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Want to Lose Five Pounds During the Holidays?

Columnist not afraid to add a little ice cream and sugar to her exercise routine

Want to Lose Five Pounds During the Holidays?

Think about it. What if there was a way to enter 2011, having left five excess pounds of yourself behind in 2010? Sound appealing?

There are many options in town where you can be personally trained, curved, coached and circuited. And those work well. But, it's the holidays. Surely there are more festive ways to shed pounds, get in touch with the spirit of the season and still have a 'dashing through the snow' kind of experience. Sweat is sweat after all. 

Where to begin? A good first stop is, for a quick beverage. Don't want to dehydrate. Their warm, caramel apple cider will help set the mood. I'm just saying.

Properly quenched, we begin our journey across the street at the . Research indicates that stress is a leading cause of poor diet and diminished sleep patterns, both of which can lead to weight gain. YCC classes like Yogalates, a fusion of pilates-yoga designed to power up the core and condition the body, as well as Yoga 4 Strength, muscle sculpting and flexibility, create harmony in  place of stress. Add to this, a lovely space with floor to ceiling windows that shower participants in sun or moon light and you are certain to leave feeling peaceful, yet energized.   

As we leave Collinsville, it might be a good idea to grab a little pick me up. Maybe a nibble of sugar plums or a chunk of peppermint bark at to continue to be inspired, you know, to keep moving.

Next, we find ourselves heading east on Route 44 to . Want to feel calf and thigh muscles you never knew you had? Try an Adult Ballet course. I took this class for a number of years and loved it. Typically, it attracted a mix of people; those with little dance experience (like me)  and others who seemed to glide across the floor on air. Despite the diversity of the group, the atmosphere in class was never competitive and always inclusive. This is not to say that ballet, even basic, is not challenging because it is. Yet, at this time of year, how can you not want to channel your inner Sugar Plum Fairy or Nutcracker Prince?

Now, this being the season of gratitude and giving, it would be wrong not to acknowledge the hard work that went into creating the holiday flavors of premium ice cream available at both at (peppermint stick) or the Canton Creamery (pumpkin or gingerbread). So, feel grateful enough to get a cone.

If you're more of a free spirit and don't mind releasing your inner tribal warrior, Zumba at , may be for you. With interwoven patterns of Latin, African and world rhythms, Zumba creates a high energy, pulsating environment. Those five pounds haven't got a chance. Adding to the festivities, your first Zumba class at ADP is free, a gift to you.

Speaking of rhythm, Salsa, Tango, Swing or Jive classes, offered at either or Steps in Time, promise an aerobic workout that you'll never see coming. The heat you generate builds endurance, flexibility and strength as you tap into the same core posture and balance muscles used in pilates. FADS also offers Friday night parties where you can try out a variety of dance moves with their friendly, professional instructors in the relative anonymity of a crowd of people dressed in clothes that glitter, swoosh and sparkle like Christmas tree lights.

After an afternoon spent dancing the Rumba, wouldn't an old fashioned, red velvet cupcake at Cake Gypsy really hit the spot?  Moist and tender. Kind of how you're feeling right about now. It goes down good with your bottled water.

Canton is blessed to have so many places to flex, cross body lead, carnival or pirouette yourself into a svelter model. Every studio visited in this column, offers a wide variety of classes to suit those who want to play. So, while there may be the occasional detour to a siren-calling truffle, you can still awaken on New Year's Day to realize that five pounds of you has gone missing; advertently left behind in 2010.      

Here's The Deal 

Ben & Jerry's, Shoppes at Farmington Valley; 693-3202. 110 Albany Turnpike, Suite 703, Canton

Canton Creamery; 693-1557; 465 Albany Turnpike, Canton

A Dancer's Palette; 921-3176 (Lacey Byrne, instructor); 12 Cheryl Drive, Suite 3, Canton

Fred Astaire Dance Studio; 693-1256. 16c Cheryl Drive, Canton

Cake Gypsy; 335-0510. 220 Albany Turnpike, Canton Village, Canton

LaSalle Market & Deli; 693-8010. 104 Main St., Collinsville

Steps in Time; 693-1234. 95C Albany Turnpike, Canton

Valley Ballet; 693-6042. 140 Albany Turnpike, Canton

Village Sweet Shoppe; 693-3301. 5 River St., Collinsville 

Yoga Center of Collinsville; 693-9642. 10 Front St., Collinsville



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