We're introducing a new series here on the Bear Mattress blog. We know making time for mental and physical health isn't the easiest thing to do, especially in large cities that present endless options for unhealthy behavior. Our goal is to present you with Health & Wellness guides for major cities across the U.S., and provide some guidance and inspiration for maintaining a healthy, active life.
New York isn’t always the easiest city to maintain or gain physical and mental health. The center of the universe is consistently ranked as the most stressed out city in the U.S., one of the country’s post polluted cities and -- with almost 8.5 million residents -- is the most populated American city by far. Considering the long commutes, crazy work hours and influx of indulgent cuisine options (there’s a donut or gelato shop on every corner, it seems), staying healthy is work. Lucky for us, there do exist within the city limits amazing and healthful restaurants, awesome gyms and secret de-stress spots to help ease your mind and nourish your body.
Best Gym: Exceed Physical Culture
A boutique gym with locations in the Upper Ease Side and Chelsea, Exceed Physical Culture was established to both offer group classes for all levels of athletes, and provide a space for personal trainers and their clients. Gaining fame across the city for their full-body 50-minute workout classes. The workout “blends a combination of TRX, Kettlebells, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to jumpstart your metabolism.” And trust us: we know it’s good. The first time one of our staff attended a class at Exceed Physical Culture, she said felt more physically fit after just a single session. And with classes lasting under an hour, Exceed Physical Culture is an easy addition to any New Yorker’s busy schedule.
Image via The Butcher's Daughter
Best Restaurant: The Butcher’s Daughter
Opened in 2012 by Heather Tierney with the goal of introducing more plant-based meals and nutrition -- and pushing out meat -- The Butcher’s Daughter’s Nolita location has become a staple of the NYC health community. The proprietors have opened a West Village location as well as a restaurant in L.A., and the accolades just keep coming. Our favorite menu items? The Goddess of Green is a must after a weekend of binging on pizza and cocktails, and the Honey Bee is great for allergy sufferers. And in case you were wondering where the Instagram trend of avocado toast came from, look no further. The Butcher’s Daughter totally made it a thing.
Image via Pinterest
Best Getaway You Don’t Actually Have to Leave for: Church of Saint Luke in the Fields Garden
A true hidden gem among the concrete jungle, this “secret garden” is nestled in the Greenwich Village “on its own two-acre city block, along with ten surviving row houses of similar age.” Built in and maintained since 1821, the In the Fields Garden is the perfect place to enjoy some relaxing “me” time in a place where that is rarely an option in public.
Image via Spa Castle
Best Spa: Spa Castle
You may not think trekking to a random house in a random neighborhood in Queens is the foundation for an insanely amazing relaxation experience, but you’d be wrong. Oh. So. Wrong. A day trip to Spa Castle is truly one of the most relaxing experiences a person can have in New York. Complete with outdoor and indoor spa pools, saunas, facial and massage services, hydrology services and a bistro, Spa Castle is probably the best one-stop relaxation center within city limits. Just trust us… it’s definitely worth the hike.