As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
At Body & Soul’s urban neighborhood studio, dedicated and trained instructors lead a variety of motion machinations energized by yoga, Zumba, NIA, Awareness through Movement, and Pilates techniques. Available classes include three levels of Vinyasa yoga—each designed with posture, breathing, and floor posing in mind—as well as specialized pre- and postnatal yoga classes that prep expectant moms for the big day and help new moms get reacquainted with their toes. Other options include Latin-inspired dance cardio in Zumba and nonimpact cardio workouts ripe with comprehensive movements set to upbeat, beat-laden music.
The Turner Recreation Commission's expansive facilities feature ample opportunities for exercise in surf and on turf. A brightly lit indoor pool in the aquatic center boasts a graduated, beach-like entry that tricks feet into turning a toasty golden tan. Eight delineated lanes allow swimmers to torpedo through the water unencumbered by the flailing limbs of fellow pool-goers.
Anytime Fitness, as the name suggests, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and every day during the year with non-stop security. A one-month membership equips bodies with enough treadmills, cycles, elliptical machines, and weights to make them fit enough to run a marathon inside of a swimming pool filled with mud. In a preliminary fitness consultation, clients meet with a certified personal trainer to outline a healthier lifestyle, which includes an exercise regimen and staying away from chocolate cakes filled with pulled pork, and a personal-training orientation familiarizes sheepish biceps with their new, confidence-boosting dumbbell friends. Anytime Fitness's open schedule makes sure you have no excuses not to get in shape—unlike its competitor, Nevertime Fitness, which only opens its single Barrow, Alaska, location during solar eclipses.
“Dancing can totally change a relationship—I’ve seen it a hundred times,” says Miranda Irving, a lifelong dancer and founder of Best Of All Dance. “The man gets to be a man again [by leading], and the woman gets to be a damsel swept off her feet.” Irving met her own husband as he taught her ballroom dancing more than two decades ago. Today she and her team of expert instructors help couples work together on the floor as they lead, follow, twirl, and revel in the music during introductory sessions, where basic steps give way to advanced styles such as East Coast swing, salsa, and foxtrot. The studio’s roster of lively fitness classes combines all-out exertion with energetic dance moves, from Latin-tinged Zumba to Bootie Blast sessions, where choreographed routines elicit sweat while groups of about 10¬–25 students memorize moves to hip-hop music and hits from artists such as Janet Jackson to combine music and exercise better than a jog on a human-size turntable.