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Time to Get Fit: 50+ Fitness Fairs at The Library

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Spring beckons: warmer weather teases; suggestions of summer intrude; promises to self to get out and exercise are made.

Yes, this is the year to start seriously walking, even hiking, maybe camping! And how about trying some bicycling, tennis, or canoeing...

I’ll do it—I’m going to the library!
Whaaat??? Who thinks of the library when they decide to get some exercise? Well, you should...

Allow us to be your friendly guide for your forays into fitness. Over the next four weeks the New York Public Library will be hosting four 50+ Fitness Fairs, at which we plan to introduce you—especially if you’re 50 or over—to organizations in New York City that provide free and low-cost opportunities to become more active and physically fit, while having fun.

More than a dozen organizations will be sending representatives to one or more of the fairs to distribute literature and give brief presentations on fitness activities in the metro NYC area. These include: the Outdoors Club, Inc., whose members lead walks and hikes in and near New York City; the Appalachian Mountain Club, known mostly for hiking and camping and which I was surprised to learn is involved with many other activities as well; and the Shorewalkers, who not only sponsor the Great Saunter every spring but have many walks along Manhattan’s coast. You can find out how to start a walking club in your neighborhood, or how to join one that already exists.

The Urban Park Rangers will speak about the great parks and all the ways to enjoy them; and you’ll hear about the unbelievable (and unbelievably cheap) resources at New York’s Recreation Centers. Bicycling organizations will be out in force, and you can not only get a free bicycling map—at three of the four fairs you can get a free bicycle helmet (while supplies last), courtesy of NYC’s Dept. of Transportation. Wii bowling will be on the agenda at 3 of the 4 fairs—come and try your hand at it. If you are a more traditional bowler I can almost guarantee that your skills will transfer over to the virtual type.

And, yes, there will be raffles. Several authors and publishers have generously offered copies of books on pertinent topics to be raffled off, including Cy Adler’s Walking Manhattan’s Rim, Christopher and Catherine Brooks’ 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City (2nd ed., 2008), and Jane and Walt Daniels’ Walkable Westchester.

If you have a physical limitation or use a wheelchair, don't let that stop you. The accessibility coordinator for NYC's Dept. of Parks and Recreation will be present, as well as the head of the local Wheelchair Sports Federation and a speaker from the Achilles Track Club. All fair locations are accessible to persons using wheelchairs. photo credit Bronx River Alliancephoto credit Bronx River Alliance

Of course you can just come to one of the fairs, but I recommend you come to two, three, or all four in order to make the acquaintance of all the organizations and hear their stimulating presentations. Then you will be an activity maven, familiar with all manner of energizing enclave ranging from the scenic byways of Staten Island to the history-laden Bronx River and the trails of Wave Hill, complete with brilliant vistas of the Hudson.

See you there!  

Friday, April 24th, 3-8 P.M., Bronx Library Center, 310 E. Kingsbridge Road, Bronx
Tuesday, April 28th, 3-7 P.M., Berger Forum (Room 227), Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street, Manhattan
Saturday, May 2nd, 11 A.M.-4 P.M., Richmondtown Library, 200 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island
Saturday, May 16th, 12-4 P.M., Countee Cullen Library, 104 W. 136th Street, Manhattan

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