THE 2006 HEALTH AND BEAUTY GUIDE 

The holidays can be a punishing time. Not only do we take ourselves through an emotional Abu Ghraib of rigidly enforced family gatherings and alcohol-induced fugues of nostalgia, we end up coping with it all by stuffing our sob holes with scads of pie and ice cream and cheese-covered things. And then we feel guilty, and that guilt is manifested by troubling areas of puffiness on our own bodies. Well, the time has come to stop crying and start feeling better. The following is just a friendly list of places that might help you to do that. Fatty.

THE GYMS

To feel good about yourself and possibly run into your Aunt Jane, try:

CURVES
The Lifetime Network of gyms, the Curves sales pitch is an eyeful of pastel and an earful of “you go girl,” but don’t let that discourage you: the membership price is better than half-bad and your mom has great things to say about the 30-minute circuit workout.
182 Ave C, between E 11th and 12th Sts. 212-353-3600 www.curves.com. Plus more than a dozen other locations throughout the boroughs .
$59 monthly, $149 initiation


To do more pelvic thrusts in the name of self-improvement than you thought were possible, head to:

CRUNCH
Crunch is best known for funky cardio dance classes like Bollywood Dance, Thrash! and Street Crunk. The Cardio Strip Tease class is enthusiastically endorsed by participants and their boyfriends alike. (Street Crunk?)
54 E 13th St, between Union Sq W and Broadway. 212-475-2018, crunch.com. Various other locations .
$69 monthly, $199 initiation


To save money and get fit without being fussed over, try:

YMCA
Can’t afford the Chelsea Piers membership, young man? There’s no need to feel down: you’ll lose just as much weight working out at the YMCA as you would working out anywhere else, and we’re sure you will find many ways to have a good time.
225 Atlantic Ave, Bklyn. 718-625-3136, ymcanyc.org. All over the city.
$39 monthly, $40-$125 enrollment.

To cool down after a torrid workout in front of a roaring fireplace, your best bet is:

CLAY
Clay is a gym that caters to the stressed and wealthy set with spa-like perks like concierge service and a fireplace in the lounge. If you can spare the $140 monthly rate and the $525 initiation fee, this might be the gym for you.
25 W 14th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves. 212-688-5280,
insideclay.com, $140 monthly, $525 initiation


To use a treadmill at 4:30am, after a night of drinking and smoking, definitely head to:

NEW YORK SPORTS CLUB
With so many locations in Manhattan open 24 hours a day, New York Sports Club is pretty freaking convenient if you live on the island. Plus, if you’re a NYSC member, you can get into Sports Clubs in D.C., Philadelphia and Boston as well.
45 Rockefeller Plz, between 50th and 51st Sts.
212-218-8600


To run into movie stars like Hillary Swank training for their next action film, go to:

GLEASON’S
Gyms can be ridiculous, macho places, with every one checking each other out in some kind of pissing contest/mating ritua — not so legendary boxing gym Gleason’s. Amazingly enough, everyone there cares way more about what they need to be doing for the ring, than whether or not you can lift 200 lbs. over your head (you can’t). It may not be packed with creature comfort amenities, and you’ll probably see more blood than you’re used to, but it’s a great place to get in shape.
83 Front St, between Washington and Main Sts. 718-797-2872
gleasonsgym.net. $70 a month, $420 for seven months. $25 an hour for trainers (highly recommended)

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