NORTHERN MANHATTAN — Two years ago Washington Heights fitness guru Nancy Bruning used Fort Tryon Park as the setting for a video on how to get fit with nothing but a park bench. This coming Sunday, Bruning's expanding her sights to the rest of the city's greenspaces.
Bruning is spearheading the first annual "Green Gym Day," a day dedicated to showing New Yorkers that they can be fit and active without dropping cash on an expensive gym membership.
"It's one day to start people thinking about being active and outdoors," Bruning said. "Just do something outdoors. That's the basic premise."
"A lot of people say they don't like exercise, but what they really mean is they don't like the gym," Bruning added. "We're trying to get people's awareness that the park can function as a gym."
New Yorkers are encouraged to run, practice yoga, play catch or simply walk around their neighborhood parks on Sunday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
In Fort Tryon Park, Bruning and the Fort Tryon Park Trust are offering yoga classes, ping pong, flamenco dance and other events.
Bruning encouraged everyone to send a picture of themselves being active in a city park to firstname.lastname@example.org. Bruning will then collect the photos for a collage for next year's event.
Bruning, who has written 26 books, gained notoriety for creating a video about 101 park bench exercises in 2011. Since then, Bruning has written a book to accompany the video: "Nancercize: 101 Things to Do on a Park Bench."
A similar initiative will be held in the United Kingdom on Sunday.