Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
"Stop wishing & start doing," reads an inspirational quote emblazoned on a wall at Three Rivers Fitness. That phrase is both a mantra and a mission statement at the gym, where every workout benefits from professional guidance and encouragement. Adults of all ages and levels of fitness are welcome, and they're shown the ropes by a team of instructors.
If you're looking for a more community-oriented workout, try out any of the gym's 40 group classes. Held in private studios with hardwood floors, the classes include Spin, Zumba, yoga, and other workouts designed to tone muscle and burn calories in different ways. One of the most popular options is the Pilates program. Pilates classes are held in a separate studio and revolve around core-strengthening exercises performed on mats, reformers, and bucking broncos.
With a focus on entertainment, Abrakadoodle can transform any party (starting at $199) into a chance to expand minds and glitter-slicks with 1,800 choices of creative games and lessons. Themed experiences include Action Painting, Race to Outer Space, Flower Power, and A Journey to the Stars. The expansive schedule features classes (one hour, $16) in painting and drawing, as well as imagination-fueled camps (two hours, $24) in superhero, pirate, and princess make-believe.
A tall painted portrait, illuminated from above, shows a woman standing barefoot holding a lamb. Follow her glance downwards and sideways, and you'll sight row upon brightly colored row of carefully stacked skeins of yarn from brands such as Blue Sky and Spud & Chloë. Classes teach tender-footed knitters to wield these materials with care, and more advanced offerings cover refined and specialized stitching skills. The shop also carries its own line of all-natural soaps, household cleaners, and moisturizers designed to soften hands toughened by efforts to wrestle needles away from uncooperative porcupines.
Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
Laura Monahan comes from an artistic family, and spent her youth practicing sculpture, oil painting, pottery, and what turned out to be her ultimate passion: photography. Her ability to preserve candid moments has left an indelible impression?she has a published portfolio on three continents and product lines appearing at national retailers such as Hallmark and JCPenney. Laura?s photo shoots always take place outdoors, capturing newborns, older kids, and families in soft, natural lighting and poses that never appear unnatural. Her settings span the country from San Diego?s foamy beaches to Denver?s red-rock sunsets and into the Midwest?s autumn leaves, and she holds mom's night out events all over the country, including in Honolulu, San Diego, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver.