A Letter to Young Professionals Trying to Not Feel Like a Trash Can While Living in NYC This FallPosted on
It’s 2:15 a.m. on a Saturday and you’re on the dance floor of a dark and dank bar in Alphabet City. You're on one knee and you appear to be dry-humping an empty Bud Light bottle aggressively.
The name of this game? Beer bottle dancing.
As you drive your manhood towards the bottle again, five dudes dance in a circle around you. If this moment was Instagrammed, it’d simply say #SquadGoals.
With the whole crew eying you, you give the bottle one last thrust. Chugging your mixed drink, you spin the bottle. It lands on your boy. He’s struggling to keep his balance while sending ill-advised messages on his phone.
But literally right on cue, as if possessed, he pockets his phone and air humps his way onto the middle of the dancefloor.
Smiling and leaving the circle for the bar, you tell the boys you’re buying another round of Fireball. “FOR THE BOYS!” they all cry out.
I think we all know how this plays out. If any of this sounds even somewhat familiar, take a minute to keep reading.
Dear NYC’s newest dudes,
We used to be one of you. 22-years-old. Carefree. Freshly intoxicated by the promises of living in the big city—the bright lights, beautiful women, happy hours, bougie brunches, open bar birthdays. All the thrills of having a NYC apartment of your own and your own cash (some) to blow.
But you must know...staying fit while living/ working in the Big Apple is unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
This September marks 4 years since our team moved into the city. Does that make us experts on all things NYC? Definitely not. Do we have all the answers for you? Nope. But we’ve learned some things about working and not feeling/looking like a trashcan, while living in good old New York.
What follows here are what we’ve found to be the biggest, most life-changing ways you can improve your health during your first year living in the city.
Drinking lots of booze makes you fat
Yeah...no shit. But it’s not the booze itself that makes you fat, it’s the other stuff. “But I’m a division one athlete, dude” you say. “I’ve always drank like a frat star and maintained the physique of Leonidas.” That’s irrelevant. Doesn’t matter anymore.
See, college is over, and with it, so is the impetus for hard physical activity. That is, team workouts, practices, games, basically any sort of group accountability. Fact is, it’s hard to feel motivated to go for a run when it's entirely optional. Harder still when you’ve got a pounding headache, a sour stomach, and you’re running on five hours of drunk sleep.
Plus, if you’re anything like us, you eat like a dump truck when you’re drunk. Especially in the city. Walk out of any bar and in just a couple blocks you’ve got your pick of late-night pizza, McDonald’s, or Duane Reade, where you’re liable to eat pretty much anything. Beware: 24-hour $1 'zza.
More physical activity = Better brain activity
It’s a scientific fact. Getting after it regularly doesn’t just make you look and feel badass, it’s also ridiculously good for your brain.
If you want to nerd out for a bit...when you exercise, brain-derived neurotrophic factor is released (BDNF). This stimulates neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons).
Basically, BDNF is miracle grow for your noggin. Every time you get in a sweat, you’re nourishing the spongy goodness that is your brain.
So you can a) get ripped, stay sharp, and potentially prevent Dementia later in life, or b) you can get fat, let your brain rot, and probably need a prescription for VIAGRA by the time you’re 39.
And it makes you happy
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Elle Woods said that in Legally Blonde, and it’s true.
Working in a cubicle under the glow of fluorescent lights 50 hours a week can drive you mad. Unplug from work, take in some natural vitamin D, and get in a sweat a few (or several) times a week.
Oh yeah, vigorous exercise also prevents you from ‘going soft’, according to these legendary athletes.
Exercise > Sleep
Get your 7-8 hours of sleep, by all means. We’re not saying that. What we actually mean is that, rather than getting, say, 10 hours of sleep and not working out in the morning, we know you’d have more energy and generally feel healthier with 8 hours of sleep and 2 hours of exercise.
Also, if you’re gainfully employed and getting 10 hours of sleep every night, you’re probably not working hard enough. You should be exercising at least 7.5 hours each week.
Productivity beats beating your meat1
Pretty self-explanatory. Long, stressful hours, no time for dating during the week, no one at the bar cares that you went to [enter name of your college here], etc...cranking down has never been more appealing. Limit it to a few days a week.
This also goes for other forms of masturbation—pointless G-chatting, Instagram stalking, sitting on the can when you're not actually shitting, Netflix bingeing, etc.
Words to live by: When you want to choke the bishop, instead, feed the mind. Read something.
F*** your Fireball
It’s sad that Fireball warrants its own category—but there’s plenty of reasons why. For one thing, it’s a huge waste of money.
Plus, probably the lamest thing you can do at the bar, besides buying a special someone a shot of fireball, is buying your five boys shots of fireball. And then getting each one of them to buy you a round: Because I got the last round, dude, and I also got that pitcher of Bud Light we used for beer pong last weekend that you still haven't Venmo’d me back for.
Just avoid that shit altogether.
Learn how to cook
It’s gonna save you so much money—and you’ll be healthier for it.
You don't need to become Emeril. In fact, you shouldn't. Just be an adult.
Personally, we like to keep it simple and lean:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit (blueberries, strawberries, banana) with a splash of almond milk, and a cup of coffee. Invest in a French Press. It’s much better than a Keurig and will save you lots of cash in the long-term.
Lunch: Chicken and veggies packed in tupperware and refrigerated.
Dinner: Salmon, rice, veggies, and a cold one (if you’ve earned it).
Sweatwork makes the dream work
Used to be the best way to win over co-workers and clients was treating them to a steak dinner and a few lagers at PJ Clarkes.
Sweatwork = Business networking while sweating.
Sweatworking > Wine and dining
Unlike schmoozing your client over drinks at The Ainsworth, a workout actually helps your client/boss/ co-worker/ whomever become a better, healthier person.
And the bond you create with someone (and respect you have for them) after doing something physically tough will separate you from some guy/ gal he/ she grabbed a couple ‘tinis with in Meatpacking.
Embrace your city
We're obsessed with New York City. Every time we walk outside, we’re awed and inspired by it.
This sounds like obvious advice, but don’t become a hermit. Don’t reduce your life to two extremes: Work Life and Apartment/ Bar Life.
We, as human beings, are meant to be outside. So get out of the gym and explore the city while you can. You're in the greatest city in the world. Engage more intensely with this place.
Run along the river, take your workout to the turf, sweat it out in Central Park. Live in the East Village or Alphabet City? Get after it at East River Park.
Above anything, join us every Wednesday, at 6:30 a.m., for a 45-minute workout on the North Moore Pier Turf. Pier 25.
And if we don’t see ya there, do yourself a favor and buy some WOLACO gear. By God, you’re a grown-ass man.
Welcome to New York,