The Economist's globe-spanning scope, comprehensive analysis, and crushing, unflinching grasp on world economics make it required reading for people, people persons, and people-shaped cacti looking to stay up-to-date on world news, politics, and business. In addition to the weekly publications—including the magazine's 20+ Special Reports and its Technology Quarterly—subscribers to The Economist also receive special benefits, such as The World in 2012, a special annual volume that predicts trends for the coming year. Subscribers also get unrestricted access to the online site, with a fully searchable archive dating back to the Neolithic Internet era (1997), as well as free access to The Economist in audio, which includes the option to listen to digital recordings of all print articles or to download them as a weekly podcast. For updates on the go or “on the sitting down on a park bench enjoying the scenery,” access The Economist on an iPhone or iPad—every photo, article, and chart is delivered to subscribers' devices by Thursday at 4 p.m. EST.
Curves houses a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with women's bodies to promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and cope with arthritis. Instead of guests fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches each exerciser's abilities. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, machines use push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can. Every thigh- or torso-transformer is equipped with the CurvesSmart personal-coaching system, which uses programmed information on weight, endurance level, and fitness goals to automatically calibrate the perfect challenge for individual bodies. The CurvesSmart system also delivers a postworkout rundown on the strength built and progress achieved during each session. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine-maneuvering and to squirt overheated guests with a Super Soaker.
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.
Brent forwards expertise from more than 20 years of teaching experience—along with a B.A. in music theory and a minor in piano studies—to aspiring musicians during his mobile music lessons. And students will never have to haul a piano or trunk filled with kazoos to his teaching studio, since Brent is fully mobile and will travel to homes. His teaching methods, which cover note reading, music theory, and ear training, also apply to those interested in learning vocal techniques and songwriting.
The Salsa Center brings Latin culture stateside with more than 14 styles of latin dances from Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, and beyond. Private or group dance lessons teach guests popular dances such as bachata, merengue, and samba, and dance-fitness classes such as salsa-fitness give visitors a chance to shed pounds to a soundtrack of upbeat rhythms.
With more than 12,000 square feet of workout facilities, Shapes offers exercisers a bevy of options and resources designed to heighten their health. An array of dumbbells, medicine balls, and weight machines will leave patrons confidently able to win the next family reunion tug-of-war or frozen-turkey-tossing contest. Group fitness and Zumba dance classes give members a comfortable environment in which to try out new exercise techniques, and the fleet of treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowing machines satisfies those who love travel but hate destinations.