Hudson Valley Winter Survival Guide 2013
The holidays are history, but you don’t have to hunker down under a blanket until spring. From festivals and workouts to shopping and brunch, we’ve collected great ways to enjoy winter in the Valley
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Bank on Brunch
Winter weekends are the perfect time to indulge in a leisurely brunch. From award-winning buffets to menus full of made-to-order favorites, many Valley eateries offer good eats in a relaxed setting.
For an international twist on typical Sunday brunch fare, try Jaipore Indian Cuisine in Brewster. Situated in a mid-19th century mansion — which, at different times, served as actor Charlie Chaplin’s studio, a speakeasy, and a topless bar — the restaurant’s Sunday Brunch Buffet features additional options to the lunch spread served on Friday and Saturday. Expect to find a varied selection of meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes, along with basmati rice and those hard-to-resist Indian breads. The Sunday Brunch Buffet is served 12-3 p.m. and costs $15 (845-277-3549 or www.jaiporenyc.com). Click here for five other restaurants that feature a bang-up weekend brunch.
Photograph courtesy of willpower and grace®
Getting into shape is on the top of almost everyone’s resolution list; that’s why most gyms are bustling like Grand Central Station during the first few days of January. But how do you make yourself stick with an exercise regime? Trying something new can help to keep you motivated.
Give It The Boot
Sondra Faas spent 25 years competing in national body-building competitions (and has the super-buff body to prove it) and has trained people entering the military. But don’t worry, she’s not going to kick your butt — unless you want her to. “I’m not going to stand over you and call you a maggot if you can’t do something; I’m stern but caring, and I’ll work with you at your level,” says the powerhouse behind The Fit Squad — a team of super-strong personal trainers who lead popular group “boot camp” workouts and offer personal training sessions at your home or office. Faas has a private studio in Wappingers Falls, where personal training sessions start at $69. “But three or four people sometimes share a session, which is much cheaper,” she says, noting that clients also receive in-depth nutritional counseling. The Winter Boot Camp series, held at the Vassar College Athletic Center, costs $69 a month;clients can attend as many of the five weekly classes as they desire. “I came up with a lot of new exercises. There are 15 to 17 stations, so you’re moving all around,” says Faas. “Everybody is always laughing; it’s fun” (www.thefitsquad.com).
Pay While You Go
Shelling out for a monthly gym membership helps some people stay motivated. Liz Cort, owner of Fitness Fusion of the Hudson Valley, offers another alternative. Cort — a onetime collegiate basketball player, fitness competitor, coach, and mom of two — is the owner of this class-based gym located in a 1,500-square-foot facility in the historic Red Hook Chocolate Factory. There are no membership fees; instead, Cort combines several professional classes (you can register online) and an open gym “Challenge of the Day” workout: clients attend as their schedules permit and perform a sequence that Cort creates and projects onto a screen. There are classes for all levels of fitness, and Cort is particularly excited about the RealRyder® cycle bikes, which tilt and lean as you ride; these cycles burn 20 percent more calories than traditional spin cycles. Other classes include Kettlebells, TRX Suspension Training, and Kangoo rebounding. “This is unlike anything else in the Hudson Valley,” says Cort (www.fitnessfusionhv.com).
Kick Off Your Shoes
All Sport Health & Fitness in Fishkill renovated its space last year, and continues to upgrade its class options. One of the latest offerings is the popular barefoot workout known as willPower & grace®. Elite fitness instructor Stacey Lei Krauss, a former dancer, first developed the program in 2000. “You wouldn’t do push-ups with your arm in a cast, so why would you work out with your foot stuck in a sneaker?” she says. Mobilizing and stabilizing the foot’s 33 joints is what Krauss refers to as “foot fitness” — and it is an integral, although often ignored, part of healthy body conditioning. Her equipment-free cardio sculpting program (which earned four stars from Health magazine) is a full-body workout that combines elements of yoga, Pilates, and calisthenics. “It’s hot, sweaty, and strong,” says Gina Lockard-Dickson, a certified willPower & grace® instructor who teaches the All Sport class. “It’s fun too.” The class (free to club members; $10 for nonmembers) is held Mondays at 10:30 a.m. in the relaxing Mind/Body Studio (www.allsportfishkill.com).