Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Sequestered from the fitness studio, cardio room, and kid center at St. Julian's Fitness, a quiet room plays host to massage therapy. Here, a duo of licensed massage therapists—Bethany Kovach and Ryan Debelak—improves muscle health with soothing hand movements. Both Bethany and Ryan possess the know-how to induce relaxation with gentle Swedish strokes, relieve chronic pain with firm deep-tissue kneads, and target areas of tension with a sports massage. However, Bethany alone practices Thai-yoga massage, which is performed on the floor without lotion, oil, or ranch dressing. Massage therapy is available without a gym membership, and guests are welcome to enjoy a 15-minute Jacuzzi session prior to each appointment.
Caring for oneself is a necessary part of caring for others, according to Joe Sparks, the former triathlete who helms Hot Yoga With Joe. To encourage others to devote more time to their health and loved ones, he and his staff of certified instructors fill fitness classes with both fun and restorative relaxation. Joe channels more than 10 years of teaching experience to lead hot-yoga workouts featuring gentle yet powerful poses that aim to forge cast-iron muscles capable of hurling a paper airplane into orbit. The 95- to 100-degree temperatures unspool tight ligaments and encourage sweat glands to flush toxins out of the nearest pore. New students prepare for their first sessions by completing a mandatory waiver and hydrating themselves thoroughly beforehand.
Instructor Denise Ellis combines her background in education with her training in Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ayurveda practices to offer students a variety of yogic opportunities. Awaken muscles and joints in gentle beginner’s sessions designed to teach basic breathing techniques, fundamental poses, and advanced methods for protesting gravity. The postures that encompass the intermediate Hatha classes raise the bar for students’ disciplines as the instructor adds more poses while emphasizing proper body alignment and introducing yoga philosophies into the mix. The schedule boasts both morning and evening classes to provide students with varying lifestyles a chance to downward-dog in a socially acceptable manner.
• For $10, you get one month of tai chi classes (a $55 value). • For $10, you get one month of cardio fitness boot camp (a $55 value). With plant life, rock waterfalls, and Asian script art decorating its open hardwood-floored studio, Satori Martial Arts and its dedicated instructors provide mind- and body-builders with meditative and self-defense training. Twice a week, tai chi instructor and University of Toledo professor Dr. Chen demonstrates the basics of tai chi’s stress-melting mannerisms, offering solutions to stressful problems and bi-weekly crossword puzzles. Students can summon their inner enlightenment on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Advancing students are expected to devote 15 minutes a day towards practicing at home.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.