Woodway treadmills whirr and weight machines clank 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Though staffed while sun's up, the fitness center is accessible via members' key cards at night, giving gym-goers ample opportunity to incinerate calories and tone muscles on a full range of Cybex equipment or pass off their tears as sweat while watching Homeward Bound in the cardio theater. Workouts are supplemented with private sessions led by certified personal trainers, online nutritional resources, and onsite tanning booths that gold-plate freshly toned frames.
At LA Boxing, an orchestra of fists and feet slapping heavy bags resounds through the gym. Nobody here settles for punching empty air; instead, professional-grade bags and training mitts absorb blows chucked by students of all skill levels who can burn up to 1,000 calories during fitness classes. Although each boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts class is an authentic fight-training regimen led by a professional fighter, students never have to step into the ring.
In one way or another, Janine Friedman has always been involved in fitness—practicing Pilates, training clients, and serving as a fitness coordinator for local Girl Scouts. "Movement has always been a part of my life," says Janine. "It gives me purpose, focus, and happiness all at once, allowing me to share the positive and healthful benefits with others.” Pulling from her passion and years of experience, Janine opened her own private training studio—Esteem Wellness & Fitness—where she continues to teach classes alongside a team of certified instructors.
Reflected in the studio's mirror-lined walls and cushioned by its carpeted floors, coaches guide students through the poses of Vinyasa yoga and Pilates, the sultry movements of belly dancing, and the high-intensity cardio and strength-training exercises of conditioning classes. The studio even offers a Jedi Training program for kids—in which instructors guide youngsters in meditation and peaceful problem solving—along with youth and teen yoga classes, in which students learn techniques that enable them to avoid geometry class by neatly tucking themselves into their lockers—an ironic use of geometry.
Margaret E. Kabacinski treats patients like family, hosting each personal appointment inside Northport Skin Fitness's cozy bungalow. A licensed aesthetician, certified laser technician, and holistic health expert, Kabacinski oversees a team of technicians who specialize in using lasers to decimate unwanted hair or keep faces glowing as warmly as a recently microwaved sun.
Stacy Plaske, founder and owner of Balance Yoga & Healing Arts, nurtures an environment of self-discovery and holistic health with a team of alternative-health professionals and the experience she accrued over 10 years of teaching Ashtanga-style yoga. Stacy hones her understanding of the challenging yoga modality through constant study and yearly pilgrimages to India, where she studies Ashtanga’s self-guided counterpart, Mysore. Bolstered by a staff of instructors, Stacy helms a schedule of athletic Ashtanga, flowing Vinyasa, and alignment-focused Iyengar classes. Instructors accommodate students of all skill levels by suggesting modified poses, and ease less flexible attendees into stretches by affixing helium balloons to students' limbs. The center’s professional massage therapists use relaxing or restorative modalities to soothe overstressed muscles, and an on-staff acupuncturist frees up the body's blocked energy pathways with a combination of precise needle placement and Chinese herbal medicine.