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New York City's Best Outdoor Workouts

Photo courtesy of Cédric Puisney via Flickr

Warm weather has finally arrived here in the city, and the last place any of us want to be is inside the gym. Locals and visitors alike can agree that getting outside and exploring the city trumps sitting on the elliptical or lifting free weights in front of a mirror. Here are five of our favorite ways to work out in New York without stepping foot in a gym:

Learn Tai Chi on the High Line:
The High Line park opened on a section of old elevated rail beds in 2009, and expanded to its third and final segment just last year. Winding its way between the buildings of Chelsea, the park is one of New York’s most popular outdoor spots. And while runners will have a hard time weaving through the crowds on the narrow path, the Taoist Tai Chi Society practices Tuesday mornings from June through September by 12th Street.

High Line Tai Chi
Tuesdays, 9:30am-10:30am; Free.

Rent a Citi Bike:
The country’s largest bikeshare program is geared for both commuters and out-of-towners, who can ride the blue two-wheelers between hundreds of stations throughout Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. Launched in 2013, Citi Bike is one of the best ways get around the city, let alone stay active. In its latest monthly report, the program estimated that riders collectively burned over 11 million calories.

Citi Bike
$9.95 for a 24-Hour pass with unlimited 30-minute rides; $25 for a seven day pass.

Jog in Central Park:
Go at your own pace and see New York’s prized green space on foot. The main loop is six miles, but various offshoots can shorten or lengthen the run to your desired length. Don’t miss Cleopatra’s Column, just off the East Drive by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Central Park Conservancy restored the 3,500 year-old obelisk last year, using lasers to remove decades of grit and revealing hieroglyphics that had been hidden for decades.

Central Park Conservancy
Open daily, 6am-1am.

Practice Yoga in Bryant Park:
Nestled among the high rises, Bryant Park provides a much needed swathe of green in the middle of Midtown. On Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings, join the om-crowd as it takes over the main lawn for hour-long yoga classes put on by Athleta. Running from May through September, the yoga program is open to walk-ins.

Bryant Park Yoga
Tuesdays, 10am-11am; Thursdays, 6pm-7pm; free.

Kayak on the Hudson: Paddle around the Hudson while taking in views of the city from one of three locations in New York. The free rentals are for sit-on-top kayaks, so be prepared to get wet. Beat the weekend crowds and show up when the piers open.

Downtown Boathouse
Pier 26: Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-5:30pm; free.
Pier 96: Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-6pm; free.
72nd Street: Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-5pm; free.