Working off the Coquito: 6 Parks and Popular Attractions Where You Can Break a Sweat in 2015

Working off the Coquito: 6 Parks and Popular Attractions Where You Can Break a Sweat in 2015


I promised myself that I would keep it together over the holidays. I was determined not to let travel plans, family gatherings and the holiday spread get in the way of upholding my fitness goals. Then, one by one, my friends started bringing over bottles of coquito as “gifts.” Shortly thereafter, my boyfriend brought home an order of pasteles from his good friend Joel’s mother and I started to think, “I’ve been waiting all year for this. One or two servings of pasteles won’t hurt.” Everything in moderation, right?

I stuck to my plan of moderation pretty well in the beginning, but things got a little out of hand after Santa came and left. In one week, the bottle of coquito was almost gone. My diet consisted of lots of left-over arroz con gandules, macaroni & cheese, and of course, salad to try to balance the excessive carbs. After all this indulgent behavior over the holidays, I’m ready to restore balance in my diet. Aren’t we all? It’s time to undo the damage of some of my favorite holiday indulgences and start the new year right.

In 2015, my personal challenge is to achieve fitness goals no matter the situation. What better way to do that than by enjoying the great outdoors? Whether your goal is to improve your fitness level, see more of the USA or to get back into a routine while you travel, here are six parks and popular attractions that are perfect places to work out and enjoy the great outdoors for added inspiration.

NYC Riverside Park South/Hudson River Park and Central Park

Whenever I am in my hometown of NYC, I like to start my day with a run along the Hudson River. The view of the water and the gorgeous New Jersey homes across the river always help me get my mind ready for the hustle and madness of “la Gran Manzana.” There are usually fewer people here than in Central Park, where you’ll find a great number of tourists congregating around the park entrances. Make sure to have your thermal running gear ready if you find yourself here in the wintertime!

 Central Park

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of world-famous Central Park, or has at least seen it in movies. Despite its popularity with tourists and locals, it’s a great place to run and be among other fitness enthusiasts. Bring your bike, running sneakers or your roller blades, as Central Park has a community for almost everybody. It only takes a few seconds to figure out the order of things and find your proper place or path according to your activity of choice.

Land’s End Park

Similar to Central Park, in that tourists frequent the park entrance, once you get past the crowd, you can sweat to the sound of the water while getting a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. Land’s End is said to have nicely paved dirt paths for avid runners and areas for nature lovers. Get a history lesson along the way with a quick hike over to the Sutro Baths. Just make sure to bring a pair of sneakers that you don’t mind getting a little dust on!

Buffalo Bayou Park

If you like variety when you exercise, then Buffalo Bayou Park is the ideal location for your workout. Whether you want to do some interval training on the stairs or jog a few miles, you can do it all with a great view of the city of Houston. You can also include the kids in your routine by taking the stroller for a nice walk/run in the park. This park is bicycle friendly and family friendly, and even skateboarders can come out and find their community in Houston.

Bright Angel Trail

If you’re looking for a hiking challenge, then this 9.2 mile trail may be right up your alley. You can get a good workout while visiting one of the most extraordinary natural wonders of the world. There are a few rest stops along the way if you need to refuel, but try to make it to the end so that you can experience the beauty of the natural springs in the Indian Garden. Just be sure to get complete information from the park ranger, as a hike down the Grand Canyon is not for everyone.

The Stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art/“Rocky Stairs”

Even before I became a fitness fanatic, seeing Rocky do his victory dance at the top of these stairs in the movie Rocky had me eager to throw on a sweatsuit and get to work! This is clearly a common sentiment, as you will find a nice crowd of fitness enthusiasts working out during rush hour on these famous stairs that lead up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As you can imagine, there will also be some visitors taking selfies mimicking said scene, so it’s only right that you do the same! Rumor has It that 12 is the magic number for how many times you must run up and down the “Rocky Stairs” to make it to a mile. Sounds like a nice challenge to add to your goals for the New Year!

Let this list motivate you to get up and get moving, whether you’re at home or traveling in this new year!

-Kali Blocker

No matter where you work out, Amtrak makes it easy to get to your favorite destinations around the country.