With more than 13,000 divers certified under their tutelage since 1975, Scuba Ventures' instructors, dive-control specialists, and dive masters guide pupils through the three steps toward scuba certification. Students first learn diving and safety fundamentals during classroom training and practice sessions in Scuba Ventures' heated indoor pool. Then teachers whisk them away on two-day open-water training trips to locales such as the Caribbean or Lake Ouachita where, upon successful completion, they earn an open-water certification card and a free back scratch from a puffer fish.
Instructors also teach an array of training courses ranging from spearfishing sessions to lessons in underwater photography. Scuba Ventures also sponsors dive trips throughout the year, which guests can stock up for by renting or purchasing brand-name gear from the shop.
BeFit founder Haley Young started her own personal-fitness path in high school when she joined her first gym. The thrill of running took root in her and inspired her to complete two full marathons and an ultra-marathon relay. Her drive for fitness only increased through the years as she earned certifications in yoga instruction, Zumba fitness, nutrition coaching, and personal training. Now at the head of her own fitness group, she leads yoga and Zumba classes that help students work toward well-being through practiced breathing exercises and calorie-burning dance steps. She also hosts personal-training sessions for one-on-one exercising, and wellness counseling gives clients information about losing weight and an excuse to stop trying to fit a huge party sub through their front door.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
The fun, active group classes at Drew LeBlanc's Elite Fitness boost health and vigor under the guidance of friendly, professional trainers. Cardio workouts, such as calorie-crushing dance-based Zumba, maximize heart and lung efficiency, while the brawn-boosting Bodypump class turns everyday muscles into washboards, six-packs, and other useful household items. Diligent exercisers can fight the battle of the bulge with a weight-loss boot camp or learn to protect their neighborhoods from gangs of delinquent punching bags with kickboxing lessons. The modern fitness center also houses private shower facilities for postworkout de-salting.
With hundreds of locations across the country, Right Dental Group represents a collection of oral-health-care professionals who deliver a variety of quality dental services. The collective places an emphasis on relationship building—meaning patients can confess their most egregious toffee-apple trespasses while receiving a teeth scrubbing delivered with precision and understanding. Each of the dentists is prescreened for a consistent record of excellence and the ability to efficiently locate a cavity in a toothstack.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were accidentally installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circle of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use body weight and fitness levels to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.