Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cross Country Skiing for Health and Wellness

Chase away those winter blues while getting in shape: Cross Country Skiing is the perfect way to get out and enjoy the scenic winter wonderland of the Hudson Valley!  This popular and healthy outdoor winter activity can be fun for the whole family and provides an excellent aerobic workout which will have you looking and feeling your best by spring.

Most people know how important it is to remain active in the winter months, but with snow on the ground it can be difficult to get motivated.  While we all have the best intentions of hitting the gym from time to time, the prospect of watching sitcoms under florescent lights while pacing on a treadmill hardly inspires enthusiasm.

Cross country skiing is a great alternative!  You’ll love getting out in the sunshine to explore the beautiful natural winter landscapes found at popular Hudson Valley cross country ski destinations.  With more than 18 km of groomed trails with sweeping Hudson Valley and Catskill views, nearby Minnewaska State Park is popular choice.

Cross Country Skiing not only tones and strengthens every major muscle group; it also provides an excellent cardio-vascular workout.  Just an hour on the trail at a moderate pace can burn more than 500 calories while boosting your metabolism and lifting your spirits!

It’s well known that moderate exercise and sunshine can help fight depression, so cross country skiing is a great way to ward off the winter blues.  There’s no reason to suffer from “Cabin Fever” this year when a scenic winter wonderland of natural beauty awaits you.


Not sure where to start?  Most ski shops provide expert advice on selecting gear which will suit your tastes and budget, and many offer rental equipment and classes for beginners.  Check out our Top Ten Tips for Cross Country Skiing in the Hudson Valley, and you’re sure to start out on the right foot.

Top Ten Tips for Cross Country Skiing in the Hudson Valley

  1. Learn the rules.  Visit a Cross Country ski center and inform the staff that you are new to the activity.   They’ll be happy to help you learn the ins and outs, discuss trail etiquette and even point you to trails best suited to your skiing ability.
  2. Dress in layers.  Because cross country skiing is an aerobic activity; many beginners tend to overdress for the cold.  However, you can overheat quickly if dressed too warmly. Wear moisture-wicking underwear (no cotton!) with a lightweight fleece top with tights and a weatherproof outer shell.
  3. Take a pack.  You need a larger pack for winter cross-country skiing trips than you would for hiking in summer. Bring extra clothing and gear (e.g., a snow shovel) to stay comfortable and safe.
  4. Don’t forget the wax.  Keep some “glide wax” packets handy so you can keep your "no wax" skis gliding smoothly all day.  Apply only to the smooth surface of the ski base. For waxable skis, find a few grip waxes that cover the full range of temperatures you're likely to encounter.
  5. Stretch before and after your trip.  This helps prevent muscle soreness and keeps you flexible. Gently stretch the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus muscles and calves.  Cross-country skiing is also a great upper-body workout, so don't forget to stretch your biceps and triceps, too!
  6. Start slowly.  Walk the trail with a pair of poles but without skis. This is the easiest way to get acclimated to the opposite-arm, opposite-leg movement required in cross-country skiing
  7. Protect yourself from the sun.  Even on overcast days, reflected light off the snow and prolonged exposure can cause sunburns and even "snow blindness". Wear suitable sunscreen and sunglasses with good UV protection.
  8. Drink plenty of water.  Drink regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. Staying hydrated helps you to stay warm, and dehydration is the first step towards hypothermia.
  9. Practice Negotiating Hills.  Climbing uphill, make sure your body is centered above your feet and that your shoulders, hips and feet are aligned. Think about taking little steps up the hill, and try not to bend too far forward at the waist. Descending downhill, keep your body aligned above your feet. Once you’re skilled enough on skis, you can tuck into the position that Alpine racers use.
  10. Stay in Control.  To slow your descent when skiing in groomed tracks, carefully lift one ski out and set it at an angle to the track. Put pressure on the inside edge of that ski, in a "half snowplow" formation. Don’t press too hard, though, or you may catch your ski and stop too suddenly.
Eager to give it a try?  The Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is just minutes from some of the Hudson Valley’s best cross-country skiing!  Give us a call when planning your visit to the well groomed and popular trails at nearby Minnewaska State Park, the Mohonk Preserve, or the Catskills and we’ll help make the most of your stay.  We’re only 90 miles from NYC… you’ll just feel a world away.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Seven Simple Tips for Safer Holiday Travel

More families travel long distance to visit with friends and family during the holiday season than during any other time of the year.  Keep yourself and your loved ones safe this holiday by following these seven simple tips for safer holiday travel.

  1. Before starting out, make sure your vehicle is properly tuned and mechanically sound.  Consider having a mechanic inspect the vehicle for potential problems so they can be corrected before they become BIG problems on the road. 
  1. Try and steer clear of high density traffic by planning your route carefully and coordinating your departure time to avoid high-use areas such as large cities and major interstate highway exchanges during peak traffic hours.
  1. Know your route.  Don’t rely strictly on GPS guidance- familiarize yourself with your driving directions and plan alternate routes in case of an emergency, detours, or traffic jams.
  1. Try and avoid traveling between 12:00 and 3:00 AM.  More than 30% of fatal accidents occur during the early morning hours and often involve only one vehicle- usually the result of fatigue or alcohol consumption.  Keep your family safe overnight with a comfortable room at an affordable hotel.
  1. Don’t rush.  Allow extra time for your travel than necessary so you can slow down, reduce your stress level, and remain alert while driving.  Excessive speed is a factor in most fatal automobile accidents.  Remember that it is better to arrive at your holiday party late than never at all. 
  1. Avoid dangerous driving conditions.  If bad weather is looming with snow or ice projected to impact roadways along your route, consider postponing your travel plans, revising your departure schedule, or altering your route to avoid these hazards.  
  1. Remain mindful of basic safety protocol: buckle up, keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, remain a safe distance from other drivers, and never, EVER drive drunk or distracted.
By applying these seven simple tips for safer holiday travel and by observing proper safety protocol and driving regulations while on the road you can hope to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season with your loved ones both near and far.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Warm Holiday Memories on Cold Winter Days

In today’s fast and furious holiday madness, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the spirit of the Christmas Season.  Family and Tradition can often be drowned out by the constant cacophony of gaudy advertisements screaming for a share of your holiday shopping budget. 

Don’t let your holidays be hijacked!  Give your family the gift of a treasured holiday memory this season with a trip upstate to cut your very own christmas tree at one of our quaint Hudson Valley Christmas tree farms!

Step away from the crowds this year and step into a winter wonderland.  Harvesting your own natural Christmas tree hearkens back to a simpler age, and it can be a wonderful holiday experience your whole family will enjoy. 

Nearby Bells Christmas Tree Farm offers visitors the opportunity to select the perfect tree from more than 10 exciting varieties of every shape and size.  Armed with a saw and a sled, you’ll stroll through acres of scenic farmland while enjoying real “quality time” with your loved ones. 

Bells specializes in making warm memories on cold days, and they offer a number of holiday activities and treats along the way.  Be sure to enjoy some hot chocolate and apple cider while warming up in the rustic country gift-shop!  Featuring local honey, maple syrup and unique handmade gifts, you’ll find something for everyone on your list at Bell’s while helping to support New York agriculture.

Once you've found the perfect Christmas tree, the cutting process is fun and easy.  Simply saw parallel to the ground, and then load the tree onto the sled!  Don’t worry about environmental impact: just like fruits and vegetables, these trees are a managed crop and each year hundreds of new trees are planted to replace those harvested.

There’s really something special about cutting your very own Christmas tree, and your family will cherish the memory of your day at the farm.  This is how holiday traditions begin- by stepping away from the crowd, and spending time with one another.


Just 90 miles over the river and through the woods from NYC, Bells Christmas Tree Farm is just minutes from the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa.  With clean and comfortable accommodations at unbeatable rates, you’ll feel a world away without breaking your budget.  Just call or click today, and we’ll help you make the most of your holiday stay!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Top Ten Ways to Beat Holiday Stress


Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the holidays aren't far behind.  If you’re like most people in the Hudson Valley, holiday stress can significantly impact your enjoyment of the season.  With family on the way, holiday parties to plan, gifts to buy, and endless cooking and cleaning, stress can quickly add up for a less than happy holiday. 

The Hudson Valley has so much to offer throughout the holiday season that we shouldn't let stress get in the way.  Take a look at our Top Ten Ways to Beat Holiday Stress, and learn some effective techniques to keep your holiday woes in check.
Top Ten Ways to Beat Holiday Stress
10. Breathe Easy!
When holiday stresses mount, our bodies can react with a fight or flight response which includes excess muscle tension and increased breathing rate.  Practice this deep breathing technique and short-circuit your holiday stress.
  •  Recognize that a situation is triggering your stress symptoms. 
  • Break into a big, sparkly smile.  If you are in a public place then this can be an inward smile. This triggers a release of endorphins, your body's natural feel-good chemicals. 
  • Make a positive affirmation.  For example "I can do this" or “Be calm.” This counters the typical negative thoughts that may accompany stress. 
  • Take an easy, deep breath. Imagine this diaphragmatic breath coming up through the soles of your feet and filling your abdomen. 
  • As you exhale, let your jaw go loose, unclench your teeth, and allow your shoulders to relax. Imagine a wave of warmth flowing through your body.
9. Get Your Groove On
Listening to music while decorating for the holiday or preparing for company can be a great stress reliever by providing a mental distraction, reducing muscle tension and decreasing stress hormones. Crank up the volume and let your mind be absorbed by the music, not by your to-do list.  
8. Start a Holiday Journal
Writing out our thoughts and feelings can be a good release for otherwise pent-up emotions. Don't think about what to write — just let it happen. Write whatever comes to mind. No one else needs to read it, so don't strive for perfection in grammar or spelling.  Once you're done, you can toss out what you wrote, or save it to reflect on when stresses mount next holiday season!
7. Go to Bed!
Stress often makes getting quality sleep difficult. Your sleep can suffer when the stress of holiday party planning leaves you with too much to do and too much to think about.  But missing sleep prevents your brain and body from recharging, and can adversely affect your mood, energy level, concentration and overall functioning. If you experience trouble sleeping, make sure that you have a quiet, relaxing bedtime routine, listen to soothing music, put clocks away, and stick to a consistent schedule.
6.  Visit the Spa
There’s no better way to melt away holiday stress than treating yourself to a soothing soak in a spa Jacuzzi followed by a relaxing massage.  The Hudson Valley Resort’s spa facilities offer the perfect ways to ease your tension, revitalize your spirit, rejuvenate your mind, and regain a true sense of well-being and relaxation.  

5. Delegate, and learn when to say no!
You can’t do everything yourself, at least not without paying the price. Learn when to say no, and effectively delegate tasks.  Taking on too much at once may prevent conflict, but it can also lead to stress, anger and resentment when your needs and the needs of your family get lost in the holiday hustle. 
4. Try Yoga
Yoga is becoming an increasingly popular stress reliever.  Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety. Try yoga on your own or join a class:  Hatha yoga, in particular, is a good stress reliever because of its slower pace and easier movements. 
3. Laugh it off
A good sense of humor can’t cure what ails you, but it can definitely make you feel better- even if you have to force it through your holiday grumpiness. Laughing lightens your mental load and actually causes positive physical changes in your body. So read some jokes, tell some jokes, watch a holiday comedy or hang out with your funny friends.
2. Get Moving!
Virtually any form of exercise and physical activity can act as a stress reliever. You do not have to be an athlete or even in great shape. Physical activity pumps up your feel-good endorphins and refocuses your mind on your body's movements; improving your mood and helping your holiday stress fade away.  
1. Let someone else do all the work!
Give us a call, and we’ll take care of it all!  Planning your holiday party at the Hudson Valley Resort is the easy and affordable way to beat holiday stress!  With over 41,000 sq. ft. of versatile meeting space, banquet halls, performance venues and ballrooms, there's no better place to share the holiday spirit with your friends, family, or coworkers! 
Our professional event planners are with you every step of the way to help create the perfect holiday party this season, and our world-class catering team can custom tailor your menu to suit your group's tastes and holiday wishes.

Gracefully set on more than 400 wooded acres in the heart of the Shawangunk mountains, we're perfectly situated just 90 miles from NYC, just over the river and through the woods!

From intimate to grand scale, we'll work with you to create lasting holiday memories which suit your tastes, and your budget.  

Give us a call and find out just how easy and affordable your holiday party can be at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Growing With Pride: From farm to table, the bounty of the valley is ripe for the picking.

The Hudson Valley is in the midst of another exciting harvest season, and stunning fall foliage is setting the scene for apple pickingpumpkin pickingfarmer’s markets, corn mazes and more!

New York City may be “The Big Apple”, but the Hudson Valley is the place to be for picking apples in the fall.

Now's the time to plan your Autumn Escape, and  we've put together some great ways to help you to celebrate the season.


The family owned specialty farms, vineyards, and orchards of the Hudson Valley are producing award winning artisanal cheese, free-range poultry and meats, handcrafted wines, and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables which simply can’t be beat.  

There’s simply no better way to enjoy fall in the Hudson Valley than a trip to the farm to pick your own apples fresh from the tree or pumpkins right from the vine. The Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is ideally located within minutes of some of the regions best growers and autumn attractions to help you make the most of your visit.   

A trip to nearby Jenkins-Lueken Orchards is the perfect way to get out and pick crisp autumn apples against the dramatic backdrop of the Shawangunk Ridge.

Offering one of the most diverse assortment of farm-fresh apples ripe for the picking, this family owned and operated farm has been growing with pride for more than 50 years.

Just down the road at Saunderskill Farms, you’ll find the most delicious corn and tomatoes in the region, harvested daily.

There’s something special at their farm market all season long, including homemade artisanal breads, handcrafted candles, fresh baked pies, and more.  

A great place to bring the kids to pick their own pumpkins, this family owned farm has been growing with pride since 1680!  While you’re there, check out the Corn Maze!  Kids love this local harvest attraction, and best of all-  it’s free!

Featuring the world’s largest garden gnome, nearby Kelder’s Farm offers visitors fantastic pick your own opportunities including pumpkin picking, and classic fall activities like hayrides and a petting zoo. 

But the biggest draw is a mini-golf course designed by artist Maria Reidelbach.  The whimsical course is constructed from re-purposed farm implements, and is lined with vegetables, herbs, grains, and fruit that kids can pick along the way!

Just minutes from these and other exciting autumn attractions, The Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is the perfect place to stay while enjoying the spectacular Hudson Valley fall foliage.

Nestled on 400 wooded acres in the heart of the Shawangunk Mountains and surrounded by gorgeous Catskill views, the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is proud to offer an unbeatable fall getaway.

Resort amenities include crystal clear indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, arcade center, tennis and basketball courts, and so much more!

Now is the time to make your Autumn escape, so give us a call today at 845-626-8888 and we’ll help you make the most of the Hudson Valley harvest!

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