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April Yakaboski (second from left) leads a ‘hot yoga’ class at Aerial Fitness in Riverhead. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photo)

Around the holidays, people begin thinking about ways they can give back to the less fortunate.

Many volunteer at local soup kitchens or purchase toys for children. Others donate coats, hats and scarves.

While these are all worthy causes, employees at Aerial Fitness & Hot Yoga Studio in downtown Riverhead have decided to pay things forward in a different way this year by raising money for the dogs and cats in the care of the North Fork Animal Welfare League.

To that end, the Main Street business will host a “sweat-a-thon” from 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, said manager, fitness instructor and trainer Rachel Goodale. During the event, participants will have the opportunity to choose from 30-minute time slots filled with cycling and sculpting classes, hot and aerial yoga and more.

“We’ve done past ‘spin-a-thons’ for the same cause, but this is the first year we’re doing the sweat-a-thon, where we’re including more of our classes and using all of our studios,” Ms. Goodale said.

Participants will be asked to donate $40 to gain entry to the event — 100 percent of which will benefit NFAWL, said Ms. Goodale. Aerial Fitness has also partnered with Goodale Farms in Aquebogue and local restaurants to offer gift certificates that will be raffled off toward the end of the event, she said. All funds raised through raffle ticket sales will also be donated to NFAWL.

People who can’t attend the sweat-a-thon but still want to contribute can drop off pet food, collars or toys at Aerial Fitness, Ms. Goodale said. Anyone who does will receive a voucher for a free class at the studio.

Gillian Wood Pultz, director of NFAWL’s shelters in Riverhead and Southold, called Aerial Fitness’ idea “absolutely fabulous.”

“We are trying to expand our notability in the Town of Riverhead,” said Ms. Wood Pultz, whose organization took control of the animal shelter there three years ago. “Since we’ve taken over, we have spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on community outreach services: spaying and neutering, etcetera. It’s fabulous that they know about us and want to help us.”

To reserve your spot at Aerial Fitness & Hot Yoga Studio’s sweat-a-thon, visit Space is limited and checks should be made out to North Fork Animal Welfare League.

Have a health column idea for Rachel Young? Email her at [email protected].