Paul Carson and Jack Banks started teaching fitness classes 30 years ago in a small abandoned dairy. Since those humble beginnings, they built Malibu Fitness—a modern gym where they help people build rippling muscles. Their trained group fitness instructors lead classes in yoga and Pilates, as well as more high-energy Zumba classes that set Latin dance moves to international tunes. Meanwhile, you’ll hop on a stationary bike for the spinning classes, which rely on intense climbs and sprints to elevate heart rates and burn calories. There’s also the option of one-on-one workouts with personal trainers, who can tailor workouts that shed girth, strengthen muscles, and improve athletic performance.
There are a number of nice bonus amenities at Malibu Fitness—it has flat-screen TVs, locker rooms, and a SunDome stand-up tanning booth. And if you’re hungry after a workout, there’s a shake bar that doles out Island Oasis protein shakes. The well-staffed team here even provides child care. And each year around Thanksgiving, the owners sponsor a road race that donates thousands of dollars to charities to offset America's turkey footprint.
Tyler English knows the look of frustration. In his eight years as a fitness professional in Connecticut, he has helped thousands of health-seekers who feel bored or fatigued by solo workouts at big health clubs find a better path. At his gym, he promotes what he calls an ?anti-health-club? environment, enlivening workouts while aiming to quickly whittle fit and healthy bodies through his innovative programs. English, a professional natural bodybuilder and author, leads metabolic-conditioning workouts, which boost the body?s anaerobic and aerobic capacity with interval-based cardio. He also folds in a series of strength sessions that incorporate moves with dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, and medicine balls encased in concrete. Tyler also counts on The Diet Doc's weight-loss program through nutritional guidance.
Thirty acres of rolling, grassy meadows provide ample space for equestrians and their mounts to learn, practice, and compete at Avon Valley Show Stables. Indoor and outdoor arenas light up at night, providing riders with an array of options of when and where to ride, no matter the season, weather, or time of day. Led by a team of accomplished trainers, lessons in the English Hunt Seat style of riding are offered to students of all ages, experience levels, and proximities to an original copy of Black Beauty. Children as young as 3 can climb into the saddle and get acquainted with the ins and outs of equestrianism, with the opportunity to even join the competitive team for kids in grades 6 through 12.
Jump!Zone’s indoor playgrounds envelop kids aged 2–12 in an inflatable world filled with challenging obstacle courses, fun slides, and cardio-boosting bounce houses. While navigating the plush courses under the watchful eyes of air-filled dinosaurs and superheroes, kids burn off extra energy and participate in activities that may help develop motor skills. Jump!Zone’s energetic staff supervises all play as kids climb on pirate ships and trampoline inside princess castles. Specific inflatables may vary by location but often include towering bounce houses shaped like fire trucks or octopi as well as party rooms, games, pizza, soda, and other festive fare. The bouncy center also hosts birthday parties, fundraisers, and special events.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
"Torture chambers"?that's how many students of Bikram Yoga would describe the studios where they practice their craft. It's an apropos name for places set at a blazing 105 degrees that feature students twisting their bodies into 26 yoga postures. However, these hatha-inspired positions heal rather than hurt; as students flow through the therapeutic positions, the simmering heat soothes away chronic aches, boosts flexibility, and encourages everything from weight loss to increased circulation to healthier lymphatic flow.