Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
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 off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Having taught gymnastics for two decades, served as a judge to help decide the 2012 Men?s Olympic team, and contributed to establishing gymnastics programs in many schools and gyms, Eric Smith knows gymnastics. At his own facility 360 Gymnastics, he helps gymnasts of all skill levels and ages become flipping and tumbling champions. He keeps his classes small?capped at eight pupils each?and trains students for both recreational and competitive pursuits. Kids can begin their gymnastics journeys at just over 1 year old, if accompanied with a parent or a highly attentive and loyal collie, and continue to hone their skills until age 18. Adult students can take tumbling, and more fitness-focused classes including Zumba and yoga.
Darin Parker's pipes have led him to performances at Carnegie Hall and a Grammy Award as a member of the Kansas City Chorale, but he doesn't rest on his soaring voice alone. He also helps aspiring musicians and established pianos alike find the right pitch with private voice and piano lessons and careful tuning, respectively. Every year, Parker aims to turn his talents to an even higher cause: an avid outdoorsman, Parker has used musical events to raise awareness for the long-distance bike rides and canoe trips he's undertaken to earn funds for the Alzheimer's Association.
HealthRidge Fitness Center is all about options. From more than 80 weekly group exercise classes to sprawling facilities that include a 1/8-mile indoor track, racquetball courts, and cardio machines with personal TVs, both beginning and advanced exercisers can find an activity that moves at their preferred pace. Guests get pumped up in boot-camp sessions taught by instructors who have been certified in a military-instructor training course led by Army National Guard master fitness trainer and staff sergeant Ken Weichert. To calm the mind, a yoga or Pilates class reduces stress while strengthening core muscles. The center also features a workout area and classes designed specifically for kids.
In warm weather, an outdoor pool decorated with a natural-looking rock formation invites swimmers to splash about a tranquil waterfall. Exercisers can unwind after a workout with a pedicure, a massage, or a facial at the Spa at HealthRidge, which has been named one of America?s Top 100 Spas by SpAwards. The caf? and lounge area offers nutritious meals and a cozy fireplace that is ideal for soothing achy muscles or burning cheat-day pages torn from food journals.