Saratoga Fit's Kim McGuire knows that the pull of the refrigerator can be strong. The AFAA-certified group fitness instructor spent her childhood battling chubbiness, low self-esteem, and the barbs of mean-spirited classmates. As a teen, she resolved to rebuild her life by reshaping her body and eating habits. Bolstered by support from her family, she lost the extra weight and resolved to help others do the same. Since then, she's spent more than a decade working in the fitness industry, earning personal-training certification and a tae kwon do black belt, leaving fat too scared to think about ever coming back.
These days, Kim specializes in boot camps, which melt calories and fortify muscles with a blend of cardio, strength training, and core-sculpting exercises. Here, exercisers of all levels challenge themselves in an atmosphere filled with motivation, accountability, and the encouragement from up to 14 others who share their desire to succeed and love of culottes. Free weights tone muscles in the arms, shoulders, and back, and BOSU balls facilitate body-weight exercises that chisel the abs. Using tools such as the USDA and ACSM nutrition guidelines, Kim also teaches the group how to eat smart and requires each participant to submit a log of their daily food and exercise choices to ensure they stay on track.:m]]
Suspension training turns bodies into exercise equipment. Rather than relying on weights to build muscle or studying a Slinky to improve flexibility, gym-goers use their own body weight as resistance. Suspension Training Center's certified instructors create a welcoming atmosphere as they teach participants of all ages and fitness levels to use these suspension-based techniques to perform pull ups, push ups, presses, squats, and leg exercises.
Corey House founded F.I.T. Boot Camps to help people get in shape with effective workouts bolstered by nutritional support. To come up with fun, high-intensity boot-camp routines, the staff pored over research and analyzed training formats aimed at burning fat and building muscles. They've seen the results time after time as boot camp members of every shape and athletic ability shed pounds, boost their health, and fare better at family log-tosses. Because the boot camps are indoors, the staff leads them continuously throughout the year, rather than putting members on hold during breaks between sessions or taking the winter off. They help map out smart food choices with nutritious meal planning, and offer private coaching to help members make the most of their workouts.
The certified instructors at Hot Yoga Saratoga believe that heated exercise has more benefits than just boosting the body’s flexibility. For nearly 20 types of classes, they warm up their studios to help bodies heal injuries, release toxins, and thin the blood so it can flow more easily to tissues and organs. From silent Bikram sessions in 105-degree heat to yoga sculpt classes set to 90 degrees and upbeat music, the studio aims to have something for yogis of all ages and experience levels.
During their first spinning class, Angela and Gerard Amedio were both intimidated by the stationary bikes. Once they received help from their welcoming instructors, however, they came to crave the healthy burn in their legs and the energizing music that pumped through cycling routines. They enjoyed the stationary sport so much that they decided to become instructors themselves. They now run Saratoga Cycling Studio, LLC with the same motivational spirit that their former teachers embodied, guiding visitors through workouts aboard a fleet of Spinner NXT bikes.
Along with their certified staff, they stress the importance of pedaling at your own pace, accommodating everyone from complete newbies to avid cyclists. Before each class, they acclimate beginners to the bikes’ settings, guiding them in finding a suitable resistance level and refraining from sudden movements that might spook the machines, potentially causing a stationary stampede. Because every session allows guests to exercise within their comfort zone, instructors encourage patrons of all experience levels to grab the handlebars. They then dim the lights, turn up energizing tunes, and lower the studio's disco ball for a festive light show as patrons pedal toward toned bodies.:m]]
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.