Best of: HEALTH & RECREATION

The 570 is not for the slothful, indolent, or lazy. We may not have the latest indie films screening in a theater near us on opening weekend or our choice of experimental modern dance concerts or performance art programs to chose from on any given Tuesday, but there’s plenty to do around here if you get up off your fanny long enough to take advantage of the perks.

Where we fall short in challenging art and trendy pop-up nightclubs, we make up for it with four-seasons of outdoor recreation that draw the denizens of your favorite metropolis here on vacation. Pocono Mountains and Lehigh River to the South, the Endless Mountains to the North, and Lake Wallenpaupack and Delaware River to the East offer more choices for camping, canoing, swimming and snowshoeing than even the most outdoorsy among us can get to in a given year. Even in the middle of the city, you can steer your mountain bike down the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority Rails to Trails path and forget all about the mess man has made of nature. Need more time, the D&H Trial runs all the way through Starucca and across the border into New York State. And as the weather gets colder there’s no need to hibernate between vacation days. At this very minute, snow bunnies region wide are tracking weather forecasts in hopes of a white Christmas, fingers crossed that Elk Mountain will open and they can put their brand new skiis and snowboards to use before the holidays are over. And we’ve only got a dozen or so other ski resorts to choose from within reasonable driving distance.

Not that you’re opposed to driving. You think nothing of treking the two plus hours to New York City for a day trip when you start getting restless. Oh sure they’re always throwing that "equidistant" nonsense around but the Big Apple is three miles and some closer than Philadelphia when it comes right down to it and that’s obviously what makes the destination superior in your worldly view.

Of course, it goes without saying you need to be in pretty decent shape to enjoy the full range of options. For as much as you love to poke fun at Planet Fitness, it has never cast judgement on you. That and the franchise’s ridiculously low prices have won a place in your healthy heart. It’s your choice for best gym this year. When it comes to classes, you prefer the specialists however. Dunmore’s donation-based Prana Yoga ranks at the top of your list and when it comes to Zumba or Pilates you’re pumped to recommend Jaya Studio in Clarks Summit. (We’re guessing the tea room and the wifi helped win you over.)

And when the weather turns inclement, well… there’s always old-school options like bowling at South Side Lanes or newfangled shoot ‘em up video games like Call of Duty to keep us distracted until the clouds clear.

- alicia grega