As they enter the training at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
For more than 30 years, the senseis behind Martial Arts America have filled the minds and fists of students as young as 4 years old through adulthood with the focus, discipline, and confidence that comes from studying self-defense. The instructors lead five martial-arts forms—tae kwon do, eskrima, jujitsu, krav maga, and CDT training, which stands for compliance, direction, and takedown—helping patrons strengthen their bodies and minds. This multidimensional program trains students in defensive tactics such as strikes, grappling, throws, rolls, and using fighting sticks to protect innocent civilians from rogue baseball-pitching machines.
Treadmills, step classes, and free weights were making Joy Poulsen feel boxed in at the gym. She wanted a fun, up-tempo workout in the fresh air—that's why she created Inspire Fitness Boot Camps. Joy and her fellow coaches lead women in workouts that never let campers stop moving, for fear they'll freeze that way. An emphasis on exercises that emulate real-life movement means bodies can fall into the workout naturally, which makes it both safe and effective.
Body Mechanix’s talented personal trainers, including a nationally ranked strongman and a Harvard grad, didn’t get buff all by their lonesome. Believing that encouragement and camaraderie make as much difference as weight and reps, they cook up ever-changing routines through collaboration with their fellow fitness gurus, a practice that allows them to share ideas and show off their ability to bench-press other bodybuilders. Individual lessons send clients sprinting across indoor stretches of turf or hiking heart rates with cardio and weight machines, whereas group classes help them sweat off inches with fast-paced boot-camp exercises or teach them how to jab out aggression with circuit boxing.
Characterized by broad-leafed fauna, private massage rooms with plush beds, and soothing white-and-lavender walls, Haven Day Spa offers an island-style respite from the helter-skelter outside world. The spa specializes in natural facials and massage. In keeping with the island theme, therapists knead away tension using a Polynesian style of massage called lomi lomi. The centuries-old modality, imported from Hawaii, gets blood circulating, spiriting oxygen to far-flung extremities with the help of gliding strokes. Focusing their attention on faces, aestheticians perform a handful of facials and body treatments. For the natural facial and deep-pore facial, they start with an in-depth skin analysis, sleuthing out the causes of blotched complexions and other complexion-based maladies before customizing a regimen of exfoliation and cleansing.
For longtime dancers Rachel Jackson and Aderemi Rucker, the creation of Destined 2 Dance Studio & Performing Arts took a leap of faith. They had performed together as a gospel-infused praise-dance duo for several years, and had been asked many times about offering classes. In 2003, they decided to give it a try, and since then, they've helped both adults and children express themselves through dance. Classes include ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, and praise styles, and the studio also has its own dance company.