With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
At Your Time Fitness, members pump iron and fortify their heart 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a key card that grants access any time. Cardio-training equipment, such as treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals, lets clients sweat without the hassle of hiring a personal interrogator, whereas strength-training equipment, such as free weights, adjustable benches, and squat racks, boosts muscular prowess. To take the mathematical calculations out of muscle toning, the gyms’ full Cybex resistance-machine circuit targets every muscle group without a thought, letting patrons go from one to the next for an easy, no-nonsense workout.
Bodily makeovers go even further with a session from Your Time’s team of certified personal trainers. Fitness pro Jesper Anderson stepped into the spotlight when he trained a contestant in season 3 of The Biggest Loser; the contestant lost 118 pounds and went on to become a runner-up in the competition.
Julie Fabing Burleson and Suzy Vinson Nettles feel that the kitchen is just another place for kids to flex their creativity. They opened Young Chefs Academy to provide kids aged 3–18 with cooking programs targeted to preschoolers and kindergarteners, elementary schoolers, and older kids ready for trickier techniques and intricate recipes. Regardless of a student’s age, he or she is always taught the pillars of home cooking, including how to be safe in the kitchen, how to properly handle and prepare food, how to bake, and how to talk down an oven that constantly overheats. While participating in the entertaining cooking lessons, kids may not even realize that each class also allows them to practice their math, reading-comprehension, and communication skills.
Sean Holder of Virginia Photo Safari embarked on his career in photography in 1987, when he made a pinhole camera with his own two hands. Since that auspicious start, the self-motivated shutterbug has enjoyed a successful career working in more than 19 different countries, including the Philippines and Bangladesh. Along with executive director Barry Rowland—himself a three-decade veteran of the business—Holder leads individual and group safaris covering such topics as night photography, F-stops and shutter speeds, and capturing clear, close-up shots of nature.
At Chesapeake Hot Yoga, yoga isn't a religious practice or a bodybuilding routine. It's a way to cultivate wellness while expressing oneself. Helmed by Arianna Gallagher, a globetrotting instructor who's trained with famous yogis such as B.K.S. Iyengar and Bikram Choudhury, the studio pairs alignment-focused teaching with a spirit as warm and inviting as a welcome mat made of hot coals. Led by experienced and registered instructors, Bikram-inspired Hot Yoga classes revolve around 25–30 poses performed in a sweltering classroom. In addition to limbering muscles, the temperature promotes blood flow, pain relief, and toxin release. During restorative Yin classes, yogis of all levels can borrow free blocks, straps, and towels to bolster lengthy, floor-based poses. After class, students can stay for a massage or practice yogic breathing techniques in the locker rooms, where calming steam swirls around gratis bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.