In practice rooms with aqua-blue walls and wooden floors, Willow Yoga's passionate instructors guide students toward physical fitness and stress relief. Small groups move through a variety of Hatha yoga classes and yoga Pilates fusion classes. The atmosphere is supportive, and instructors provide modifications of routines so that students can practice within their comfort zones. At the end of each class, a guided relaxation helps participants to find peace and focus.
Instead of modifying one’s natural reaction to danger, YMA Krav Maga & K.O. Bag Fitness builds upon inborn instincts. Its namesake method of self-defense, krav maga, hails from Israel but has sharpened the arsenal of the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and NYPD. The noncompetitive technique can be boiled down to a central mantra: use the nearest tool for the job to finish the fight as quickly as possible. This means striking attackers in vulnerable areas with whichever limb will land a blow quickly and efficiently—whether that is a fist punching the neck, an elbow or knee to the groin, or a toe tickling an armpit. Students master these tenants of krav maga in group classes, which also teach how to fend off takedowns and weapons by acting out real-life situations. Fitness and the ability to smell danger inherently result from krav maga training, and K.O. Bag workout classes can put some extra oomph into exercise with challenging cardio and strength routines that include boxing and martial-arts kicks.
The Wellness Center brandishes a glass-enclosed pool, a well-stocked cardio center, and a slew of interactive, sneakers-on classes. Fit gatherings take place seven days a week, with more than 100 complimentary selections, including Zumba, flexibility, boot camp, and classes oriented around underwater sandcastle smashing. Specialty classes accommodate serious sports enthusiasts, seniors, and exercise aficionados with physical limitations, and aqua-fitness sessions take full advantage of the 25-yard glass-enclosed pool. A free goal evaluation—available to all members—guides muscle-mongers toward healthy targets.
Having worked with professional MMA and UFC competitors, the instructors at Ludus MMA Fitness train students as if they were fighters. Inside the coliseum-shaped facility, intense, hour-long workouts blend elements of boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and yoga, and present a challenging alternative to standard routines. Sessions unfold atop Olympic-quality training mats, with heavy bags, speed bags, and weights enveloping groups in a fitness-driven framework.
Getting in shape wasn't just a good idea for Tami Haukedahl; it was the law. The state required the now-retired trooper captain to pass regular fitness exams during her 27 years of service. Today, she brings the techniques that kept her hale for three decades to her students, helping them to achieve their health and fitness goals through her boot camps and one-on-one personal training.
Patrons of all fitness levels and ages gather at her camps, where she cultivates an uplifting atmosphere of camaraderie built on positive reinforcement and respect. Using free weights and body-weight resistance exercises, Tami motivates students to increase their strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. Her boot camps take place outdoors during the summer months, leading her students in dodging nature's obstacles while laughing in the face of minor precipitation. During the winter, boot camps move to an indoor facility, mostly to avoid all the leering snowmen, where campers work up a sweat while completing similarly varied routines.
For more than 30 years, the ladies at Women's Workout & Wellness have cultivated a supportive environment in which women can focus on health, fitness, and wellness. Whether grooving through Zumba sessions, pushing weight sleds, performing lifts, or sweating, students find plenty of challenges in the center’s classes. Staffers gauge fitness level by analyzing BMI and testing cardio, strength, flexibility, and the ability to karate-chop airborne cucumbers. Experts also lend advice on nutritional intake and help clients set personalized goals. Before and after sweat sessions, ladies can suit up and cool down in the spacious showers and locker rooms at each location. Daycare is available at some locations for a nominal fee.