Best Winter Sports on The East End

The holidays can wreak havoc on fitness levels—and justifiably so! (See the delicious recipes on page 22.) While cold winter days may call for cozying up by the fire, there are plenty of opportunities to work out. The key is staying motivated. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, it’s helpful to set a goal—
whether weight loss, time or endurance based—and train for it.

There’s something about exercising outside that is incredibly fulfilling. But if forecasters are right, we’re in for a cold and snowy season on the East End.

The Mayo Clinic has put out a list of tips to safely enjoy outdoor activities, and the first key to winter workouts is to dress in layers. The danger with wearing heavy items is that sweat can dry and act as a cooling agent. Dressing in layers allows you to remove or put on warmer items as necessary—a thin layer of synthetic material, a layer of fleece or wool and a waterproof outer shell, in that order, are recommended. Breathable fabrics are best, and avoid wearing cotton.

Though dressing right may take a little experimentation, always be sure to protect your hands, feet and ears. When it’s cold, blood flow becomes concentrated in your core, and the extremities are especially vulnerable to freezing temps. (Another perk of wearing a hat is that those little earbud headphones will stay in much better!)

As the Hamptons settles into its winter quiet, area roads and sidewalks are for a runner’s taking. Consider using the website mapmyrun.com or the iPhone app RunKeeper to track how far you’ve gone and to monitor your time.

For a change of pace, the Southampton Trails Preservation Society and East Hampton Trails Preservation Society conduct hikes throughout the East End. Visit southamptontrails.org or ehtps.org for more information.

Above all, check the conditions before you go outside, and consider modifying a workout to account for the weather, paying particular mind to the wind, snow and ice.

For the days when it’s simply too cold, Lululemon offers complimentary weekly classes at the Main Street East Hampton store. More than being a break from the elements, the classes are a great resource for people looking to get in shape. As a part of the company mission, all Lululemon shops are committed to the communities they serve. Locations hold classes that are unique to the area, as they showcase local fitness gurus.

For the month of November, Lululemon offers Forrest Yoga with Milard Roper on Sundays, Core Fusion with Bridgehampton’s Rachel Feldman on Tuesdays, Surfer Yoga with Jimmy Minardi on Thursdays and Saturdays, and Open Level Vinyasa with Yoga Lila on Fridays. December events will be set soon—check out lululemon.com/easthampton for additional information on the programs and schedules.

On the opposite end of the fitness spectrum, playing armchair quarterback is a traditional Hamptons holiday pastime. But leaving the East End and going to the game is just as easy—the Hampton Jitney offers transportation to Jets and Giants games for $62 roundtrip (not including game tickets). Pickups are available at various locations on Long Island—check out hamptonjitney.com for additional details. (Continued below)

Bonus holiday indulgence: If you’re interested in heading to the Meadowlands for the experience, and not because of any passion for a particular team, the New York Jets have upped the ante on game day entertainment with the introduction of food trucks to the tailgating scene.

For those who can’t make it to the game, Southampton Publick House offers Monday Night Madness specials to coincide with Monday Night Football—$5 pints, $5 burger platters, $10 pulled pork sliders and $5 wings.

To experience a unique, live winter sporting event, a frozen Mecox Bay in Water Mill has long attracted ice boaters. Ice skaters, however, often flock to Old Town Pond in Southampton, Town Pond in East Hampton or, for smoother glide, Buckskill Winter Club (buckskillwinterclub.com) in East Hampton and the ice rink in Greenport’s Mitchell Park (greenportvillage.com).

Interested in a more intense water activity? Consider taking the plunge. For those who want to work off their Thanksgiving dinner and get their heart rate up with a quick sprint, the Shelter Island Public Library will host the Turkey Plunge at Crescent Beach on November 24 (www.shelterislandpubliclibrary.com).

In Southampton, the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Coopers Beach will be on December 8. The event, which draws hundreds of crazy costume-clad divers and even more spectators, benefits Human Resources of the Hamptons  (www.hrhamptons.org). Insider’s tip: Wear socks. Numb feet are sensitive to even a grain of sand.

Around the holidays, it’s long been said that it’s the little things that matter most. The same can apply to keeping fit—little bursts of exercise, like doing sit ups during television commercials, can go a long way and help validate that slice of pie. ‘Tis the season—enjoy!

 

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