As the father of a 2-year old, Tim Alley found himself running around to playdates scattered throughout the Bay Area, scooting to toddler-friendly lessons in art, gymnastics, and dance. While he loved the programming, he wished that he and his daughter weren't confined to such a tight schedule. So, he turned to his brother-in-law, Tom Limbert, head teacher at a local preschool, and they began to work on their own children's studio at Studio Grow—a supplementary preschool atmosphere with a focus on unstructured learning where children can play throughout the day. True to its name, Studio Grow now welcomes tots at three area studios. Though programs and amenities vary by location, kids might frolic through a color-splashed dance room, construct crafty masterpieces from watercolors, play-doh, and crayons in an art room, or plunge into ball pits. At all three locations, kids can tinker in a room filled with puzzles, toy trucks, dress-up clothes, and lego building sets. in a slide-filled run room. Instructors stay on hand throughout each romp, ready to lead Berkeley guests through sing-alongs or immerse Concord’s small listeners in story time. Teachers may also balloon a giant primary-colored parachute over the playroom for kids to scurry under and use to shield themselves from sudden broccoli storms. Though staffers emphasize unstructured play, they also lead summer camps for children up to aged 6 with guided romps through the studio; as well as Friday-night babysitting sessions, where kids of all ages can play sans parents until 10 p.m.
When Lori Shannon first announced her intent to run a marathon, people responded with more than a hint of incredulity. Lori had no experience and, at 5’3” and a size 16, she didn’t cut the form of a typical distance runner. Even so, she set to work and completed the 1993 New York City Marathon, proving to herself that with the proper training and dedication, she need not live life as a spectator. Since crossing that first finish line, Lori has never looked back; she has since run multiple marathons, competed in triathlons, and ridden her bike cross-country.
Seven years later, Lori founded See Jane Run in San Francisco, hoping to empower women to test their limitations and bolster their own fitness and self-confidence. The female-operated fitness company has since grown to encompass four West Coast locations that sell women’s running gear, including shoes, sports bras, and aerodynamic shower caps. At its four retail locations, like-minded runners come together with free weekly run clubs, giving them a group setting in which to train to meet their own individual goals or prepare for one of See Jane Run’s half marathons or 5Ks.
There's something different about the Pilates classes at IM=X Pilates Studio. If you waltz into a class mid-session, you might see people stretching on Pilates reformers, but you may also find others jumping on and off boxes, pumping pedals on stationary bikes, or using resistance rings. That's because owner Steve Smith recognized the importance of cross-training while prepping for triathlons and decided to combine Pilates with cardio and resistance training. This leads to greater functional strength, flexibility, and injury prevention.
Smith and his team of certified instructors lead a series of more than 15 Pilates cross-training classes by employing the reformer apparatus and circuit-training techniques. Specialized classes even suit specific athletic needs, such as the IM=X golf and tennis classes. Classes are 30 to 75 minutes each and can focus expressly on abs, full-body toning, or improving back strength to eliminate chronic back pain and overly clingy rucksacks. To keep classes accessible and effective, instructors scale them to individual fitness levels and offer beginner through advanced sessions.
Jill Dailey McIntosh has always been intrigued by the human body and how it moves—so much so that she graduated in 1991 with a kinesiology degree and soon thereafter decided to open her own Pilates teaching studio. But it wasn't until years later that this curiosity would manifest itself in a single question: "How can one aggressively transform the shape of their body while still maintaining proper alignment of the spine?" Eventually Jill began to examine her diverse fitness background, pulling low-impact movements from ballet, Pilates, and even orthopedic-exercise routines to create the basis for her fitness style, The Dailey Method.
Now, more than a decade later, Dailey's fitness routine has ballooned into studios sprawled across more than 10 states and gained praise from Self, Allure, FitPregnancy, and InStyle magazines. Regardless of the location, instructors remain true to Jill's mission of offering a diverse series of exercises that focus on toning and lengthening the body while lengthening the spine and building strong core muscles.
When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number over 34,000 around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
With seven years of experience as a massage therapist and three as a chiropractor, Doctor of Chiropractic Max Lippman knows the ins and outs of musculature. Dr. Lippman and his team of massage therapists apply their skilled hands to therapeutic massages and adjustments that help their clients heal from everyday aches or painful sports or auto injuries. The doctor takes his time to listen to each patient who comes in, and learns about their situations while helping them develop a treatment plan customized to their wellness goals. Dr. Lippman keeps communication lines open during treatments, too, staying well away from pain thresholds while skirting the healthful discomfort often associated with receiving deep-tissue massages or acupuncture with pencils.
While Dr. Lippman looks out for patients’ health, Plaza Chiropractic and Massage Therapy takes care of the environment. The ultramodern office eschews the use of paper by booking appointments online and running systems on organically-grown iPads and touchscreens.