The companies, brands and classes leading the Big Apple on its latest health spree come in all shapes and sizes. From luxurious activewear to sleek meditation spaces, here's what the wellness aficionados wear and where they go
The last decade is shaping up to be New York's healthiest ever. Yes, you can still order a burger at 3am, or duck into one of the 2,000-plus bars, but the speed-centric culture of the city that never sleeps has melded with the increasingly health-minded sensibility of the people who live there. The result? One of the best places in the world to improve your mind and body.
The meditation room at Mndfl
The latest home-grown success story is a new wave of on-demand meditation centres, where you can tune out in the same amount of time it takes to get a blowout. 'I wanted to meditate in a space that wasn't religious and didn't involve a weekend-long commitment,' says Ellie Burrows, co-founder of Mndfl in Greenwich Village. Here, white-washed brick and green 'planted' walls help you to achieve a most effective and stylish meditation, with guests prompted to 'book your cushion' online for a 30- or 45-minute session in everything from Sound Therapy to Buddhist Zen.
And just as New Yorkers don't mind hauling it to niche neighbourhoods to eat at a buzzed-over new restaurant, the same now goes for fitness haunts. The coolest classes are at Brooklyn Yoga Club. The creation of Gwyneth Paltrow's yoga guru, Eddie Stern, this unique social-club-meets-yoga-venue is spread over four floors of a spruced-up town house in off-the-radar Clinton Hill. Meanwhile, over in Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Athletic Club training centre has become the new-destination gym, thanks to treadmill-style current pools, childcare facilities and private saunas.
Weight training at Brooklyn Athletic Club
Back on home turf, Mandarin Oriental, New York's award-winning Spa and fitness centre wows with a 75-foot lap pool perched above the Hudson, plush treatment rooms – some with fireplaces and Thai-style soaking tubs – and an ever-changing menu of innovative treatments and therapies. Try the blissful, 80-minute Digital Detox, designed to give guests a rest from modern-day technology. Swap your mobile phone for the programme's mindful activities, such as meditation and colouring, and zone out while pressure points in your head, neck and shoulders are expertly released.
Stella McCartney's Stellasport Collection for Adidas
Mirroring the new focus on fitness is the explosion in high-end activewear. You're as likely to see someone rocking a head-to-toe Copé Active for lunch at ABC Kitchen, as you are at a Barry's Bootcamp class. It's estimated this booming market will be worth $83 billion by 2020.
Need to stock up your kit bag? Head to Bandier's stunning 5th Avenue store, where you'll find more than 50 fashion-minded fitness labels to browse through, from Adidas by Stella McCartney to Koral. For a more preppy aesthetic, pop into the nearby and newly opened Tory Sport. Downtown, on Bond Street, Lululemon Lab focuses on clothing that is as much workout as ready-to-wear, with each piece limited to 50 editions. And you'll find the most supremely cut $120 leggings imaginable.
Yoga in Times Square
The city is also discovering new ways to embrace its outdoor areas, harnessing the power of social media to organise pop-up events and one-off classes. Times Square now gets taken over once a year during the summer solstice, with thousands of yoga fans pouring in with their mats for eight hours of free lessons. City parks have become popular spaces for one-off fitness collaborations (Lululemon's free classes at Pier 25, on the West Side of the city, are always oversubscribed), as well as for regular classes, such as meditation and t'ai chi on the High Line. There's also kayaking from Hudson River Park.
Visit as many of these newcomers as you can, because, chances are, next year there'll be a whole new crowd in town.