LB never stopped smiling. That’s how Michelle and Louis Butts remember their son, who succumbed to MPS I, or Hurler syndrome, just before his first birthday. To celebrate his life and help others with MPS, they started the 5 for fiVe, a 5K race that builds a contribution for the National MPS Society, a group that sponsors research projects for this currently incurable disease. The race begins at the warming hut in historic Saratoga Spa State Park, winding through trails lined with trees, classical architecture, and water stations to keep athletes hydrated. Participants can run or walk the 5K or register for a 1-mile walk. Kids 12 and younger can run in the 50-yard dash—which is free with any adult registration in the 5K—and sit for face painting in a booth sponsored by Saratoga Paint & Sip Studio. After the race, awards will be given to the top three runners in each division, and prizes from local merchants will be raffled off to the person with the highest bid or the best puppy-dog eyes.
Floor-to-ceiling windows and tall white columns stretch up and across The Yoga Spa’s storefront. Peeking inside, you can see mini chandeliers, artwork hanging on exposed brick walls, and people posing in unison on the wooden floor. A lot of the time, they’re practicing owner Jennilee Toner’s personal creation Hot Warrior yoga, which is an 81-minute journey through more than 50 different Hatha and Vinyasa yoga poses with a thermostat set to 90 degrees. In addition to this signature class and other more traditional classes, Toner and her staff tweak the practice of yoga whenever they can. For instance, the Warm Candlelight flow class is lit by candles, the Studio 54 class features 54 different sun salutations set to disco music, and the Spa yoga class has guests perform slow Vinyasa-flow movements while they are massaged. The studio also offers fitness boot camps and belly-dancing classes.
On the bamboo floors of Bloom: A Movement Space, instructors embrace dynamic workouts at a range of speeds. They draw from extensive backgrounds in yoga, Pilates, and dance as they boost each student's bodily awareness. Studio owner Audrey Mangini demonstrates the rapid kickboxing strikes of Turbo Kick, expert belly dancer Laura Barokas leads hypnotizing undulations, and certified Black Belt Nia teacher Katie Capelli blends martial arts with expressive choreography. The teachers always encourage guests to move at their own pace, lest they overexert themselves and slip in a pool of sweat or tears.
Krav maga is the official fighting style of the Israeli Army, but it seems like US Armed Forces members are enjoying it too. Marc Delnicki and Mark Messare, who served in the US Army and Air National Guard, respectively, draw on decades of martial-arts experience to teach Kelevra Krav Maga?s students how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Using modern, practical fighting techniques, their krav maga classes impart self-defense skills while also providing an intense, full-body workout. Marc and Mark also lead kids' martial-arts classes, and KFX fitness classes that use scientific research and anatomy knowledge to design workouts.
RAW Fitness's group classes and personal-training sessions stress functional fitness, helping individuals get into peak shape for activities such as hiking, biking, and skiing by identifying the style of fitness that works best for each person, at any fitness level and ability. Aerobics and Fitness Association of America?certified trainer Jennifer Ricupero incorporates elements of everything from Pilates and yoga to kickboxing and suspension training into her exercises, creating well-rounded workout regimens. Sessions also cover balance and injury-prevention to round out fitness education.
When exercisers first enter 60 Minute Fitness, they're not greeted with a typical gym layout. The facility boasts a sleek, industrial design with plenty of space for group classes and impromptu games of knee football to unfold. Even the facility's equipment may seem a bit different. Suspension straps dangle from the walls, and kettlebells wait to be thrust into the air. Amid these unique surroundings, trainers work one-on-one with clients. They also lead groups through the facility's various classes, including suspension training, yoga, and Pilates.