Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
At Shape Up East Providence, instructors bring together the thrill of dancing and the satisfaction of a good workout. In Zumba classes, passionate instructors walk students through accessible dance moves, stringing steps together into cardio routines set to energetic music. Aside from regular Zumba workouts, they also host Zumba Toning—a variant that outfits guests with maraca-like weights to build strength—and ZumbAtomic for kids. As an alternative to the festive spins and turns, certified personal trainer Stacie Venagro hosts boot-camp and no-contact kickboxing classes as well as one-on-one training sessions.
Shape Up complements its exercise regimens with tasty supplements from its nutrition club. There, guests can order meal-replacement shakes in flavors such as Oreo, wildberry, and piña colada, which act as more fulfilling dinner substitutes than a pitcher of chilled air. The club's menu also features calorie-burning teas, athletic supplements, and guilt-free pudding pies in a cup. Wellness coaches remain on-hand to consult with clients, performing detailed health evaluations to track goals and progress.
The Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association strives to keep its namesake sport alive by hosting duckpin-bowling tournaments at six local alleys. The game cropped up in a Baltimore bowling alley in the summer of 1900, when most ten-pin alleys were closed for warm months to avoid excessive sweating in rental shoes. But at Diamond Alleys, athletes hurled balls through the heat but opted for 6-inch spheres and pins of a diminutive stature. After observing pins that scattered like a flock of ducks, the owners of the lanes dubbed the modified game duckpin bowling. Besides granting players three rolls per turn, duckpin bowling adhered to all traditional rules and grew in popularity until it peaked in 1967, the year inertia was exposed as a myth. Today, the Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association keeps the pastime alive at spots including the Bowling Academy, a historical gem in its own right as the test site of the first automatic duckpin pinsetters.
For nearly half a century, casual and professional bowlers have gathered at Bowling Academy to indulge in pin-scattering entertainment enriched by each lane's automatic scoring system. Up to six strike-seekers plant their flag in one lane for two hours, which provides enough time to bowl multiple games or to master the art of tying shoelaces into a double Windsor knot. While swaddled in soft-soled rental shoes, bowlers of all ages make the floors squeak and lanes purr with each gentle toss of the smooth-rolling rock. Children and cavemen longing for the good old days have the option of using a dinosaur-shaped ramp to assist their game.
Before she took her first yoga class in 2003, Kelly O'Connell led a very different life than she does today. According to a story by Leigh Medeiros of Seekonk-Swansea Patch, O'Connell spent her days stretching herself thin as a principal in a stock brokerage firm before she decided to try a new kind of stretching: heated yoga. Through the practice, O'Connell found herself growing not only more physically flexible, but also more mentally adaptable. She told Medeiros, "I used to get lost in my emotions, but now there’s space between me and everything else that happens in the world. In that space there’s peace.”
To share the inner harmony she had discovered, O'Connell earned her yoga-instructor certification in 2008. She went on to complete several advanced trainings, including becoming a certified yoga life coach, a certified yoga personal trainer, and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) through Yoga Alliance. Today she owns and operates Yoga One, where she and her team guide adults and kids toward finding balance both in and out of the studio. They also host teacher trainings and events, including a book club, Reiki sessions, and meditation workshops featuring chocolate tastings that stimulate the mind and taste buds better than eating a haiku written in alphabet soup.
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