Outdoor drop-in fitness classes on Long Island

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Forget sweating it out at the gym. Take an outdoor workout class under the sun. Whether it be tai chi, cycling or yoga, fitness instructors are holding these classes all over Long Island and welcome drop-ins. Here are six places where you can exercise al fresco this season. 

TAI CHI AT LONGHOUSE RESERVE

133 Hands Creek Rd., East Hampton

Attendees of an introductory Tai Chi class get grounded at the Longhouse Reserve on July 8, 2023. Credit: Elizabeth Sagarin

Learn the ancient martial art of tai chi at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton where classes are taught inside the gardens.

“We move around depending on what flowers are in bloom,” says instructor Katherine Henderson. “Being outside is natural to the art form because tai chi is founded in nature. It really enhances the experience.”

The hourlong class starts with a warm-up followed by some qigong martial arts, into a simple tai chi form concluding with a tai chi sword routine, substituted with wood and bamboo.

“This class is all about movement meditation,” says Henderson. “It’s an excellent way to relax, slow down your breathing to get yourself focused on your body. Your mind and body become one.”

Paul Hollander, 80, of East Hampton has been practicing tai chi for over 40 years and currently participates in Henderson’s class.

“The strength in your legs increases as well as your balance,” says Hollander. “You move slowly and you have to think a lot about what movement comes after the next.”

When Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Cost $30 per class

More info 631-329-3568, longhouse.org

STROLLER STRONG MAMAS AT STOTZKY MEMORIAL PARK

Columbus Avenue, Riverhead

Stroller Strong Mamas has made it possible to exercise with kids. The program offers hourlong strength training classes at Stotzky Memorial Park in Riverhead.

“All kids of adult participants are welcome to join in the exercises,” says instructor/owner Rachel Goodale. “You are giving your body what it needs while setting an example for your children and bonding with them.”

The Stroller Strong Mamas class involves a series of cardio exercises including situps, deep squats and body weight movements while moving around the park. Kids who aren’t interested in joining in are welcome to bring their bikes and scooters to ride.

“There are functional exercises for when you are lifting your kids off the floor and you can use the proper form with real strength,” says Goodale. “We can easily modify or advance movements. I try to make every class welcoming for every level.”

Erin Niemczyk, 34, of Wading River, who is the mother of a 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son, has been regularly taking SSM classes since last October.

“I wanted to get healthier so I could be less tired when I’m playing with my kids and live a healthier lifestyle. These classes have helped me do that,” says Niemczyk. “Plus, it gives them extra one-on-one time with me, which is something I can’t get enough of.”

When Wednesdays at 9:15 a.m.

Cost $15 per class

More info 631-766-6672, strollerstrongmamas.com

SPIN AT COMEBACK FITNESS

Natalie Cohen Gould of Comeback Fitness leads an outdoor spin...

Natalie Cohen Gould of Comeback Fitness leads an outdoor spin class in East Hampton on July 8, 2023.

174 Daniels Hole Rd., East Hampton

Put on a pair of silent disco headphones and jump on a cycle as the Comeback 45 spin class gets rolling at Comeback Fitness outside the Clubhouse in East Hampton where over 15 classes are held each week.

“The first song or two you are winding into your energy and preparing for the ride,” says co-founder/instructor Natalie Cohen Gould. “You’ll gradually climb to the top of a hill through resistance and sprinting.”

The 45-minute workout session is open to all fitness levels.

As a former triathlete, Sally Murphy, 71, of East Hampton starts each day with a morning spin class. “The vibe is really good. You can make it as easy as you want or as hard as you want,” says Murphy. “Plus, spin class doesn’t hurt your knees and it keeps me young.”

When Classes offered weekdays and weekends; closed Wednesdays.

Cost $40 per class

More info comebackcycle.com

LI STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING AT SUNSET HARBOR

90 Colonial Dr., East Patchogue

Get out on the water at Sunset Harbor by taking a 75-minute class with Long Island Stand Up Paddle Boarding in East Patchogue. Equipped with a board, life vest and a paddle, beginners can learn how to approach the sport.

“You start by being taught how to properly paddle. It’s not like being in a kayak; it’s more like paddling a canoe,” says owner Joe Sup. “You have to switch hands — right hand on top, then left hand on top. The key is to get used to it like dribbling a basketball.”

How to turn is another important lesson.

“Turning is not done by just paddling on one side, it’s paddling reverse left, reverse right so you can turn quickly instead of making a big loop,” says Sup. “We go over these logistics, so the participant has these skills down before they get going.”

There are even tips given on how to properly stand up on the board, which is attached to the rider’s ankle.

When Daily 10:30 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m., plus 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays

Cost $47 per class

More info 631-326-7926, longisland-sup.com

ROOFTOP YOGA AT ALLEGRIA HOTEL

80 W. Broadway, Long Beach

Start your day on the roof of the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach where Love Integration Yoga holds its Rise and Shine morning class overlooking the ocean.

“I want people to feel more connected to themselves and more connected to nature,” says instructor/owner Elizabeth Dunne. “Being outside enhances the experience because the seascape is always changing.”

The class begins with a gentle warm-up, breathing exercises moving into a vinyasa (a flow of postures) to get the body going followed by a series of poses like fish pose, bridge pose and triangle pose.

“We work on releasing tension from the entire spinal column,” says Dunne. “You walk away from this class like you’ve just been on a yoga vacation.”

When 7:15 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, Friday through Sunday

Cost $20 per class

More info 516-652-3422, loveintegrationyoga.com

TRX TRAINING AT BEACHFIT

2888 Long Beach Rd., Oceanside

Experience a total body workout during a TRX FIT training session outside BeachFIT Training in Oceanside. Participants work out with slam balls, kettlebells, sandbags, resistance bands and rowers to get their blood pumping.

“I can have a beginner who has never worked out in their life, right next to a triathlete doing the same moves. It’s all based on your angle and position to the anchor point,” says general manager Christina Boccio. “We’re all core, all the time focusing on strength, flexibility and mobility — pretty much maximizing all your muscles.”

A group of three-to-five people rotate at four different stations with an instructor overseeing the class.

“It’s an alternative to private training,” says Boccio. “The only thing you have to bring is your energy.”

Patty Abramson of Merrick gets in a session five times a week and is pleased with the results. “The instructors are very motivating,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like you are working out in a gym, it feels like you are part of a team.”

When 30 classes per week; times vary

Cost $35 per class

More info 516-207-0786, beachfitlongisland.com

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