Trainer Jacob Bedard knows that an active lifestyle doesn't come naturally to everyone—he confesses to having lived a sedentary life throughout his high-school days. After graduation, he discovered the positive effects that fitness and proper nutrition had on his life and dedicated himself to helping others lead healthier lives as well. At GroupFit Boot Camp, Jacob motivates his clients to reach their fitness goals through a results-oriented program featuring workouts that change daily, a process that maximizes impact by keeping muscles confused. These outdoor boot-camp sessions are designed to suit clients of all ages and abilities—from those who want to shed a few vanity pounds to those looking to lose some serious weight—and may include resistance training, core-strengthening exercises, and cardio. To help his clients keep up a healthier lifestyle outside of camp, he also posts workouts that can easily be done at home and maintains a comprehensive online nutrition program.
Parker Jones worked his way from the ground up to helm Capital Bicycle, which first opened in 1970. He started his career at Capital in 1996 as a once-a-week employee looking to get a good deal on parts and escape the mournful howls of his neglected sedan, but within months he became a store mechanic. A year, he later took control of the entire store, and ultimately, he became its sole owner.
Jones set out to expand the shop’s services in both scope and size, and today, Capital resides in a 4,000-square-foot shop and is one of the region’s first concept stores for California-based bicycle manufacturer Specialized. Customers flock to the shop to purchase Specialized bikes and Bellwether apparel, and they can find their ideal bicycle fit with the help of an in-house certified body-geometry technician. Capital also fosters its own cycling community with a schedule of group rides and helps cyclists to keep tabs on other local events.
Inside an unassuming brick building, Ridgely Retreat takes its name seriously. The multifaceted spa, wellness center, and yoga studio offers mental escapes in the form of hot-stone massages and meditation classes as well as physical relief in the form of acupuncture and chiropractic services. The eclectic yoga offerings range from gentle and Vinyasa classes to yoga dance, wine-and-cheese yoga, children’s yoga, and the newly added aerial yoga. On the spa side, services such as glycolic peels and Fraxel laser resurfacing flaunt a modern edge, though the cherry-blossom facial, detox body wrap, and warm bamboo treatment let clients experience the kind of classic relaxation enjoyed by hedonistic pandas the world over.
Emily and Philip Vendemmia look after their students by wrangling a massive schedule of more than 72 classes per week spread over three locations. Bolstered by a strong team of certified Bikram yoga instructors, the duo guides students through Bikram’s 90-minute routine, consisting of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Instructors crank each studio’s practice space to a hot and humid 105 degrees to help pupils’ muscles safely sink into deep, healing stretches and purge harmful toxins from the body. Each of the standing and seated poses is designed to work every muscle, ligament, and joint while sending freshly oxygenated vampire food to the organs to help support health and fitness.
Founded in 1914, the original New York City location of Sterling Optical doled out frames amid the Ford Model Ts and paperboys that swarmed the city's financial district. The original band of eyesight experts weathered years of economic depression by impressing customers with speedy, full-service vision care, later launching a second store near Washington, DC. Today, a century of steady franchise expansion has given rise to almost 200 store locations in 23 states. Most locations continue the tradition of offering one-stop optical services, giving customers access to exams and onsite labs that manufacture glasses in one hour. The spectacle provider has been named one of the nation's leading franchises by Entrepreneur magazine.
At Back to Nature Health and Wellness Center, leading practitioner Argo Duenas's deep belief in the benefits of holistic healing took her off the path of traditional medical nursing two decades ago and redirected her journey toward certification in colonic hygiene, reflexology, and energy adjustment. Inside her clean, homey, brick-fronted clinic, Duenas relies on drug-free methods such as reiki, colon hydrotherapy, and ear candling to purge the body of toxins and attempt to alleviate ailments ranging from digestive disorgers to chronic fatigue. Argo also teaches body awareness, and preventative wellness through lectures and seminars.