At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
After a brush with death that left her temporarily paralyzed, Crystal Hadnott fought to achieve full functionality with her body—and she hasn't stopped moving since. She got certified as a personal trainer, a Pilates and spin instructor, and a nutritionist, and today she shares her motivation to stay healthy at Synergy Total Holistic Health & Wellness. During outdoor boot camps or one-on-one sessions, Cyrstal helps clients work out without injuring themselves, focusing primarily on the healthy, functional movements that lead to a stronger body.
Students should bring: Mat, Bottle of Water, Towel
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Outdoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Hosted by the Antibiotic Awareness Foundation of Texas, the charitable 5K raises awareness of antibiotics in society and agriculture. Though most people know that antibiotics can cure infections, the organization promotes a more nuanced understanding of their properties, including teaching about different types of antibiotics and their proper uses. Safe medication disposal sites provided by the Coalition of Behavorial Health Services at the race’s start showcase the race's mission, but at the post-race party, the mission is to snack, vibe to live entertainment, and celebrate a successful run by creating a dance move called the "neurotic antibiotic."
As the sun sets and darkness blankets the city, runners, joggers, and walkers of all ages run, jog, or walk through the Neon Splash Dash, a luminescent jaunt that benefits a chosen charity partner. To the soundtrack of adrenaline-boosting tunes, participants clad in white T-shirts make their way through four glow zones, each filled with volunteers armed with a different color of intense UV glow water. Once across the finish line, they'll attend the After Glow Party, which bathes them in the otherworldly illumination of black lights and the accompanying joy of wearing a self-satisfied smile as they play games and enjoy entertainment for the rest of the night.
Charged only by the moon, glowing costumes, and a desire to help local charities, participants in the Firefly Run take over their city streets for friendly 5K and 10K competition. During the race, runners cut through the cool night air decked out in incandescent gear, leaving little neon trails behind them like a gaggle of baby comets. Participants are encouraged to sign up in teams and coordinate outfits for the postrace costume contest, and DJs and LED dance troupes gather around the finish line to welcome them back from moonlit journeys.
If the Color Fun Fest were televised, it might have viewers wondering if someone had messed with their TVs' color settings. That's because, at one-kilometer intervals across the race course, staffers shower runners with neon powders, transforming them into a kind of collective stampeding rainbow. But participants won't find a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow—or, for that matter, a podium; the 5K run is noncompetitive and doesn't track times. Instead, they'll step into a lively party where colors fly through the air and stopwatches are smashed like piñatas. The celebration draws inspiration from Holi, a festival of colors primarily celebrated in India and Nepal; in the communal spirit of that festival, each of Color Fun Fest's races supports a different charity.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.