While we don’t ordinarily ascribe to the whole “New Year? New You!” philosophy, we must admit that we’d make just about any changes in our lives right now in order to establish as much of a distinction as possible between 2014 and 2015. Perhaps it was different for you, but we feel a bit worse for the wear right now, as if 2014 was one long loop of getting punched in the gut. And though we can’t change the things that happen externally, we can change—or try to change—certain things internally, thus making us better prepared to steel ourselves for whatever the world throws at us. All of which is to say, we want to get healthy this year. But not in a “let’s lose five pounds” kind of a way; rather, we want to enter this year using a holistic approach to our health, one which, dare we say, will help us feel good from the inside out.
And so with all that in mind, we present a pretty comprehensive guide to all the different ways to get healthy in 2015. From diet to exercise to spa treatments to herbal remedies (no, not that kind; although, you know, that kind can work too), we’ve rounded up the best places to go and things to buy and do (at all different price points, feeling good shouldn’t make you broke), so you can enter the new year with a pretty damned good chance of sticking with any vague “get healthy” resolution you’re thinking of making. And while we know a lot about health and wellness, we don’t know everything, so we asked Jessa Blades, of Blades Natural Beauty (as well as being a natural beauty expert and makeup artist, Blades is an herbalist), to clue us—and you—in on some of the best spots in Brooklyn for well-being.
BEST SPOTS FOR EXERCISE
Surely it’s part of everyone’s New Year resolution list: Work out more. But easier said than done, right? We’ve found the surest path to exercise-fatigue is boredom with the same-old workout routine, so we’ve picked out some of the exercise opportunities guaranteed to keep you interested, long after the new year is but a distant memory.
This Brooklyn Heights ballet barre studio has been around for just about a year now, but has quickly established itself as a spot where you can get one of the most thorough workouts in the borough. While many of the moves that are taught are classic ballet moves (and every minute is tightly choreographed), there is a lot of isometric and cardio-based movement involved as well, leading to one of the most intense exercise classes we’ve ever taken. It’s not cheap—singles classes are $32, and an unlimited monthly pass is $299—so this isn’t for everyone. But if you can afford it (there are also $20 Sunday evening classes), it’s definitely going to get you sweating—and sculpted.
147 Remsen Street 2nd Floor, Brooklyn Heights
Not your typical yoga studio, this Kent Avenue space offers sessions in the dark, during which you’ll be doing poses to music that ranges from The Weekend to Stevie Wonder. Classes are $20, but right now, you can get an unlimited monthly pass for $99, or a two-week pass for $45.
240 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg
Bhati Space for Creative Wellness
This brand-new Bushwick studio offers everything from massage to chakra cleanses to yoga, but what we recommend you do to keep you really motivated to continue is try the Eskrima Self Defense class. This traditional martial art from the Philippines is full of fluid and beautiful movements, yes, but it will also help you learn to kick some ass. Single classes are $15, but new students can get a week-long unlimited pass for $20.
1099 Flushing Avenue Suite 307, Bushwick
OK, so we kind of can’t recommend climbing at Brooklyn Boulders enough. It’s an intense and super-satisfying workout, one guaranteed to give you perfectly sculpted arms, shoulders, backs, legs, uh, everything! But beyond climbing, Brooklyn Boulders also offers amazing classes for really good prices. Classes like AcroYoga and Climber Core are $15 for drop-ins, and Capoeira and other yoga classes are just $10. Plus, Brooklyn Boulders offers stand-alone workshops for things like handstands, so you can get as specific or general as you want.
575 Degraw Street, Gowanus
Pretty much just what it sounds like, this dance class helps you, you know, exorcise (and exercise) the demons! It’s a one-hour class combining dance, meditation, and stretching that comes with the promise “fun heals everything.” Sign us up. Plus, it’s only $15 a pop.
So who even needs a fancy exercise studio? Not you! A recent study done by Canada’s McMaster University demonstrates that a person only needs to do one (one!) minute of intense exercise—albeit in the midst of ten minutes of casual exercise—in order to improve their fitness and health. ONE MINUTE. You can DO this. Go jog slowly around the block a few times and spend just one minute sprinting! You’ve done it. Good for you. And you saved a ton of money. Win/win.