The staff at Thomas Anderson & Associates strives to make clients smile—and not just during their before-and-after pictures. Massage chairs, flat-screen TVs, and a wide selection of movies and music help make visits to the office as relaxing as a tumbler of whiskey enjoyed in one's very own pit of quicksand. Technicians apply a gentle touch when performing exams, x-rays, and other general-dentistry procedures. Cosmetic services—including teeth whitening and Invisalign—remain as noninvasive as possible.
Known for its history as a pioneer town and home to former president Harry S. Truman, Independence welcomes visitors to its storied sites, making them more accessible with free trolley rides. Tour the 1859 Jail and Marshal's Home and Museum to glimpse a dwelling for law breakers next to a dwelling for a law keeper, and the clandestine tryst between the abodes that resulted in a museum. The Bingham-Waggoner Estate preserves many of the original art and furnishings of the famed Bingham and Waggoner families, while the National Frontier Trails Museum hails the starting point of the westbound pioneers with bronzed pieces of nuts, raisins, and chocolate bits tracing a path westward.
The spirited teachers at Casa De Fitness inspire students of all levels to break a sweat in fun exercise classes, earning a shout-out from The Chieftain. After training with the studio’s owner, AFAA-certified fitness instructor Cristina Martinez, each workout coach brims with choreography expertise and the ability to imitate locomotive whistles. Sixty-minute Zumba classes shower participants with South American rhythms and easy-to-follow moves inspired by break dancing, belly dancing, and Latin dancing. Instead of scaring off calories with spectral pipe-organ recitals, boot camp’s certified personal trainers pair intervals of cardio activity with muscle-building moves that are thought to help to boost metabolism. Pilates bolsters spine-supporting muscles in the neck, the abs, and the hips, and Hatha yoga’s tranquil poses help students to build flexibility with more grace than a pirouetting elephant.
Greg Beitling refused to stay idle while Americans' lifespans shortened due to obesity-related diseases. Instead, he founded Lit Fitness to help the community retool its approach to eating and exercise. The studio specializes in what they call Large Group Training, or LGT, which challenges students to intense regimens of calisthenics, weightlifting, and short bursts of cardio. Beitling draws upon certifications in personal training and strength-and-conditioning instruction to build workouts that maximize calorie burning and increase lean-muscle mass to help jump-start metabolisms. In addition to increasing their strength, endurance, energy, and flexibility, participants can win prizes such as cash and skinny jeans by tackling the goals they set along the way. Like a trip to the beach with a very modest mermaid, each camp lasts about 50 minutes and requires an ample supply of water and towels. Many of the studio's programs also include nutritional components, which range from healthy-eating workshops to meetings with a dietitian.
In order to conquer an opponent (or two) punches, strikes, and kicks should be fighters' go-to moves. At least according to the strategy behind kenpo, an ancient form of martial arts from the Far East. At Self Defense Studio of Independence, black belts teach the proper order of defensive moves to practitioners of all fitness levels. In order to conserve energy, they emphasize punches, strikes, and kicks as the first steps in a counter-attack, with throws and blocks only used as a last resort since they deplete energy quickly. While kenpo's physical benefits include learning how to focus energy in a single fist or foot, its mental perks include better judgment and concentration so you can remember which fist or foot to ice later.