(Video link here.) Two quick, compelling videos in the recent New York Times The Workout Fitness Series make the case for workouts that are pleasurable AND integrated into your life, rather than having to take place in the confines of a gym.

Chef Marcus Samuelson of Red Rooster Harlem talks about his exercise routine in beautiful Marcus Garvey Park, a few blocks from the restaurant, and how much it helps both his mind and his body, allows him to interact with his neighbors, and gives a great view of simple effective exercises you can do in park. He also gets inspiration for recipes when he runs (and gives one).

I discovered the same thing when I moved near the park. Power-walking, hiking the rocky hill, climbing stairs, and doing tai chi in a field listening to birdsong made me WANT to work out, as the gym never did. I see a lot of people working out in the park, rigging their own clever devices for weight-training or cardio.

In this video, sports medicine physician Dr. Jordan Metzl shows Ironstrength, his extreme total-body workout routine in a park —no special equipment necessary  (Video link here.)

My favorite wellness site, mercola.com, makes the case for High Intensity Interval Training Walking Program which I’ve been practicing since I moved to Harlem. I bought a MIO heart rate monitor watch to spur my walks around NYC to appointments and errands.


Mercola’s article echoes New York Times piece about compelling new research on the benefits of high-intensity walking for people middle aged and older. A regimen consisting of a “somewhat-hard” three-minute spell — three minutes of fast walking at a pace that approximates a 6 or 7 on a scale of exertion from 1 to 10—  is followed by three minutes of gentle strolling.

You don’t even need a heart-rate monitor to calculate it, and you can do it anywhere.


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