Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
For more than four decades, Sunair Aviation has been training safe and technically proficient pilots as a professional flight training school stationed at Leesburg International Airport. An FAA-approved Part 61 program, the school recently acquired Part 141 certification as well, allowing it to train private pilots with its fleet of Cessna, Beechcraft, and Piper airplanes. Thanks to the collective experience of certified flight instructors and IFR-approved Garmin 430 avionic systems aboard each plane, the school boasts a safety record unblemished by so much as a wing paper cut.
In addition to offering students real flying experience, the outfit invites students to log flying hours inside its full motion Redbird FMX Simulator. Stationed safely on the ground, the apparatus surrounds pilots with wrap-around visuals and real avionic equipment. As the simulator rolls, pitches, and yaws, students encounter valuable practice with real piloting situations, but without the common flying hassles of long waits on the runway or floating toll booths.
The certified trainers at Core Body FX have helped change their clients' lives through fitness and exercise for more than 20 years. At their new facility in Apopka, state-of-the-art LifeFitness and HammerStrength machines shine amidst other treadmills and cardio equipment. Trainers individually guide clients toward their fitness goals during personal training sessions, or lead group classes such as bootcamp, Zumba, and yoga that build muscle, burn fat, and boost stamina. Nutritional counseling sessions reinforce fitness goals by encouraging a healthy diet.
Quiet is the first stop on the road to inner peace, according to Ramona Crabtree-Falkner, owner of Ananda Center for Yoga and Massage, LLC. At her tranquil studio, clients engage in active modes of relaxation such as yoga and passive forms such as massage therapy and reiki. During private and group yoga instruction, students venture inward by pairing deep breathing and meditation with ancient poses that stretch and strengthen the body. One-on-one sessions propel yogis toward specific goals such as weight loss and injury recovery, and group classes build community while releasing recently acquired stress and eye rolls stored up since high school. Bodywork services spotlight therapies from around the world, including the long, gliding strokes of Swedish massage and the stretches and acupressure of Thai foot reflexology.
The teachers at Wine and Canvas believe anyone can be artist. In fact, they draw out skills from people who have never even held a paintbrush before. To do this, they guide participants step-by-step through the process of replicating a painting during three-hour classes held at different restaurants and bars throughout the city. To keep each class fresh, they regularly change up the selected masterpieces, which can be anything from the Eiffel Tower at night to an abstract rendering of trees. No matter what and where they teach, though, they always supply students with all the necessary accoutrements, including paints, canvases, aprons, and pronunciation guides for realistic French-accents. The one thing they don't supply is wine, allowing guests to choose for themselves what to drink at the venues' full bars.
These nights on the town are for adults only, but they do host kid-friendly cookie and canvas nights for children wanting to discover or flex their artistic chops.