Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness first opened its 35,000-square-foot fitness centers in 1979, and the specialists have since maintained a commitment to helping their members lead healthier lifestyles. They work in partnership with hospitals and medical professionals to stay keen on current research, turning this information into personal-training programs and professional advice for members of all fitness levels. In addition to programs in fitness and recreation, health education, and nutrition, Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness offers more than 60 group fitness classes. Members can shake up their routines with group cycling, yoga, and Pilates sessions, or tune out the surrounding world while burning calories on TV-equipped cardio machines. Member amenities also include basketball courts and an aquatics center in addition to outlets for kids including a youth activities center and babysitting services for kids that are tired of pretending to be their mom's fanny pack as she works out.
The personal trainers at Big Sky Fitness cut frustration from the range of emotions their clients experience. That's because their X-factor coaching is grounded in science, ensuring that exercisers reach their goals if they stick to the regimen. Group fitness classes act as a helpful add-on to the personal-training sessions, as do nutritious shakes from the Shake Bar.
Newington Yoga Center is a warm, welcoming health hub offering a variety of classes ($15 each) to students of all ages, skill sets, and salutation styles. If you are a yoga newbie, get acclimated with traditional poses and breathing techniques in a Yoga for Beginners class, or for a more specialized workout, attend a Yoga for Abs and Lower Back class, featuring poses that strengthen the core, improve abdominal organ function, and add a polish to your six-pack of muscle beers. Stressed-out students can relax and recharge in low-impact restorative yoga classes, or escape during 75 minutes of guided meditation in a Yoga Nidra class.
The muscle tutors at Fitness Together Rocky Hill or Avon will work with you to determine your goals (drop pounds, run a marathon, get strong enough to finally confront Douglas) and develop a customized workout plan designed to help you reach your true fitness potential. They’ll supervise your squats, offer nutritional advice, and push you until you see results. Individualized attention means it’s all about you—your trainer can point out when you’re doing a stretch incorrectly, help you tone the trouble zones, and push you to keep going when you’d otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
Helmed by studio owner Carolyn Phillips, Fit Behavior's certified instructors help clients to reach health goals through group classes, weight-loss programs, and personal-training services. They lead guests of all fitness levels through dynamic and challenging exercises, drawing on experience in gymnastics, bodybuilding, and Afro-Cuban dance to jazz up boot-camp sessions, Pilates classes, or elementary-school talent shows. The wellness emporium's specialty class, 30Fit, stitches together a fabric of plyometrics, kettlebells, rope work, TRX-suspension training, and cardio kick to show lethargy and monotony the door over the course of 30 intense minutes.
Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.