Going to the gym can be an intimidating experience without a kindhearted gym staff and the proper support group of peers for encouragement. Go Figure Gym’s friendly fitness gurus are determined to cultivate a safe, nonjudgmental environment where women can get in shape together. Classes such as Zumba, 30-minute workout circuit training, and hula hoops promote a sense of community as participants sweat side by side, shaking their rumps to Latin music, running in place, and playing Hot Potato with blocks of concrete.
Bally's story can be traced back to the late 1930s, when a little-known pinball manufacturer in Chicago, Illinois, refined its factories to produce flight equipment for World War II. Ballyhoo's business diversified and boomed in the ‘50s, and within 40 years they became the largest owner and operator of fitness centers in the world. Though their size has ballooned, their mission remains the same: to help each of their clients achieve their ideal bodies through personal training, high-tech workout machines, and heart-pumping group classes. The gym's approach to fitness educates and introduces exercisers to workouts without a steep learning curve or mandatory speed dates with elliptical machines.
The extensively trained and educated staff at Strength In Motion facilitates physical well-being through a far-reaching slate of body-bending exercise programs. Ameliorate torpidity by partaking of the regimented women’s boot-camp classes. These one-hour sessions include resistance training and cardio, which conspire with flexibility and core work to create a strong and sprightly bone-and-muscle house with low cholesterol window treatments and walls bedecked by high spirits. Manly guests can saunter decrepit bodies through a gamut of four 60-minute fitness classes, during which instructors teach strength training, nutrition, and methods for efficacious workout recovery. Check out the class schedule online and call ahead for availability.
Personal Fitness boasts a facility stocked with cardio and strength-training equipment, group fitness classes, a contingent of knowledgeable trainers, and a unique Fitness on Request electronic system that allows gym-goers to partake in dozens of different classes on demand. Sessions are selected from a touch-screen kiosk, then projected upon a 120-inch, high-definition screen within an exercise studio, which supplies enough space for small groups of real or imaginary friends. In-the-flesh direction is provided during instructor-led sessions, which include classes in yoga, Pilates, and Zumba.
In central New York, the artisans at Brennan Stained Glass Studio work with extreme heat and traditional techniques to craft elaborate stained-glass windows and art pieces. In addition to producing the stained-glass dome atop Alexandria Bay's Boldt Castle, the team has designed and installed windows for thousands of churches, temples, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and office buildings. The team also instructs students in the art of stained glass with its own unique approach. Lessons include basic instruction in the copper-foil method to create window panels and sun catchers. Students may also learn how to design their own custom fused-glass plates so they can stop arguing over dish ownership with their dogs.
While some artists gravitate toward certain media, Ilene Layow—or “Eye” to her friends since childhood—unabashedly loves them all: glass, pencil, clay, pastel, metals, acrylic. Her body of artwork is staggeringly diverse. She has designed murals for both homes and businesses, painted family portraits, created silver jewelry, formed intricate candleholders out of clay, and fused glass to form night lights perfect for scaring off closet monsters that hate beauty. She has even developed her own art form she calls “formscapes,” which combine the gentle contours of landscapes with abstracted shapes. In flexible classes tucked into a tidy ranch house, she introduces many of the crafts she loves to teen and adult students.