The expansive interiors of Axiom's three fitness centers are packed in endless rows of weight and cardio machines, group workout studios, pools, and basketball and racquet courts to help its diverse client base whip into shape. The knowledgeable trainers lead patrons in pumping their bodies on the fitness floor, and instructors helm more than 100 Zumba, yoga, water aerobics, and Les Mills classes each week. In their performance center, the trainers customize one-on-one or small-group programs, such as Ax-Fit, which helps firefighters, law-enforcement officers, and those in the military increase their power and endurance, and Sport Performance, which helps athletes train for their competitive physical pastime of choice. Kids aged 7 and older can hone their coordination and improve their athletic performance and growing up too fast in Kids Performance sessions that run hourly from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., and older adults can stay in shape in the Silver Sneakers program. After sweat sessions, patrons can recharge at the Fuel Center juice bar, which serves up crushed-fruit smoothies, and nutrient-infused coffee and chocolate shakes.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Boise have no problem welcoming beginners to the practice. After all, each of them remembers the experience of their own first lesson. Some took part in a 60-day class challenge and some simply saw it as a new adventure in fitness, but all of them fell in love almost immediately with the benefits inherent in sweating and stretching.
It helps that the style accommodates all skill levels. Because students perform the 26 poses to the best of their ability, they needn't have any experience or a life-sized rubber stand-in to begin taking classes. The postures build off each other to stretch muscles, ligaments, and other tissues throughout the body as the surrounding heat in the studio—up to 105 degrees—makes them more pliable. The warmth also boosts circulation and the release of sweat, which helps to purge the body of built up toxins. As practitioners become accustomed to the poses, they can benefit from increased strength and range of motion.
During the 60-minute Stroller Strides outdoor class, moms and their babies tear up the trail for an hour. Participants mix stroller pushing and power walking with pit stops for resistance-band exercises that, taken together, bestow a total-body workout. Instructors provide everyone with exercise tubing and, in the event of a fussy-baby episode, will show you exercises you can do with your baby, such as the toddler-tickling squat jump or the nursery-rhyme and bicep-curl combo. Fit4Baby prenatal classes blend cardio and weight work for one hour of strength and balance training. The workouts help women at any stage of pregnancy stay fit and active while they adapt to their bodies' demands. All instructors are experienced in pre- and post-natal fitness. Indoor classes make use of sheltered venues, but apply the same principles as the outdoor sessions.
As a PGA-certified pro, Jeff Thomsen's distinguished golf career began decades ago, when the 16-year-old Thomsen swung his way to the Idaho State Amateur championship, becoming the youngest player ever to earn that rarefied distinction. His early success would pave the cart path to a long career that included 55 PGA Tour events, participation in four major championships, multiple tournament victories, and once saving a course-side community from a feral golf cart. Today, Jeff showers pupils with golf wisdom culled from both his 35-year competitive career and a certification from the Nicklaus/Flick Golf School. The passionate pedagogue helps players sharpen their game, lengthen their drives, and fold scorecards into paper cranes with hands-on, comprehensive lessons conducted at multiple courses throughout the hills of Treasure Valley.
There is no typical climb at Urban Ascent. With the help of a belaying partner to safeguard their ropes, visitors can scale up to 43 feet of weathered rockface on endurance climbs, or they can stick closer to the ground in the ropes-free bouldering area. Urban Ascent’s team challenges climbers by regularly revamping the 14,000-square-foot gym’s routes, rearranging footholds and installing pop-out boxing-glove gags to add an element of unpredictability to climbs. During private climbing lessons, instructors fine-tune veteran climbers’ techniques or teach newbies basic fundamentals. The staff also imparts climbing-safety basics to first-time belayers in 20-minute tutorials. Urban Ascent hosts summer camps, afterschool climbing activities for students, and corporate team-building workshops.
Newly built with a fleet of educational exhibits, the nonprofit Idaho Public Aquarium brims with underwater wildlife that scuttles, swims, and frolics, overseen by staff members and dedicated volunteers. Families peruse exhibits that give insight into a slice of aquatic life and emphasize its continuance, such as stingray touch tank and the shark nursery, where guests can witness baby sharks peeking out of their eggs while crooning peaceful lullabies or playing peekaboo. Added to the list are new exhibits, such as the 17,000-gallon sea turtle tank and the North Pacific cold water tank. Sea-resident enthusiasts can also participate in birthday parties with private tours and a nighttime animal feeding.
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