When Carrie Rezabek Dorr launched her first Pure Barre studio in 2001, she didn't have a sign or a single client. Today, she rules a fitness empire with her scepter of choice: a wooden ballet barre. Informed by Carrie's background as a dancer and Pilates instructor, each workout brims with ballet-inspired stretches and small isometric movements designed to lengthen the limbs and sculpt the abs, thighs, and backside. Many sessions begin with light weightlifting, then progress to mat-bound ab work and barre-based bends. Though straightforward, the exercises are tougher than wrought-iron jerky, which has led a writer from Glamour to exclaim, "Holy nutcracker, I actually didn't know my legs could shake like this." In addition to helming all-level classes, seasoned instructors build low-impact exercise programs for new moms and lead retreats for students seeking fitness-themed getaways. An online boutique helps students tone and tighten at home, using tools such as weighted balls, resistance tubing, and DVDs starring Carrie herself.
Taking a more casual approach to dance, the instructors at BYOB Ballroom invite guests to bring along their own wine or beer to sip during classes. Their goal is to create an environment that's welcoming and fun—and most importantly, not intimidating. Classic ballroom and Latin-style dancing kick off with easy-to-follow steps that are well-suited for beginners, but also enjoyable for seasoned toe tappers.
At You Do Yoga, students of all levels execute elasticizing endeavors under green plants, colorful artwork, and the guidance of skilled instructors who preside over more than 10 classes. Shimmy into Core Yoga's uptempo ab-sculpting spree on Wednesday evenings, or twist away Friday mornings during Early Bird Vinyasa, which focuses on yogic philosophies about change. Each class lasts 60–90 minutes and includes mats, standard equipment, and bottomless karma.
G&G Fitness caters to both bodybuilding buffs and amateurs wishing to enhance their earthly edifices at home with a range of premium equipment, including such notable brands as Life Fitness, Octane Fitness, and Precor. As trained physique formers, G&G's friendly staff members easily hunt and lasso the ideal muscle-molding or heart-strengthening apparatus for each individual customer's specific needs. Avoid outdoor biking's headaches of potholes and projectile burritos by staying indoors on an immobile Vision Fitness E1500 ($499), an upright exercise bike that offers a comfort arc seat, contact heart-rate sensors, and easy-to-adjust pedal straps. Elliptical machines ($799+) and treadmills ($1,495+), offer great ways to calibrate cardiovascular chronometers any time of the day or night. For muscle-sculpting, home-gym systems (starting at $1,299)—which combine benches, pulley systems, and weight stacks in one space-saving package—give exercisers a way to bolster biceps and strengthen solar plexuses without having to traverse crowded gym floors.
Tucked amid the forests of Hocking Hills, Big Pine Retreat's cedar cabins couple rustic décor with contemporary amenities just a short trek from natural caves and the banks of Hocking River. In each of the hillside hideaways, a full kitchen and satellite TV treat guests to homey comforts, and a hot tub makes a luxurious spot to soothe aching muscles or stressed-out rubber duckies. In the intimate Mingo cabin, a gas-log fireplace crackles warmly, and wooden rockers sway on covered porches as guests take in scenic views of the surrounding woodlands and forest wildlife. The roomy Shawnee cabin sleeps up to six people, and guests can bring their own firewood or spontaneously combusting, unwatered Christmas trees to stoke an outdoor campfire. Adventurers can hike the nearby trails or ride horseback past rushing brooks and blue herons congenially chirping the Lone Ranger theme.
High above reservoir banks and the forest floor, an intricate web of rope bridges and obstacles snakes itself through the towering trees of Walnut Bluffs. This is the site of Summit Vision––a pair of team-building rope courses with more than 40 combined climbing elements, designed to boost the confidence, leadership, and problem-solving skills of children, adults, and corporations.
On both courses, Summit Vision's highly trained staff safely guides adventurers through a variety of climbing endeavors, culminating in an epic zipline or giant swing dismount. The company also opens its rope courses for open-play sessions on weekends and hosts various ground-based exercises. During the summer, the 7Summits day camp provides youngsters a reprieve from the humdrum routine of remodeling their lemonade stands with more exhilarating activities such as archery, kayaking, and hiking.