One of the benefits of this cool summer is that you can exercise outside without the formidable feeling of melting. If your fitness routine could use an infusion of fresh air, now is the time to take advantage of the seasonal workouts in Brooklyn’s great outdoors. Here are six to get you started.
1. Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp
Of all the workouts we’re championing in this post, this one is the most intense. Expect to wake up before the sun to work out areas of your body you might not have even realized were there. The 60-minute outdoor classes also take place in Central Park and Prospect Park and promise a full-body workout for $20 a session. This is an intense exercise option to be sure, but think about it this way: at least you’ll be taking in a beautiful view while you feel the burn.
2. Rooftop Yoga in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
We realize there’s really nothing that can’t be done on a rooftop these days, but of all the bird’s-eye-view activities available, rooftop yoga is one of our favorites. Every Monday, the urban farmers from Brooklyn Grange open up their farm at Brooklyn Navy Yard for an hour-long asana practice with Sarah Schumann of Prospect Heights’ Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center. Classes start at 6:30pm. It’s our personal experience that uplift is a lot easier when you’re already a few stories off the ground, plus watching the sunset while you flow is a great antidote for a case of the Mondays. Classes cost $15 and run through Sept. 29.
The U.S. Open starts on Aug. 25, and in case the country’s largest tennis tournament inspires you to work on your backhand, we’ve got all the info on how to do so here. Of all the outdoor workouts happening here in the city, tennis has the longest season—public courts are open until the Sunday before Thanksgiving—and if you are anything like us and require a little more than self-motivation when it comes to working out, tennis might be your choice, as it typically takes at lest two to tango.
4. Lap Swimming
While this summer hasn’t exactly produced an abundance of beach-weather days, the temperatures are ideal for lap swimming, as the full-body workout is sure to get your blood pumping enough to have you welcoming the cool water. The city’s annual adult-lap-swim program ends on Aug. 29, so you’ll have to hurry if you plan to practice your stroke outside this summer. There are spots still open for outdoor lap swimming in Red Hook, Williamsburg and Sunset Park.
Beastanetics is a different breed of boot camp. Held outdoors in McCarren Park, this high-intensity workout will definitely have you working up a sweat, though the scene is not competitive–it’s a super friendly group of creative folks. Beastanetics focuses on interval training, with six different exercises, from sprints to squats to burpees, each repeated four times, plus stretching and calisthenics filling the hour-long class. Classes cost $15 each and take place Monday through Thursday at either 6:45 or 8am until Nov. 30. If you’ve never been before, email them ahead of time to get hooked up with a free workout.
6. Running Groups
Plenty of people pound the pavement in NYC every day, and if you would rather do so in a pair of running shoes—no this is not a Working Girls reference—consider joining a running club or group. There are organized runs taking place all over BK right now. A few years ago, we put together a guide to local running groups, which still holds up and can be found here. Whether you’ve never run more than a city block orare a bit out of practice, a beginner’s group might be the way to go. Jack Rabbit hosts one in Park Slope that will meet on Sunday and Wednesday starting Sept. 10. (It costs $145); South Brooklyn Running Club’s free beginner group meets in Carroll Park four time a week for morning and evening runs; North Brooklyn Runners hosts a free two-mile beginners run on Wednesday evenings at 7pm, as well as a free three to four-mile easy run on Monday nights at 7:30pm; Brooklyn Road Runners hosts four free group runs in Prospect Park every week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. All of these groups have intermediate or advanced running options as well.