Archive for the tag 'exercise'

Steve Lin

Steve Lin demonstrates his Tai Chi mastery.

Looking to decrease stress and get into shape without burning out your body or wallet? A local Tai Chi master is offering free classes to neighbors on the sidewalk in front of his home.

Steve Lin, a championship-level master of the ancient Chinese tradition, gives free Tai Chi lessons every Monday at 10 a.m. in front of his home at 2672 East 21st Street. He’s been offering the classes to friends and neighbors for the past decade.

Lin welcomes students of all ages and experience, including beginners, and no special equipment is necessary.

Bay Improvement Group Acting Executive Director Laura McKenna brought the story to our attention and asked that we share it. She met Lin in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, when he came with his son and grandchildren to volunteer in the bungalow courts.

Lin and his son Moses are both Sandy survivors as well, living in a flooded home. But despite that, they pitched in to help their neighbors.

Lin continues to give back with the free lessons. Tai Chi is a low-impact form of exercise that won’t leave you sore, but is acknowledged to decrease stress and anxiety, increase flexibility and stamina, and tone up the body over time.

Source: ebbandflowphotography via flickr.

Source: ebbandflowphotography via flickr.

In 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration raised the fees for residents looking to use City-run recreational facilities, including ball fields and tennis courts, looking for a bump in revenue. According to an exhaustive report by the Independent Budget Office (IBO), the increased fees not only failed to increase revenue but drove down membership across the city.

The numbers laid out by the IBO starkly portray the failure of Bloomberg’s bet that increased membership fees would increase revenues. The City was projecting that increasing fees would lead to $6.3 million in extra revenue but in the end, they only ended up with $1.1 million in extra revenue and decreased athletic facility activity across the city. The IBO laid out the specifics:

• With considerably higher fees at the start of the 2011 tennis season, the number of adult seasonal tennis permits sold by the city fell from 12,774 in 2010 to 7,265 in 2012, a decline of 43 percent. Single-play permits fell 46 percent, from 23,512 to 12,755 over the same period.

• Despite the decline in the number of adult permits sold, there was an increase in revenue because fees doubled for these permits. The city collected a total of $2.1 million from the sale of adult, junior, and senior tennis permits in 2012, but the revenue fell $1.3 million short of the projected increase.

• The number of recreation center memberships sold in 2012 declined by 52 percent to 46,047 with the doubling of membership fees for adults and seniors at the start of the fiscal year.

• With the decline in memberships, recreation center revenue remained flat in 2012 at $4.8 million, about $4.0 million below the Bloomberg Administration’s expectations.

• Although the number of permits sold for ballfields also fell in 2012 in response to the rise in fees, the resulting increase in revenue exceeded expectations by nearly 5 percent.

The full IBO report, which you can read in detail by clicking here, presents the fascinating insight into how the fee increase, in their opinion, ultimately ran counter to Bloomberg’s much publicized health initiatives:

The parks department raised its fees for tennis permits, recreation center memberships, and the use of ballfields as part of a citywide effort to close projected budget shortfalls. While anticipating some fall-off in usage, the city still projected that the new fee schedules would raise $6.3 million in additional revenue in 2012. The decline in sales of tennis permits and recreation center memberships was far steeper than expected, however, and the gain in revenue totaled roughly $1.1 million—a fraction of what had been expected.

Perhaps equally troubling, the sharp drop-off in parks usage runs counter to the Bloomberg Administration’s anti-obesity and other health policy initiatives.

Source: dssrtbabe / Flickr

Source: dssrtbabe / Flickr

Area seniors looking to stay in shape but don’t want to pay the high costs associated with gym memberships can rejoice!

The City Parks Foundation welcomes all New Yorkers, 60 and over, to participate in CityParks Seniors Fitness for six weeks at Marine Park. All activities will take place twice a week now through November 1. Participants are encouraged to maintain regular attendance to maximize health benefits. All equipment and instruction is provided free of charge.

The fall 2013 season of free fitness programs will offer free tennis and yoga instruction. The schedule is below:

  • Tennis: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. at the Marine Park tennis courts, Avenue S and East 32nd Street
  • Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. at the Marine Park Nature Center, Avenue U and East 32nd Street

CityParks Seniors Fitness has served over 5,000 participants since it began in 2006 and aims to keep neighborhood parks a great place for community activity.  The program encourages New Yorkers to maximize the health benefits of staying active at every age. Even in moderate amounts, exercise can help participants feel better, maintain or lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and minimize the symptoms of arthritis.

The schedule is subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit www.cityparksfoundation.org/sports/seniors-fitness. For more information about City Parks Foundation’s free Seniors Fitness programs, call the Sports Department at (718) 760–6999. You can also follow City Parks Foundation on Facebook and Twitter at @CPFNYC.

Sheepshead Bay Bicycles (Source: Google Maps)

Sheepshead Bay Bicycles located at 113 Noel Avenue in Gerritsen Beach (Source: Google Maps)

New York City is bicycle crazy these days as exercisers, sightseers and cash-conscious commuters of all stripes are hopping on bikes like never before. The bicycle craze has not gone unnoticed by Robert Ferrarin of Gerritsen Beach, who has made a killing in repairing and selling used bikes.

According to a report by Crain’s New York, Ferrarin runs his business out of his garage located at 113 Noel Avenue in Gerritsen Beach. Ferrarin, who owns a construction company, started repairing bikes as a hobby but has seen his hobby grow into a lucrative business:

Sheepshead Bay Bicycles is poised to sell 1,000 bikes this season at an average of $300 each, up from 80 bikes during his first year in business five years ago. Customers come from as far afield as New Jersey and Connecticut, he said, and so does the inventory, replenished by six retired men who scrounge for salvageable bike parts at yard sales throughout the tristate area. He performs a tune-up with every purchase, while his wife, Brenda, assembles the bikes and his friend Richie Delea manages sales.

“We thought our first year was good,” he said. “Then it just so happened that we started at the right time.”

Ferrarin’s business was nearly washed away because of Superstorm Sandy, which destroyed 200 bikes at a cost of $30,000 in damage. Despite the setback, Ferrarin noted that the city’s Citi Bike program, which lets anyone rent a bike at kiosks around the city, has added to the bike craze – and his business.

“People who are nervous about riding in the city will get more comfortable. When they get tired of [returning their Citi Bike] every half-hour, they might want to come buy a bike,” Ferrarin told Crain’s.

Runners on Ocean Parkway during the 2012 half marathon. Photo by Allan Shweky.

The Brooklyn Half Marathon takes place this Saturday, and the event is expected to be bigger than ever. Over 20,000 runners have already registered and the 13.1-mile run is expected to feature heavy security and closed streets. Here is a list of what is closed, according to the NYC Department of Transportation. Please note the last three, which are all local streets, and which we’ve added emphasis.

The following streets will be closed Saturday from 7 am to 10:30 am for the Brooklyn Half Marathon event as permitted by the Mayor’ Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO).

Route:

  • Washington Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Empire Boulevard
  • Empire Boulevard between Washington Avenue and Flatbush Avenue
  • Flatbush Avenue between Empire Boulevard and Grand Army Plaza
  • Grand Army Plaza (Entire Circle)
  • Ocean Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and Parkside Avenue
  • Parkside Avenue between Ocean Avenue and Park Circle

Route: (In Prospect Park)

  • West Lake Drive between East Drive and South Lake Drive
  • South Lake Drive between West Lake Drive and East Lake Drive
  • East Lake Drive between South Lake Drive and East Drive
  • West Drive between East Drive and West Lake Drive
  • Park Circle between South Lake Drive and Ocean Parkway Entrance Ramp
  • Ocean Parkway between Ocean Parkway Entrance Ramp and Surf Avenue
  • Surf Avenue between Ocean Parkway and West 12th Street
  • Boardwalk between West 10th Street and Stillwell Avenue

Also note that there will be several bus detours because of this. Make sure to check the MTA website if you plan to take a bus that crosses Ocean Parkway this Saturday.

Here is hoping that the event gets good weather and that everybody has fun and stays safe. For more information on the run, you can visit the New York Road Runner’s website by clicking here.

More than 400 participants shook, danced and jumped away the calories during the Relay For Life of Bergen Beach, Mill Basin & Marine Park’s largest indoor Zumba class ever, hosted at the Aviator Sports Complex, according to Record Setter.

Organized by “Zumba Daddy,” Joseph Gillette, co-chairman of Brooklyn’s annual Relay For Life of Bergen Beach, Mill Basin & Marine Park, the event, which drew 419 participants, was held to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society.

Zumba, a Colombian fitness program involving dance and aerobic elements, incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves.

The video featured above gives you a look at the scope of the event and the joy of the zumba participants, all working out for a good cause.

“They’re here for zumba, but more importantly, the American Cancer Society,” said Gillette. “Its a successful day, a tremendous day. I couldn’t be happier.”

For more information on the Relay For Life and zumba, you can visit them on Facebook.

Source: MYoga.com

Well, for one thing, MYoga — which says it is opening at 1002 Quentin Road, Suite 3020 — is donation-based. According to MyYoga’s Maksim Khasin, who emailed Sheepshead Bites:

The studio offers a tremendous service to the community by allowing people to enjoy yoga and get a great exercise. Classes are donation-based, so students can choose to donate as much as they can at the conclusion of class. The suggested donation is $10.

MYoga explains on its website that they will never prevent a student from participating in a class if they cannot give $10. Particularly fascinating, while proprietors stress that they offer “students of all levels the opportunity to connect with their body and practice yoga at their own pace,” they also “do not emphasize ‘snobby’ yoga, but rather welcome students of all levels to ease their minds and relax their souls.”

I’ve never heard of “snobby yoga” but I am sure that, should I ever be able to contort my remarkably un-malleable body into a pretzel again in this lifetime, I do not wish for it to be under the duress of a “snobby yoga” instructor.

Go check out MYoga — donation-based, and non-snobby. A perfectly winning combination.