While all good doctors are thorough, Dr. Babar Rao takes the detection of skin cancer a bit further than most. As a pioneer and international authority on dermoscopy and confocal microscopy—two techniques that afford him highly magnified 3-D views of skin-borne lesions—Dr. Rao is able to discern with great accuracy whether epidermal aberrations require biopsy. His 20 years of experience as a pathologist and surgeon, as well his numerous publications and research projects, provides him with a deep understanding of advanced treatment methods, including MOHS micrographic surgery.
This knack for high precision also extends to his clinics' cosmetic offerings, carried out by his cadre of physicians across three state-of-the-art facilities. The team minimizes wrinkles and discoloration through a range of minimally invasive treatments that includes Botox and chemical peels, and also banishes unwelcome stubble or glued-on sideburns with laser hair removal.
Dr. Rao and his staff's expertise also reach abroad in their effort to give back to communities. Dr. Rao spearheaded an effort to open a burn center in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, which has significantly reduced the mortality rate for major burns, and his staff holds free cancer screenings both locally and in the Dominican Republic.
Even before he was a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Erik Traeger was exploring every fitness avenue he could. He played soccer, wrestled, raced motorcycles, and fought fires as part of a U.S. Forest Service hand crew for 13 seasons. Once he discovered a knack for coaching, he spent nine years training Division I college athletes, and another four taking on youth and adult clients. As owner and head instructor at Fresno Indoor Boot Camp, he funnels all his exercise know-how into classes for every age, gender, and ability level.
Though Erik's resumé is formidable, his camp stresses acceptance over intimidation. Instructors motivate students to move at their own pace through agility ladders, calisthenics, and tire flips, all of which inhabit an indoor facility to eliminate mix-ups between beehives and medicine balls. Because each trainer is a kinesiology major, they have mastered modifications that can scale boot-camp drills to suit any participant, from sports stars to 70 year olds.
After being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of 6, Kettlebells of Fresno's Dina Juve spent more than 15 years in a sedentary lifestyle. At 21, she decided to take charge of her health and began to educate herself on the principles of a healthy lifestyle. Today, this mother of three, certified Russian-kettlebell instructor, and personal trainer stays in shape using the same exercises that she teaches in her fitness classes and private group training sessions. Her kettlebell workouts have even been featured on the KSEE 24 News.
During training sessions, Dina uses weighted cast-iron kettlebells and the TRX suspension-training system to help clients of all fitness levels increase strength, endurance, and muscle tone throughout their entire bodies. Using the knowledge she gained to turn her life around, Dine also helps her clients reach their fitness goals with nutritional guidance, giving them the know-how to steer clear of tempting chocolate-covered barbells.
Certified dance instructors Pete Swingle and Carmen Ahmen relish the challenge of curing extra left feet. They welcome total beginners to their salsa classes, where their patience and supportive attitudes help students feel comfortable enough to pull off the hip-swaying steps. In the interest of steadily progressing students to intermediate and advanced moves, they set up specific goals for each level, ranging from "step in time" to "twirl your partner without having to rely on shoes made of roombas.” They teach disciplines apart from salsa as well, including cha-cha, cumbia, and merengue.
Though learning show-stopping techniques is one of the core benefits of their lessons, Pete and Carmen also hope to reward protégés with the additional perks of dancing, including stress relief, improved muscle tone, and new friendships. Sunday dance socials focus on the latter ambition by gathering dancers for practice in a party setting, which sometimes features live percussion shows and music giveaways.
Walk past the water fountain in Fort Washington Fitness's palatial lobby to its training rooms for group classes and you'll meet nationally certified personal trainers, who tailor sessions for all fitness levels and goals. The studio is alive with opportunities to tone every muscle in the body: chisel your core in a Pilates mat lesson, or build up strength in a kickboxing class. Alternatively, there's the Fun Fitness course, where adults can siphon out their childlike energy through activities such as dodge ball, relay races, obstacle courses, and food fights. The TV-lined studio also has plenty of equipment designed for solo exercise, including spin bikes and selectorized weight machines. The expansive facility affords space for private showers, saunas, and steam rooms, and free high-speed WiFi allows you to immediately list your old loose-fitting pants on Craigslist.
To give her students a well-rounded workout, Brandy Daugherty isn't content with teaching one style of Pilates. Instead, she blends the regimen's mat and reformer styles so her students can reap the benefits both of their bodies' own resistance and that of the reformer's series of cables, straps, and pulleys. Backed by a dozen certifications?including in Zumba, personal training, and turbo kickboxing?Brandy leads her students through sessions that blend core-stability work with plyometric moves and resistance training. She also switches up the workouts so that the body can?t adapt, because, like baby Hulks, confused muscles grow more quickly. Brandy holds class as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 6:30 p.m. to accommodate every schedule, with personal training available on an appointment basis.