When soprano Karen Adair isn’t captivating audiences with her breathtaking vibratos and expressive high notes during oratorios and operas, she’s helping clients of all ages and abilities forge strong connections between mind, body, and spirit during Vinyasa and Hatha yoga classes. As a certified yoga instructor, she leads classes that teach awareness of mental and physical health through asanas linked with breathing, and helps her students boost flexibility and strength while giving personalized corrections and adjustments to stave off injury. Karen keeps her practice sharp by attending continuing-education workshops under Beryl Bender Birch, a world-renowned yoga teacher and author. She brings this knowledge to her studio and clients' residences for private, in-home yoga classes, during which she helps experienced athletes reach deeper stretches or teaches sedentary yoga mats how to stand up.
The black-belted trainers at Florida Martial Arts and Fitness Center condition and arm students with self-defense skills that may come in handy in real-life situations. Students can focus solely on self-defense techniques with krav maga, an intuitive street-fighting style developed by a decorated Slovakian athlete in the 1930s, or tae kwon do, which builds a sense of confidence as well as snappy reflexes and a collection of stylish belts. Participants in one-hour kickboxing classes can burn up to 1,000 calories, and yoga classes build inner strength and balance. Field-day classes take fitness training outdoors for sunshine and fresh air. Athletes who attend a monthly weapon-disarming seminar learn to strip assailants of knives, guns, or wooden marshmallow spears.
For three decades, Ocala Women's Fitness has been shrinking pants sizes with a two-pronged approach to weight loss. On the fitness end, instructors guide motivated calorie incinerators through step and toning classes. Personal-training sessions navigate a full selection of cardio and weight machines culled from anvil orchards. For stationary whittling, infrared heat helps melt away the most stubborn of inches during Formostar Encore body wraps.
At Ocala Fighting Fit Boot Camp, fists and feet deliver knockout blows to calories during 12 boot-camp classes that draw on MMA and kickboxing combat techniques to whip thighs and abs into shape in a nonintimidating environment. During the four-week martial-arts boot camp, students of all fitness levels and skill sets entrust their bodies to certified instructors who orchestrate exercises that most efficaciously achieve results, and periodically motivate stragglers with photos of a skinny, timid, teenage Hulk. Grueling kettlebell lifts alternate with kickboxing drills and other interval and cardio exercises as students will their ways through three weekly sessions.
When Becky Bell injured her knee during marathon training, her doctor gave a fateful prescription: strength and stability exercises. The recommendation sparked Becky's fascination with the art of yoga, and she began to experiment with its mind and body disciplines, earning her 200-hour teaching certification in the process. The steady, focused workouts were different from the volleyball games and hiking trips she was used to. Once she added her own flair to Vinyasa-style poses, however, her drive to share the technique with others kept growing.
At Saffron&Crimson, Becky takes beginners and intermediate yogis alike through fitness classes that infuse fluid stretches with Bible philosophies. She also takes her teachings on the road during custom parties, in-home family classes, and highway-relaxation sessions for drivers who have just been pulled over
Trampling hooves typically pound the 200 lush acres of Longwood Farm, which serves as an Olympic equine training facility. But now, humans can set out on foot to traverse the grounds during Longwood Warrior, a obstacle race that crosses hills, ponds, and mud pits. The 3.5- to 4-mile race features more than 25 obstacles that require participants to climb, crawl, and duck, though each obstacle also includes a bypass for those who want to opt out. Post-race, mud- and water-soaked runners can rinse off at provided showers and head to the after party, where music, drinks, and snacks await. Those seeking more competition can partake in a cornhole tournament or angle to win some of the race's quirkier awards, including Best Mustache and Best '80s Hairdo.