Soothed sighs and breathless chatter fill Alvin Health & Wellness Center, attesting to spa services and heart-pumping fitness classes. Stones for back massage soak up warmth as aromatherapy oils fill the air, and massage artists pack together algae mud wraps. The staff also leads cardio-kickboxing and fitness-boot-camp classes to better bodies as well as minds and self-defense classes that teach pupils to fight off overly aggressive car-wash mascots.
Because of licensed massage therapist Jalaine Hunter, it’s possible some astronaut felt more relaxed, calm, and collected during a stressful re-entry. That’s because two out of her five years of experience has been spent administering massages for NASA. Today, she draws from that experience and six types of massage, such as Swedish, hot stone, and trigger-point therapy, to pamper clients and untie their painful muscle knots.
Trainer and fitness guru Justin Bradshaw modeled Sgt. H2O's Aquatic Boot Camp after the rigorous training he received as an Army diver. Each aquatic session tests fitness practitioners of all ability levels with moves designed to maximize lung capacity, boost swimming speed, and tone the entire body. Water adds extra resistance that amplifies the effects of exercise, and the pool’s gentle gravity proves easy on the joints. Exercisers tackle tasks such as pool sprints, towel swims, treading water with weights, bending submarines over one’s knee, and group exercise drills, as well as aquatic conditioning kicks. In Dallas, Sgt. H2O's personal training programs entitle trainees to attend complimentary boot-camp classes if they complete three hours of personal training per week. An online depository of nutritional advice helps students keep their weight-loss or healthy-living efforts on track.
A full-service healthcare and wellness practice formerly known as InterFit, RediClinic pairs licensed nurse practitioners and physician assistants with patients seeking services ranging from physicals and vaccinations to cosmetic consultations and diabetes testing. Typically found inside retail stores, RediClinics don't require any appointments, making walk-in service as seamless as the plot of most Newhart fan fiction. In addition to preventive services, RediClinic has also expanded its services into the realms of proactive health, promoting wellness with weight-loss counseling and programs to help patients stop smoking.
More than 40 independent hairstylists, aestheticians, and massage therapists man the private suites tucked into Mélange Gallery of Salons. Without ever leaving the atelier's cozy confines, guests can gussy up their nails with a manicure, procure eyelash extensions, and test out just how soft they can make their indoor voice. Other business owners specialize in color services and jewelry.
It seems there's something for everyone beneath the high ceilings of the Friendswood Fitness facility. Different sections of the floor are painted with track markings, yard lines, and basketball-court delineations. Weight machines challenge muscles, as do stationary bikes when people try to carry them onto the treadmills. Workout gear such as free weights and fitness ropes abounds. Varied class options include yoga, Zumba, and interval training, and personal trainers customize one-on-one workouts.
Kara's Pole Studio is anything but exclusive. Owner Kara Davis makes a point to welcome every adult—no matter their age, size, or gender—to engage in high-flying, liberating exercises. Though spouses and significant others can't attend the same classes as their mates, Kara welcomes all to experience her pole-conditioning, chair-dance, and cardio-burlesque courses. As an extra treat for her students, Kara also hosts special guests, which have previously included industry celebs such as regional pole-dance champions and Miss Pole Dance Australia 2012.