Women needn’t feel intimidated by anything—especially exercise, according to Kelly Kohler, the 17-year fitness instruction veteran who helms Totally Kickin’ Fitness. At this female-focused studio, ladies work out in small groups as a seasoned instructor demonstrates moves and doles out tips and encouragement. Students of all fitness levels are welcome, from brand-new exercisers to those who can outrun a cheetah while carrying a bag of rocks.
Classes range from kickboxing routines filled with punches and kicks to total-body workouts teeming with resistance bands and bodyweight exercises. To help women build confidence as they burn calories, Kelly leads sensual dance classes that pair sexy struts and pole-based maneuvers with elements of yoga, Pilates, and low-impact aerobics. These moves can also be taught in private or during fitness-themed parties complete with decorations, invitations, and a gift for the guest of honor.
The studio’s one-on-one programs revolve around custom workouts with a fitness trainer. Those trying to shed pounds in a healthy way can enroll in a custom weight-loss program filled with nutritional supplements, education, and more support than a corset made of get-well cards.
Pole For The Mind, Body, and Soul's staff teaches pole-dancing workouts and other flirty fitness classes to tone and tighten the entire body. Spirited instructors certified in CPR and first aid lead one-hour pole-dancing sessions, imparting the know-how to perform graceful spins, strength-building moves, and more tricks than a skateboarder who can pull a rabbit from a beanie. Each student works out on her own X-Pole Xpert pole, whose 50 millimeters of shiny chrome inspire sultry twirls and R2-D2 impressions. The maximum of nine spinners per class ensures that participants nab personalized tips on form and safety. The studio also bolsters bodies with relaxing candlelight-yoga sessions and fun-filled Zumba classes that torch calories during an hour of sultry, Latin-inspired dance moves.
Intent on combining the recreational comfort of an outdoors ropes course with the comfort of an indoor facility, the structural engineer behind Soarin' Indoors designed a traditional aerial adventure park that isn't subject to the whims of inclement weather. Two separate courses fill the 12,000-square-foot space, including one built 2.5 feet off the ground and the other towering 12 feet in the air. Each route consists of a series of challenges?including wobbling rope bridges, high wires, trapezes, cargo nets, and zip lines?which can be overcome with a combination of problem-solving skills, balance, and stamina. Although youngsters and newcomers might want to try the lower course first, each route was designed to be accessible for first-time visitors as well as experienced climbers. The danger of falling is minimized by the harnesses guests wear, which are attached to overhead safety lines with two auto-locking carabiners, turning any slips into a fall of inches as opposed to feet. As further proof of their dedication to safety, trained guides will routinely walk the course grounds and offer tips, guidance, and stock investment advice to anyone in need.
One practitioner of CrossFit summed up the lifestyle with one simple perspective: "People walk through the door and say, 'Hey, where's all the machines?' We're the machines." Everybody motivates everybody else in these group exercises, which strip away the fancy devices and fads of the moment to focus on natural movements. At CrossFit Playground, exercisers build muscle by climbing ropes, jogging backward, lifting heavy weights, and doing battle with their shadow-selves. The workout is different every day, and the instructor takes care to exactly explain the exercise du jour. Combining community, expertise, and old-fashioned hard work, CrossFit delivers proven results.
Across Visual Perceptions' three offices, a team of ophthalmologists and optometrists monitors ocular health and accuracy. In addition to standard eye exams, they administer emergency eye care and manage ocular diseases. Their offices house fine visual technology, including an OptiMap retinal-imaging system and an eye chart scribed by e.e. cummings. Once patients collect their fresh prescriptions, they can drop by the optical store, where licensed opticians outfit Gucci, Oakley, and Tom Ford frames with precisely ground lenses.
Raised on the streets of Holyoke, Paul Cichon draws on his own experience and life story as he uses boxing to instill character, discipline, and determination. At Manchester ROCS Boxing Club, Paul and his fellow trainers teach the fundamentals of the sweet science to children from all ages and backgrounds. Paul’s fighters have earned 11 national titles while learning respect and self-motivation in a nurturing environment.