While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Snap Fitness's easyFIT monitor is a small, clip-on accelerometer that helps keep track of daily exercise. Unlike pedometers that merely measure steps and spy on daydreams, the easyFIT monitor senses the intensity and duration of physical activity, transmogrifying those stats into simple, numerical points that help assess activity levels from sedentary to peak performance. In addition to tracking exercise in real time, easyFIT monitors can connect to the wearer's personal web portal to upload data and create fitness graphs that help show progress, snag exercise suggestions, and stave off the temptation of living next to a hamburger farm. Watch a video about the easyFit here.
CrossFit Coeur d’Alene's seasoned fitness instructors aim to sculpt whole bodies rather than individual muscle groups with intense and results-oriented group workouts. Bypass the boot camp normally required of all new members and forge ahead into the 30–40 minute CrossFit sessions with an intimate group of up to only 15 fellow students. Trainers brandish their aerobic experience to blueprint pupils' goals and guide them through a versatile combination of sprints, intervals, and endurance-boosting workouts designed to bolster bodies for healthier living and better Conan the Barbarian impersonations at the office. Session work can be individually adjusted according to each participant’s experience level, making CrossFit regimens accessible for everyone from exercise novices to workout gurus who commute to work via marathon. Classes meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6 p.m. Check the schedule for upcoming sessions.
The health experts at Exercise Institute lead quality exercise programs in a private, safe, and caring environment. The four-week regimen begins when a certified wellness coach conducts a one-on-one consultation to establish fitness goals, and an Edge MD body-composition scan records your health stats in order to track each week’s progress. Nutrition counseling fosters better eating habits, such as which flavor of snozzberries to avoid, and an eating plan helps put these new habits into action. Twice a week, clients rally with their personal trainer for 15 minutes under the Institute’s Prime Effect Zero Momentum strength-training program, a high-intensity resistance workout that uses the whole body to produce greater strength, cardiovascular efficiency, flexibility, bone density, and fat loss.
The experienced instructors at Coeur d'Alene Athletic Club help patrons push toward optimal health with classes in the gym, on the court, and in the pool. Throughout the week, the facility hosts 23 one-hour classes in varying disciplines. Clients can see what it's like to run the court like a pro without being chased by arena security guards thanks to the men's basketball classes. Or they can bend bodies into the shape of every letter in the Greek alphabet in core yoga sessions, which can take place in a private room. The gym's 25-yard pool sets the aquatic stage for swimmers who want to learn how to build their endurance, and a weight room full of Nautilus and Flex equipment helps maximize muscle mass. Meanwhile, a fleet of cycles challenges riders to pedal their fastest and pop stationary wheelies.
Drawing on bachelor's and master's degrees, the instructors at DanceTales Studio guide limbs through shimmies and pliés during a packed schedule of classes that emphasize method and form. Bodies move through an assortment of styles, floating through ballroom techniques with romantic and smooth waltzes and upbeat fox trots inspired by old Broadway show stoppers and the Victorian tradition of choreographed hunting trips. Feet pivot off hips through Latin varieties such as salsa, rumba, and cha-cha, and swing sends torsos twirling under arms and over heads.