Walking New York: Free Exercise and Entertainment All Year Long

walkingEvery time my parents visit me in New York, we find ourselves walking. We are just trying to get from point A to point B and like so many New Yorkers, I take these “short” walks for granted. However, somewhere between point A and B, my father makes the comment, “it’s no wonder New Yorkers aren’t as fat as the rest of the country. They have to walk everywhere!”

As New Yorkers we forget that the rest of the country isn’t used to walking as much as we do. Many folks hop into a car to travel distances as short as 0.5 miles! For us, that’s 10 easy blocks of walking. New Yorkers weren’t born with a higher tolerance for walking. We aren’t intrinsically tougher people. We’re simply used to it. And it’s one area that improves our quality of life, without even thinking about it. Walking, just like the habits of cooking your own food and doing your own chores, becomes second nature once you start doing it consistently.

So pat yourself on the back! Walking is a great way to stay fit and you are better at it than most of the country! But guess what? You could be doing even more with this superpower of yours. Sure you walk to the subway and grocery stores. You even walk to bars and restaurants on special occasions. Now, take your walking prowess and use it for entertainment. I am always talking about how great New York is and how saving money doesn’t keep you from enjoying all that the city has to offer. Armed with the power of walking, you can actually enjoy New York MORE while saving money. Our city has an amazing amount of history, culture, and beauty to offer. Remember all of those touristy activities that you put off because you live here? Now’s your chance! Commit to getting off the couch and doing those “touristy” things. And take your friends with you. Saving money doesn’t mean missing out on socialization either!

Over the course of this blog, I will be introducing a series of posts “Walking New York”. I plan on walking around various New York attractions and neighborhoods and telling you all about it. Sometimes, all you need to do to get started is have a destination in mind. I hope to provide some of these destinations in the coming months.

But wait – one last thing. Now that you are on board and excited about walking all around New York, you realize that you have to wait… It’s too cold out! We’re stuck inside, waiting until Spring to walk around our fair city, aren’t we?

Remember how New Yorkers have become used to walking? People in other cities think its crazy that we might walk multiple miles over the course of one day. For us, it’s second nature. Well, it’s time for something new to become second nature. Start getting out into the cold. Sure, it will be painful at first, but let that fuel you. Pretty soon, you will be able to enjoy the Winter months walking around New York as well. Sure, it won’t be AS nice as Spring, but it will be much nicer than the cabin fever  and winter blues felt by so many New Yorkers during 1/3 of the year. Don’t let the cold stop you! You’ll be a happier New Yorker for it.

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7 thoughts on “Walking New York: Free Exercise and Entertainment All Year Long

  1. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life December 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I’m at the point where I think nothing of walking 10 or 20 blocks. Between my walks and citibike, I’m getting a workout every day and I love it.

    • Mr NYBudget December 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      It’s a great feeling! Being out in the city. Getting exercise. And having it be a pleasant experience instead of the chore that working out is for so many people!

  2. Josh Rodriguez December 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Walking is a great excessive. Here in Oregon, I’ve been taking walking to the next level…hiking. I live right next to Mount Hood, so hiking through the different trails on the mountain is my favorite pass time. Not to mention, it’s a great way to have a great day while spending nothing. If I ever make it to NY, I’ll have to walk the city! Thanks for the great read!

    • Mr NYBudget December 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks Josh! I love hiking as well. I imagine you have great hiking out in Oregon. I have just been checking out hiking within striking distance of NYC and while it probably doesn’t compare to Oregon, there are more options than you might think!

      One of the walking “challenges” in NYC that I have done that I will write about at a later date is the perimeter of Manhattan. It’s about 32 miles all the way around and it is a killer to do in one day, but a lot of fun if you tackle it with a group of friends!

  3. Sarah December 14, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I visited New York a couple of years ago and we didn’t even take one cab. We got a subway pass and walked EVERYWHERE we could. It was exhausting because the city is so large, but we got to see a lot that we wouldn’t have been able to if we were in cabs.

  4. Claire M January 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I LOVE walking!! When I used to live in San Francisco, the hills alone kept my heart rate up more than an hour at the gym. It’s still my preferred mode of transportation when possible and I’m surprised by how many people would rather hop on a bus rather than walk. That being said – biking is great, too, and there are tons of bicyclists in the Bay Area!

    Looking forward to your “Walking New York” series!

    • Mr NYBudget January 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Absolutely – here in NYC, CitiBike (an easy bike-share program) is blowing up and making biking in NYC much easier!

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