant or pub serving authentic dishes from around the world isn’t open for business. Eventually all those late night Chinese takeout or early morning bakery runs will take its toll.

Most people travel during the holidays, when holiday weight gain alone can add anywhere from 1-5+ pounds, according to a study by CNN. Add the fact that switching time zones can mess with the body’s circadian rhythms which can lead to weight gain, and the average traveler is looking at gaining a few pounds every time they pack up the suitcase to visit family for the holidays.

However, just like the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” visiting the Big Apple can be just as healthy. The city has plenty of ways for travelers and out of towners to stay healthy in while visiting the city. Who knows? You might return home more fit than when you left!

Walk Everywhere

The best part of visiting New York City is that everything is within an arm’s reach. Rather than paying for a cab ride across town, which can cost a small fortune, try walking. Traffic is so congested that it won’t take that much longer, and even just a half hour here and there can burn an extra 100+ calories each time. It’s a great way to save money and stay in shape!

Take a Free Fitness Class

Shape Up NYC is a free program for that hosts a variety of fitness classes every day of the week across the city. You don’t need to be a local to attend. In fact, tourists and travelers are welcome to drop in whenever their schedule allows as well. Classes last under an hour, and include aerobics, kickboxing, yoga, and pilates.

Run Up Stairs

New York City is full of stairs everywhere, up and down shops, public buildings, train and subway stations. Instead of avoiding them, embrace them and run up a flight every time you see one. You don’t have to seek out stairs, but just the simple act of running up a single flight here and there can help keep your heart pumping and muscles active.

Watch What You Eat

It’s normal to cut loose and relax diligence on your diet while traveling. The key is to not over do it and eat in excess. Simple apps on your cell phone like Calorie Counter from My Fitness Pal help keep a balance and can easily travel with you wherever you go. It’s ok to let loose and relax a bit, but simple tracking can help most people from completely derailing off their fitness goals.

Exercise in Your Room

Have a few minutes to spare before bed or after you wake up? A hotel room can easily be turned into a temporary gym without having to pack up any extra equipment. Doing a few minutes of push-ups, sit ups, and other weightless exercises can go towards maintaining physical fitness, even if you can’t fit in the same reps you normally do in the gym at home. Trust me, there are tons of equipment-free exercises and ways to stay fit when you’re traveling.

Go Clubbing

Really want to burn off some calories at the end of the day? Hit up one of the thousands of clubs that line up NYC and help it earn the nickname for the city that never sleeps. The average dancer at a club can burn over 200 calories in just half an hour bouncing underneath the strobe lights. At that rate you might even be able to spring for a drink there, too!

Visit Central Park

One of the largest urban parks in the world, Central Park has plenty of recreational opportunities for visitors. The park offers plenty of clinics and classes throughout the year.

Tourists who get on Bus Tours to New York from New Brunswick to visit NYC in the summer have even more options when it comes to soaking up some rays and getting a good sweat on. Central Park, Union Square, and Hudson River Park all host outdoor free summer classes that offer plenty of cardio, strength, and conditioning training opportunities. Visiting famous landmarks and getting a good workout in? How much better can it get?

Explore New York by Bike

NYC has jumped on board the bike sharing craze that’s been sweeping across the globe since Copenhagen first introduced the concept in the late 1990s. Biking can help fit in more activities in the day, while still having much more health benefits than riding the bus. The average person can burn up to 300 calories an hour biking around the city, and the rental price is much cheaper than a cab ride.

Shop the Greenmarket Farmer’s Market

Eating healthy is one of the biggest components in overall physical health. New York City’s famous Greenmarket Farmer’s Market boasts over 200 individual farmers and fisherman, and a network of over 50 markets. With hundreds of stalls, travelers on any size budget can afford to buy and eat healthy, organic and locally grown produce. If you’re looking to score a deal, try to go around closing time and shop for dinner, when prices are often dropped by farmers looking to unload their goods.

Get Enough Rest

It can be tempting while traveling to wake up early and stay up late in order to fit in as much as possible during your trip. But getting adequate rest is paramount in maintaining good physical fitness and even aiding in weight loss. So next time you’re tempted to miss out on a good night’s rest in order to hit up the town, try to sleep in a bit the next morning or head back an hour or so earlier than planned. Your body will thank you in the long run!

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