New Yorkers on the Move!
May 16, 2023
May 16, 2023
Coach Cathy recently spent a long weekend in New York City and observed New Yorkers in action.
Walking around the city (Manhattan and Brooklyn), I noticed how many people were huffing it. Whether walking to or from work or the gym, running errands, or walking/running as a form of physical exercise, they were all trucking at an impressive clip—no slow pokes.
I picked up my pace and wondered if city folks exercised more daily than folks in Midcoast Maine. The answer is yes, probably because it’s their way of life. They must walk at least part of the way to their job, school, gym, grocery store, or a night out. We have many places to walk and hike on the coast, but it’s more for recreation and not a necessity.
Over the years, there has been much speculation about how many steps the average American takes daily and how many steps per mile. According to Mayo Clinic research, the average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps daily, roughly 1.5 to 2 miles. Other sources, such as verywellfit.com, say the average is 5,000-7,000 steps daily. Either way, it’s still less than the golden rule of 10,000 steps.
Did you know the 10,000 steps recommendation is not grounded in scientific research? Although impressive, 10,000 is a nice round number used in advertising for tracking devices. There are many things to consider when choosing your daily step goal, such as age, height, length of stride, occupation, and fitness goals. The number of daily steps is not one size fits all. Gradually increasing your step goal is more sustainable than jumping from 2,000 to 10,000 overnight.
While I enjoy visiting NYC, I craved greenery versus pavement as I traversed the boroughs. NYC prides itself on the number of parks open to the public. The parks provide safe spaces for small children and pets to burn energy and quiet spots for relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They are also quite beautiful, with flowers, trees, and boardwalks along the water.
I meandered through one of the parks, searching for a place to sit to eat my chocolate glazed donut from Peter Pan Bakery. Yes, the Brooklyn bakery in Spider-Man where MJ works! Maybe I stood in the exact spot where Zendaya and Tom Holland stood while making the movie. From my comfy bench, I noticed that aside from flying feet, New Yorkers were moving in many ways. I saw yoga classes on the grass, calisthenics on the sidelines, runners everywhere, and an awe-inspiring bike tour.
It was the 45th Anniversary of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour by Bike New York. It’s a 40-mile bike ride through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island. The streets are closed to cars; participants can use their bikes if they own or rent city bikes. It is quite the event uniting 32,000 people to fund building miles and miles of bike-friendly lanes and fundraising for many individual charities.
The takeaway is that New Yorkers certainly know how to get moving and keep moving every day. For the record, I had no guilt about eating my chocolate glazed donut while watching the fury of exercise surrounding me because I had 11,000 steps, including 32 flights of stairs, and it was only 10:00 am—still lots of time for yoga in the park. Even though I am back in Maine, moving like a New Yorker will help me close the rings on my fitness tracker. Time to increase my step goal!
Cathy grew up in NH surrounded by a large, loving family, where she learned generosity and hard work. She now models that for her two children. She was inspired to become a fitness coach when searching for ways to become more healthy herself after a life-threatening illness.