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Outdoor fitness: Vineyard boot camp, beach yoga and more

Sparkling Pointe Vineyards in Southold offers Buff on

Sparkling Pointe Vineyards in Southold offers Buff on the Vine, a new outdoor fitness class held on the grounds of the winery led by celebrity trainer Sue Fleming. (June 19, 2010) Photo Credit: Photo by Randee Dadonna

Sun, sweat - and sparkling wine? That's the formula for Buff on the Vine, a new outdoor exercise class on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at a winery in Southold. Led by celebrity fitness trainer Sue Fleming, students sprint, crunch and lunge their way through a 60-minute workout in the most unlikely setting - a lush, grassy field with neatly spaced rows of grapes growing on the vine.

"If I'm going to exercise, I'm going to enjoy myself," says Fleming, a Jamesport native and creator of the "Buff" series of fitness regimens for brides, new mothers and other women.

"You can't beat the beauty here," agrees Noreen Kelly, 45, of Southold, who was among a dozen people who showed up at Sparkling Pointe on a recent weekend for the bootcamp-style workout.

ABOUT THE CLASS

"If something is too easy, just let me know," Fleming says with a sardonic laugh before leading the class on a warm-up jog through the vineyard's tall rows of grapevines. That's followed by a series of deep side lunges and a 20-second sprint to get heartbeats revving.

Sun blazing, the class breaks down into pairs for circuit exercises using stretchy resistance bands and balancing on brightly colored stability balls strewn about the lawn.

"Get your feet up to the sky," Fleming instructs, moving between students with her assistant, Catherine Guerriere, to correct form and praise effort. "Do you feel the burn?"

After a quick water break, it's back to the vineyard for two more rounds of sprints between the grapevines and core-building exercises. Although the workout is intense, many say the setting is a welcome distraction.

"It's totally unique," says Kim Andersen, 40, an elementary school teacher from Cutchogue. "It makes this all the more better."

THE REWARD

At the one-hour mark, brows are sweaty and faces are flushed - but Fleming isn't done yet. After a series of cool-down stretches, the workout is capped with the arrival of trays bearing tall flute glasses filled with orange juice and the winery's own blend of sparkling wine. It's a crowd-pleasing reward.

Andersen says, "I'm ready for a mimosa - with ice."

Buff on the Vine

10 a.m. Saturdays and Wednesdays (beginning July 7) through Sept. 4 at Sparkling Pointe, 39750 Rte. 48, Southold, 917-362-0430, buffonthevine.com. Cost: $30 per session.

MORE OUTDOOR FITNESS CLASSES

Yoga on the Bay

8 a.m. Tuesdays July 13-Aug. 17 at Islip Beach and 8 a.m. Thursdays July 15-Aug. 19 at Sayville Beach, 631-224-5404. Cost: $60 for either series.

Offered through the Town of Islip's summer recreation program, this morning series of classes is held with a view of the Great South Bay - it's open to all levels, but registration is required.

Yoga on Gilgo Beach

9 a.m. Saturdays and 5:30 p.m. Mondays at Gilgo Beach, Ocean Parkway in Babylon, 631-893-2100. Cost:  $17 a class ($15 Town of Babylon residents).

For the fifth summer in a row, the Town of Babylon's beach yoga series is held, rain or shine, on the sand at Gilgo Beach. Advance registration is required.

Yoga in the Gardens

11:15 a.m. Thursdays and Saturdays (weather permitting) at Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Rd., 516-333-0048, oldwestburygardens.org. Cost: $15 a session.

A Kripalu yoga instructor leads students through a workshop on the lawn.

Also try outdoor tai chi, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, blends movement and meditation - workshop is open to all skill levels ($15).

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