UNITED Tae Kwon Do's group classes aren't really about punching and kicking. Sure, students work to master self-defense techniques, but they also focus on topics such as confidence and respect. The conditioning and reaction drills also help to build lean muscle and serve as an effective form of stress management. In this way, UNITED Tae Kwon Do's sessions benefit all types of students, whether they're kids or adults, beginners or more seasoned martial artists. The trained instructors also teach private lessons that adhere to personal goals, such as preparing a student for an upcoming black belt test.
These programs didn't develop overnight. UNITED Tae Kwon Do has been honing them for more than three decades, long before martial-arts uniforms became a red-carpet fashion trend. The educators have expanded into multiple locations throughout the Houston area and show no signs of stopping.
Part color-powder fight and part animal-themed 5K, the Jungle Fever 5K Colorful Run For Your Life Series brings runners of all ages together for a morning of relaxed and fun racing. Volunteer "animals" surprise runners with splashes of color as they leisurely make their way through an untimed 5K race. Outlandish outfits are encouraged—either wild animal-themed outfits or all-white clothing. The whole affair ends in a colorful splash as runners lob handfuls of colored powder at one another in a color fight.
Founded in 1893, Sheltering Arms Senior Services has devoted more than a century to providing Houston’s elderly population with care, advocacy, and community support. Despite its long history, the nonprofit organization is only looking forward. Between 2011 and 2012, it provided seniors with 128,658 hours of personal-care assistance—including meal preparation and housekeeping—and fed 2,182 seniors a nutritious meal. And their specially designed Adult Day Center, which provides top-notch care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Factor in the organization's more than 20 Houston-area senior centers, where staffers offer recreational activities, health education, and legal advocacy, and it is clear that Sheltering Arms is only building upon its 120-year foundation.
Sheltering Arms' mission begins with its committed corps of staff members and volunteers. Certified nurses’ aides customize and implement home-care plans that include light housekeeping, meal prep, and medication reminders. Social workers advocate for members at risk of being institutionalized by managing their financial and health casework. Volunteers make daily safety checks on seniors who are living alone and organize arts-and-crafts classes, game nights, and dances.
Karen Mones's passion for fitness began at a young age, exercising to Jane Fonda videos with her mother. She went on to play softball, earn her bachelor's in exercise and sports science, and obtain six instructor certifications in everything from yoga to strength training. She founded Houston Adventure Boot Camp to share her knowledge and passion for fitness with as many people as possible.
She and her trainers create different regimens each day, taking advantage of the city's natural spaces and natural forces to enhance their workouts. They challenge gravity by having students lift their own bodyweight or free weights. Students plow through the heaviest friction the air can throw at them in sprints, and they hold up under constant pressure from the sun to nap in the middle of a field.
Don't even think of coming to Nightmare on the Bayou in flip-flops or cute strappy sandals – the odds that they’ll fly off when you come face to face with an evil clown is simply too high. So dress accordingly when heading into Nightmare on the Bayou, the haunted house on Studemont Street near the Heights that is only open from September to Halloween. The fear factor is upped thanks to its location next to Olivewood Cemetery, but really, there’s enough going on throughout the entire operation to keep adults and kiddos both scared out of their wits. Rumors of paranormal activity run rampant near Halloween, especially near the cemetery grounds, and a disorienting maze of 3D murals adds another level of fear to this indoor/outdoor spookfest.
Since 1976, Stone's Gym & Fitness Center has sculpted Bay Area bodies into leaner, tougher human shapes. While the gym has been around for a generation, its equipment hasn’t—updated exercise machines from Precor and other tested brands populate the workout room’s bright hardwood floors. Stationary cycles keep blood rushing through veins, and strength-training machines match reps with row upon row of traditional free weights. The gym hosts a suite of group fitness classes that boost well-being as well as camaraderie, and introduces kids to the onsite pool during swim lessons that teach water safety and the internationally standardized rules of Marco Polo.