New York Sports Clubs, part of Towns Sports International's network of fitness loci, welcomes exercisers to a number of equipment-stocked facilities to help attain perspiration-soaked fitness goals at a convenient location. Strength-training gear such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls filled with black holes mold muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Calories simmer and move to cooler climates after sessions on cardio machines ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draw from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, to keep members from jazzercising without a spotter. Each location thanks exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features, such as babysitting, though Passport memberships do not include pool access.
A ringleader at Venice California’s Muscle Beach, Joe Gold founded World Gym in 1976, creating what would become an iconic spot for Hollywood’s brawniest bunch, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. Today, that gym is a worldwide franchise spanning more than a dozen countries. World Gym in Ronkonkoma comes with all the perks clients have come to expect from the franchise, including a free-weight room stacked with dumbbells, barbells, and plenty of plates. Cardio addicts can head to one of several group classes, such as spotlight cycle, which utilizes stationary bikes for heart-racing, indoor exercise. After a workout, exercisers can grab a towel and a snack or re-energize with a drink from the juice bar.
As a former architect, Amba Yoga director Lesa Kingsbury has a deep appreciation for form and function, elements that she incorporates into her yoga practice. Registered through the Yoga Alliance, Lesa draws on 14 years of experience to helm a team of seasoned instructors that promotes freedom of movement, mind, and spirit. Within temperate rooms kept at around 70 degrees, instructors lead Hatha yoga classes centered on alignment, form, and fluid motion as well as Vinyasa classes. The studio’s restorative offerings include yoga therapy, massage, and meditation techniques
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes opened The Little Gym based on his new take on physical education. His curriculum emphasized motivating children to achieve instead of pressuring them to win. As a result, The Little Gym became a noncompetitive, positive, nurturing environment where young ones could develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Since then, Little Gyms have sprouted up across the country.
Diane Garetano's school—whose curriculum covers piano as well as other instruments—was an immediate success in the first year. She was renting space to accommodate her ever-expanding student body and the pianos that kept sprouting extra keys. Today, The Piano Studio for Kids imparts instrument skills at two locations. The school also has evolved in terms of technique, with instructors now incorporating even more methods built on fun, structure, and positive reinforcement. Once a year, students may elect to show off the fruits of these labors, with admission free of charge at a recital culminating in certificates, gift bags, and applause.
As she guides clients toward achieving their fitness goals, exercise guru Lauren Zummo also immerses them in her own fitness interests. Zummo is the owner of Prana Pilates & Yoga, where she draws from years of experience in movement analysis and a graduate degree in exercise physiology to train groups of no more than six students at a time. She helps them hone core strength in Pilates reformer classes, tone lean muscle in cardio barre classes, and learn poses and breathing techniques in her basic yoga classes.
Essence of Yoga Studio feels like a sacred space. Amid its polished honey-colored floors and warm, earth-toned walls, certified instructors teach Hatha and Vinyasa-flow yoga to students of all skill levels. Believing that the mind is just as important as the body, the instructors help students gain strength and flexibility in an atmosphere of support and acceptance.