As I recall my early workout days, I’m overcome with feelings of pride and shame – pride in my dedication to maintaining a healthy, trim physique, and utter shame in what I wore to the gym. Did I really wear a thong OVER what would now be called tights? Yeeeesh! What was I thinking?
I discovered exercise outside of sports at the home of my high school BFF, Michelle, watching her adorable mother slip her Jane Fonda Betamax tape into the machine, laying out her towel and getting to work. After college, I quickly joined the New York Health & Racket Club where I would don my “gear” and make for the treadmill and weights. That evolved into near daily aerobic and step classes at New York Sports Club on 86th Street, where I would often take back-to-back classes before hitting the town after work. Power yoga was next, and my mat and I were always exploring new, more challenging classes in ever-more-obscure studios.
Fast forward a few years. Between moving out of the city and into the ‘burbs, pregnancies and all the coinciding travails of back problems and child care, I’d say I explored many of the exercise options in the area and I’m delighted to say they are endless! Whatever your inclination, limitation, preference, budget, schedule or location, there really is something for everyone here in Westchester. What I’m saying is, no more excuses!
Joining a gym or booking personal training sessions are still options, but there are so many other choices to consider. Incredible hiking, jogging and biking trails abound. Download the Hiking Project app to get ratings and maps and start exploring. The Rockefeller Preserve in Pocantico Hills is a gem, but do consider joining or making a donation to help support it. Pop into the visitor’s center on Route 117 to pick up a map. You won’t believe how many trails there are! You can walk, jog, cross country ski, snow shoe or horseback ride any time of year and feel like you’re away on vacation in lovely countryside. The scenic South County and North County Trailways combine to create a 45-mile trail system that is perfect for biking, jogging, or scootering.
Tennis anyone? Easy-peasy outside of the city. There are lots of tennis clubs and many of the larger gyms host courts too. You can sign up for clinics, leagues, or USTA teams, and it’s never too late to learn. I’m lucky to live in a town that has beautiful courts that are lit at night for all-day play. If you work, no worries. There are options for day and evening leagues year round.
Let’s take a lap and circle back to the gyms. Even if you’re not into the big-gym-scene, there are huge benefits to the one-stop shopping available there. When my kids were little, I could drop them at the local Club Fit nursery, have a work out myself, play tennis, take them for a swimming lesson or free swim, and meet friends for lunch at the cafe. As they got older, it became a great place for them to meet up with friends as my tennis life and theirs expanded.
If you prefer a more focused work-out approach, specific gym programs like Orangetheory, NextBarre and Cross Fit are solid options, as are the more intimate personal training, yoga, Pilates, and boot camp studios. Your local Facebook groups can offer first-hand recommendations.
Want to work out on your own schedule in your own home? Now that you’re out of your apartment, perhaps you can find the perfect spot for a Peleton and join a class at any time!
Find more of my bliogs at riverjournalonline.com/CityGirl. I’d love to hear about how you keep fit and energized or what keeps you from working out! Feel free to share the struggles that you’ve had adjusting, and know that you’re not alone!
Hillary is a city girl turned suburban mama and a social worker turned realtor who focuses on the transition over the transaction. As a top-producer with Hillary’s Homes at Houlihan Lawrence, she has clearly embraced life in the suburbs.