10 Socially Distant Ways to Exercise in New York City

10 Socially Distant Ways to Exercise in New York City

Safe Ways to Exercise in New York City

With the onset of coronavirus, New York City has changed over the past few months. As we all adjust to our new circumstances, we also have to adjust our fitness routines. While there are plenty of online classes that you can do from home, it can be all too easy to skip the workout when it is just you taking the class.

Exercise in New York City

Living in the city offers some great opportunities to exercise while staying socially distant and complying with any mandates in our area. Not sure what you can do? Here are a few ideas if you want to exercise in New York City.

1. Jogging in Central Park

Exercise and getting fresh air are great ways to improve our physical and mental health. Especially if we are working from home now, taking the opportunity to get into nature and enjoy the beauty of Central Park can leave us feeling refreshed and renewed.

Of course, there are many other parks in NYC that we can enjoy. Some of the smaller parks may also be less crowded, meaning more room for you to stay distant. To make it even better, bring a furry friend with you!

2. Bike Downtown

Even if we don’t own a bike ourselves, we can take advantage of the many bike rentals across the city. Riding a bike is a great workout, plus it gives you a welcome break from public transportation and can help you get where you’re going faster.

There are also plenty of apps available to track your ride, monitor your performance, and help you improve your skills. Remember to follow all applicable traffic laws and stay safe!

3. Socially Distant Spin Class

If riding through traffic isn’t your cup of tea, try a socially distant spin class.

These classes, run by any number of companies, can help you keep your old fitness routine and work out the way you want. Each socially distant spin class is working hard to comply with COVID-19 guidelines to keep you safe.

This might include smaller classes, more frequent cleaning of equipment, outdoor classes, and more. Be sure to check before you go, most classes require you to reserve your seat in advance.

4. Rooftop Yoga

What better way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city than by literally going above it all. In order to keep classes appropriately ventilated and distanced, many studios are now offering rooftop yoga classes. You can get away from the stresses of life and find balance through these scenic and serene classes.

While many studios have a reserved space for each session, some have traveling classes, meaning the location changes every day. Be sure you double-check the location before you go.

5. Walk Instead of Taking the Subway

10 Socially Distant Ways to Exercise in New York CityFrom a socially distant perspective, the subway is not the friendliest of places. Depending on which train you get on and when you travel, you might find yourself and the other passengers packed in like sardines.

Walking where you need to go is an excellent low-impact exercise that can make a big difference over time.

Of course, walking instead of taking the train can be significantly slower. Make sure to set aside extra time in your day.

6. Functional Training

Over the past few years, we have seen more and more exercise movements come onto the exercise scene that stresses the importance of natural and functional movements.

These fitness routines – like CrossFit and MoveNat – have been able to adapt to social distance guidelines fairly easily due to the dynamic nature of the workout.

Many classes feature smaller groups and more frequent cleaning procedures to keep everyone safe and distanced. Contact your local gyms to see what functional movement workout classes they offer that would allow for social distancing.

7. Barre in the Park

Barre classes have grown in popularity greatly over the years. Men and women alike have seen the core strength that a good barre routine takes and have gotten hooked on the classes.

While many studios have had to close their doors, some have taken a different approach. Many barre studios have begun to feature outdoor classes, whether in the city or in the park.

Either way, the circulation of natural air and wide-open spaces available have made it easier than ever to stay distant and stay fit. Be sure to reserve your spot in advance, as social distancing limits the number of slots available.

8. Dance Classes

Another fitness trend that has seen a resurgence in recent years, dance classes are a fun alternative to a boring workout.

One of the highlights of dance classes is the social aspect of dancing with others. Each studio has had to adapt differently, and all classes will look a little different. For example, some classes teach dances for two, meaning you will have to bring a partner and the two of you will be socially distant from others.

Other classes will just need to be spaced out more, giving you plenty of room to stay distant and dance.

9. Watersports

One major advantage of living on an island is being surrounded by water.

This opens up a whole new group of exercise opportunities for us- watersports. With options ranging from a gentle paddleboard ride across the river to more extreme sports like waterskiing, there is something for everyone to enjoy while getting a workout on the water.

Since the water is wide open, it is easy to stay socially distant and enjoy the sights of the city from a different perspective.

10. Bodyweight Programs

Walking through Central Park, you may have noticed the bars and beams along the sidewalk.

The equipment is specially designed and placed there by the city for you to use in your workout. These make it easy to develop a workout routine of your own using body weight as resistance instead of dumbbells. This can even be a safer and more targeted way to work out.

Many people find that a mix of jogging, biking, and bodyweight workouts like push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, and pull-ups can give a more well-rounded workout than a normal gym visit.


As we can see, living in NYC has some excellent fitness opportunities that make this great city unique.

Even though so much in our lives have been changed, more than ever we should make it a goal to try out the workouts in the city while staying socially distant.

10 Socially Distant Ways to Exercise in New York City