Two brothers from Flushing want to get people moving with a unique experience that combines the seemingly unrelated worlds of clowning and sightseeing.
The concept for Clowning Around Fitness Tours NYC is simple: participants are led in a series of “clowning” exercises that are both fun and get your blood pumping, all while touring the iconic Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Pete and Stew Kandel, better known as Dr. Pete and Dr. Stew, came up with the idea for the unique tours. The licensed New York City sightseeing guides and certified fitness trainers chose Flushing Meadows Corona Park to conduct their tours in order to show people the park’s rich history and relics.
“We wanna get people moving because we noticed that people, they don’t like exercising, they don’t like moving,” said Dr. Stew. “They look at their TV, they look at their iPad [and] that’s all they do.”
“We want people to have movement, have fun and just get them off their couches,” added Dr. Pete.
The Kandels serve as the tour’s “ringmasters” and combine elements of mime, fencing, balloon animal crafting and juggling in order to have people participate in “non-exercise activity thermogenesis,” or NEAT. Activities that are categorized as NEAT are non-sports-like activities including yard work and even fidgeting.
When traveling from one site to another, the Kandels lead the participants in skipping, galloping or a simulated train, complete with sound effects from kazoos and maracas.
According to the brothers, fitness tours range from an hour and a half to two hours, but sometimes they go longer depending on the group’s enthusiasm. Stops on the park tour include iconic structures from the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, a column left over from the ancient Romans and a time capsule that is sealed until the year 6939. The Kandels shared that their natural interest in history allowed them to learn fun facts about the park.
In addition to their popular Flushing Meadows tour, the Kandels also offer fitness tours in Central Park and Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.