By Tessa Raebeck
While many fitness regimes focus on getting a toned butt, a flat stomach or losing an inordinate amount of pounds in an impossible amount of weeks, Kiley Sabatino and Anastasia Gavalas don’t want to help you simply ‘get thin,’ they want to empower you to change your life.
With New Year’s resolutions still ripe in our minds, many East End residents are striving to be healthier. This Sunday, Hamptons Wellness Week, organized by Sabatino and Gavalas, is offering dozens of heavily discounted fitness classes, lectures and other events to kick start a year of good health.
“It’s touching upon all the important aspects that we want,” said Gavalas of the event. “It’s not just a get-on-a-diet plan, not just a crash course on getting thin. It’s not about that, it’s really a holistic approach to mind, body and soul.”
Gavalas, who lives in Bridgehampton, is a family life teacher and the founder of the Wing It Project, a social arts project that benefits children’s organizations worldwide. After meeting Sabatino, the founder of OneHealthyHamptons.com, they came up with the idea for a full week devoted to the local wellness community.
“We basically looked at each other and said, ‘What can we do?’” said Gavalas.
“I just think it’s so unique out here,” said Sabatino. “The health and wellness community out here is so amazing, so I wanted to empower it.”
Dozens of local businesses are participating in the event, which kicks off with a sign-up Sunday at Hampton Coffee Company’s Experience Store in Southampton. People who sign up will receive a gift bag (for the first 50) and a program outlining the variety of things they can do during the week.
Participants can pay $25 for three vouchers or $35 for seven. The vouchers are good for classes throughout the East End at a variety of studios, gyms and fitness centers.
From Pilates to CrossFit, there is something for everyone. Men and women, children and seniors, fitness experts or beginners can all find a suitable class, attend a relevant lecture or at the very least, enjoy the pizza party at the week’s end.
“It’s for people that want to try new classes but are hesitant to go in there,” said Sabatino. “They can go with friends, feel more comfortable. People don’t want to spend $40 [on a fitness class]…this allows them to try it for $5.”
Eighteen local fitness centers from Montauk to Hampton Bays are participating, including five yoga studios, Studio 89 in Sag Harbor, Exceed in East Hampton, BodyTech and the Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute at Southampton Hospital, to name a few.
Hamptons Wellness Week takes ‘health’ a few steps further than working out; it incorporates lectures from life coaches and other wellness experts, as well as fun promotions like facials from White’s Pharmacy in East Hampton and consultations with local nutritionist Tapp Francke.
“By healthy,” said Sabatino, “I really mean balanced. So a good life, not very strict, having fun and taking advantage of the awesome activities and events and parties and everything going on in the community and kind of intertwining it into a balanced, good life.”
Each night, a different local expert will lecture on a topic of their choice, ranging from stress management to life coaching.
“Basically,” said Sabatino, “it’s what experts would like to communicate to the community. They’re all doing it for free and they’re all really excited about it.”
Gavalas, who has five children ranging in age from seven to 15, will present “Rebalance your Family in 2014” on Tuesday.
The wrap-up party Friday is at Fresh Hamptons, where kids and families can make pizzas with chef Todd Jacobs and cloth wings with Gavalas, as part of the Wing It Project. Cocktails and food tastings follow.
In addition to empowering locals to get healthy, Hamptons Wellness Week aims to give energy to local businesses that are slower this time of year.
“The whole point,” said Sabatino, “is to celebrate health and wellness in this community, to make it available to people who are here all year round.”
“It’s about making really good change — and realistic change — that will guide them throughout the year,” added Gavalas.
Hamptons Wellness Week is January 12 to 17. For more information and a full schedule of offerings, visit hamptonswellnessweek.com.