How to Work Out for Free in New York City

Free fitness classes are taking place outside in the Big Apple this summer

The Meatpacking District’s Sweat Sessions are fitness and health classes in New York City which are attracting people who want to work out outside in the city this summer.

Located at Hudson River Park’s 14th Street Park and 45 minute classes are currently taking place outside every Tuesday night through August at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm.

These outdoor fitness classes are completely free to all participants.

And whilst the Sweat Sessions packed schedule includes premium fitness companies in Manhattan such as Hollywood Hino and Lululemon Yoga, there are challenging boxing classes, fun dance classes and bootcamp workouts galore.

The Sweat Sessions in Partnership with Samsung 837 also includes mindfulness and healthy living programs.

Yoga stretch at a Sweat Sessions Yoga class in Manhattan

Lauren Danziger is the creator of the Meatpacking District’s wellness program and after five years co-ordinating the Sweat Sessions she’s also practiced in training comfortably and safely outside in the summer heat and sunshine.

Here Lauren reveals her top tips to help fight humidity when exercising outdoors…

Sip and Spray Your H2O – Everyone knows to stay hydrated. But when the UV index rises and humidity creeps in, risk of sunstroke increases exponentially.  Drinking enough water is only half the solution – hydrating your body both inside and out is the best line of defense against looking like a tomato face. In addition to drinking water, add a mineral rich facial spray to your water breaks. This will help minimize your risk of dehydration from the outside and maximize your comfort on the inside.

Work the Wick – Clothes with wicking ability are an absolute must when working out in the summer sun. This lightweight material is perfect for active wear, and has exploded in popularity for good reason. Wicking tanks, leggings, sports bras and socks allow your skin to breathe while working up a solid sweat. Want to eliminate uncomfortable body chafing, undesirable body odor, AND the need for an extra T-shirt post workout? Wear the wick, and then work it.

Tame Your Mane – It’s no secret that when you combine humid weather and sweat, you face the impossible task of taming your perfectly coiffed hairdo before and after you work out. Avoid the tendency to clip, pin and hair spray it in place, as the outcome will always be frizzy, crimped or matted in one form or another. The key is to identify your hair type, embrace the way it reacts, and then refine it. Curly hair should remain curly, so avoid the straightener pre workout, and manage post workout curl frizz with a rich hair serum. Throw straight hair into a braid and spritz salt spray before working out to reveal effortless beachy waves after.

Don’t Sweat the Sun – No matter what time of day it is, wearing sunscreen is non-negotiable when working out outdoors. Unless your fitness goal is to slowly shrivel into a raisin, sunscreen that’s sweat proof is your first line of defense to fight premature aging. Opt for a lightly tinted cream with at least SPF 20, and you’ll work out knowing your skin is safe, and your complexion flawless. Leather face is real – and you’ve been warned.

Work Out Then Air Out – One of the huge benefits of an outdoor sweat session is the absence of stale gym stench. The open air allows for natural ventilation and easy breathing. However, don’t let the fresh air fool you – if you just finished exercising outdoors, wait to go indoors. Avoid the post workout temptation to cool off inside as air conditioning combined with sweat will cause a chill. If it’s nice enough to exercise outside, then it’s nice enough to cool off outside before subjecting strangers to your less than sweet scent.

Yoga class set up at Sweat Sessions in New York City

Sweat Sessions are located at Hudson River Park’s 14th Street Park, on 10th Avenue between 14th and 15th streets.

Interested participants can sign up for their complimentary class beforehand.

Otherwise class-goers can venture into the Meatpacking District after a workout session and cool down with refreshing bites and drinks at Samsung 837 – the brand’s flagship experience center in New York City.

Yoga pose at a Sweat Session class in New York City

Photography courtesy of Ethan Covey & the Meatpacking District