We asked Mara Schiavocampo, author of THINspired and a workout fiend who dropped 90 lbs., to share with us her very favorite fitness studios in New York City. Here’s her list—I can personally second SoulCycle, a spiritual, indescribably great indoor spin studio (and a great way to beat the winter blues) as well as the gorgeous and calming, albeit pricey Pure Yoga. If you aren’t in the Big Apple, you can still get the glory of these workouts from proprietary DVDs, your local franchise (Soul is always expanding) or park, and YouTube fitness channels, all at a deep discount from the real deal.
There’s a reason this “party on a bike” is addictive. The music and energy in the room make it a ton of fun. The intense workout leaves you drenched in sweat. And you’re in and out in 45 minutes. What’s not to love?
2. Barry’s Bootcamp
Barry’s combines treadmill runs with strength training. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it will leave you feeling 10 feet tall. You’ll also see amazing results, and not just in how you look and feel. Barry’s offers measurable progress, making you faster and stronger.
3. Aerospace NYC
If you live in New York, chances are you have the urge to punch something every now and then. Aerospace NYC teaches boxing and jump rope technique with a great, fun, workout. The classes also happen to be full of models (like Victoria’s Secret bombshell Adriana Lima), which is great motivation for guys and gals alike.
4. Pure Yoga
It’s like a sanctuary in the city. The facility is beautiful and offers a range of top-notch yoga and barre (called Figure 4) classes that are rejuvenating for the mind and the body.
5. Equinox Printing House
There’s nothing like running on the treadmill in front of an amazing view of the Empire State Building. The facilities are beautiful, the staff is laid back and friendly, and it’s not too crowded. Not a member? Ask for a trial membership, or find out which one of your friends might have a guest pass to spare.
6. Central Park: Harlem Meer
The Harlem Meer is like the Reservoir, with a little more flavor. Located at 110th Street and Eighth Avenue, the Meer is bustling with activity, from children and pets playing on the grass to catch-and-release fisherman casting their lines. Running here is refreshing, with great people-watching to boot.
Photos courtesy SoulCycle; PureYoga; AerospaceNYC; Equinox Printing House; Central Park Conservancy