Fit In NYC with Pamela Passarello - Fitness Week


By Tanya Silverman

Photo courtesy of Local Fitness.

New York, New York. It’s such an immense and complex locale that offers infinite unique opportunities, yet it can be really intimidating or exhausting to navigate efficiently.

Fitness. That’s a broad, multifaceted matter that offers many wonderful opportunities – though finding your own niche to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle could be an expensive and time-consuming commitment.

Even for young urbanites that seemingly harbor so much vigor for life or exercise, their draw may become hindered by not knowing what to try, where to enroll or how to start.

Who can we ask, out of 8.3 million people, about where to start with fitness in New York City? Let’s go with Pamela Passarello, the young woman behind FitNYCPamela.

Pamela Passarello. Photo courtesy of Pamela Passarello.

“I would say just to start simple,” she tells BTR.

Passarello – who’s today established in New York City as a coach, fitness class and product reviewer, blogger, and social media expert behind the accessory line, Sparkly Soul Headbands – initiated it all by running.

That’s something she hasn’t stopped since starting in 2007. Getting more into it, she began signing up for marathons and half-marathons, and, through these years, experimenting with different exercise classes during the training process. At this point, she participates in about ten half-marathons per year; her routine includes daily Physique 57 classes, plus spinning several times a week, all activities she loves to blog about.

“Since starting my FitNYCPamela blog, my goal is to try new classes that I’ve never tried before here in New York City just because there are so many opportunities and new classes and new studios popping up all over the place,” she tells BTR.

While she personally takes advantage of being surrounded by desirable NYC venues like Exhale, Soul Cycle, and Equinox, Passarello acknowledges that such courses aren’t cheap, making it necessary to inform the public of the right places to spend their money.

In light of her entries like “Top 10 Fitness Instructors of 2013,” BTR asks Pamela Passarello, what makes a notable fitness class or teacher?

“Music,” she quickly answers, “can make or break the class for me pretty easily. It makes an instructor stand out to me when we have a syncing music style – especially for spin classes,” where the songs “can motivate me or push me when I’m really tired.”

Finding the right beat may be paramount to successful sporting endeavors – being well put together to physically perform may also be a considerable matter. Regarding the latter, one common predicament many of us long-haired individuals face is the snarly mess of loose locks that always gets in our faces while exercising.

Passarello, as one, remembers the days when she’d get all geared up in a cute outfit, then wrap her hair back in a headband, a seemingly efficient accessory that would ultimately just end up slipping off during her run or workout. After repeated annoying instances of repositioning – then eventually removing – these bands, she eventually quit wearing them, figuring they were pointless and a waste of money. Eventually, her sister, who’s a marathon coach, approached her in 2010 with her solution: Sparkly Soul Headbands.

Sparkly Soul Headbands. Photo courtesy of Pamela Passarello.

“They’re 360 degrees of elastic, with no black elastic piece in the back,” Pamela Passarello says of the simple, stretchy accessories. “They don’t slip off your head when you’re working out and they’re not too tight so they don’t cause headband headaches.”

Finally finding something fashionable and feminine yet functional, Passarello plugged Sparkly Soul Headbands into several social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and their blog, causing the small company to be fruitful not only through sales, but also with interacting with customers.

“We love getting the photos of people doing awesome, incredible things, pushing themselves to incredible limits while wearing the headbands,” Passarello says.

Networking online, she’s even been able to pick up additional clients through her social media consulting after Sparkly Soul Headbands; even if others come up with an attractive product or cool concept, they may not always know how to present it or connect to the public.

Fitness for Pamela Passarello isn’t just about the lifestyle or look, but finding ways to help others. Taking on charitable deeds through the American Cancer Society, she coached for a small team last year, enjoying the fun opportunity to train and connect with other leaders and teammates, not to mention supporting the approaches of the organization itself.

“They have something called ‘Hope Lodge’ which is pretty nice – all the cancer patients and their families are given a place to live while they’re undergoing cancer treatments,” Passarello says of the American Cancer Society. “So I also liked that we not only ran and fundraised and we’re doing something for fitness but we also got to help cancer patients through that as well.”

She’s also signed up for Cycle for Survival with Randi, one of her Equinox teachers, to raise funds for Sloan-Kettering Cancer.

Running in NYC. Photo courtesy of Pamela Passarello.

Sounds like a well-established and interconnected fitness career that’s socially and stylistically savvy – plus charitable.

Inspired, but still not exactly sure how to start? Pamela Passarello encourages us to exert ourselves and “sweat once a day”.

Some fundamental everyday changes could be taking the stairs or walking to work, then maybe starting simple routines like walking for three minutes and then running for one. There’s always signing up for a race and starting to train for it. Being active, she says, comes down to the little things that add up to the goal to stay active every day.

“Just start moving and challenging yourself and doing something that you thought you’d never do,” she advises.