Stretching our minds and bodies on Green Gym Day

Stretching our minds and bodies on Green Gym Day

What wonderful thing have you discovered lately? If you had come with us on the second annual Green Gym Day, you would have discovered a lot. A secret forest in northern Manhattan, above Harlem; a peaceful cove with a floating Victorian-style boathouse; columns from medieval European cloisters; the largest heath and heather garden on the East Coast; a 200-foot stone tower – and ethereal outdoor art. You would have hiked through and between five of the most gorgeous parks in the city, with the most spectacular views of the Hudson and East Rivers. You would have danced and stretched during the breaks in each park. And you would have eaten free mulberries from a tree.

Our Green Gym Day 2014 group hike in lush, verdant Highbridge Park

Our Green Gym Day 2014 group hike in lush, verdant Highbridge Park

I created Green Gym Day to be celebrated every year on the second Sunday of June, in order to encourage people around the world to get outside and make use of their parks. Here’s the post about last year’s Green Gym Day, the first Green Gym Day ever.

For the second annual Green Gym Day, June 8th 2014, we hiked for 5 miles through 5 gorgeous parks in northern Manhattan. Thanks to Moving for Life for dance breaks and OutdoorFest for spreading the word. A first time partner with Green Gym Day, Moving for Life writes, “Moving For Life seized this opportunity to explore these beautiful Manhattan parks that we pass every day and very seldom take the time to enjoy. MFL brought in routines from the classroom into the shaded patches under the trees. As we got our hearts pumping to music during our dance and stretch breaks, our lungs opened to fresh air while we built our energy from the gentle aerobic movements and enjoyed the pleasure of being around each other.”

Unbeknownst to me, a cartoonist from the New Yorker magazine was there. Here’s his charming take on what he, for some reason, called “Fitness Day.”

How cool is this? The New Yorker magazine's cartoon of the day

How cool is this? The New Yorker magazine’s cartoon of the day

Here are some of the photos taken by participants Beth Ranney and Brad Taylor, Moving for Life, and me.

Let's get moving--the start of Green Gym Day at Jackie Robinson Park

Let’s get moving–the start of Green Gym Day at Jackie Robinson Park

Can you believe this is New York City?

Can you believe this is New York City?

Here I am in Highbridge Park, "splainin' 'bout the oldest standing bridge in NYC

Here I am in Highbridge Park, “splainin’ ’bout the oldest standing bridge in NYC

Dance stretches in Fort Tryon Park, courtesy of  Martha Eddy & Moving for Life

Dance stretches in Fort Tryon Park, courtesy of Martha Eddy & Moving for Life

And as a grand finale, the video: Green Gym Day 2014: Discover.

GGD: The Video

GGD: The Video

For more info about Green Gym Day, visit www.GreenGymDay.org
For Moving for Life, www.MovingforLife.org
For OutdoorFest: www.facebook.com/ourdoorfest

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