While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
HealthRidge Fitness Center is all about options. From more than 80 weekly group exercise classes to sprawling facilities that include a 1/8-mile indoor track, racquetball courts, and cardio machines with personal TVs, both beginning and advanced exercisers can find an activity that moves at their preferred pace. Guests get pumped up in boot-camp sessions taught by instructors who have been certified in a military-instructor training course led by Army National Guard master fitness trainer and staff sergeant Ken Weichert. To calm the mind, a yoga or Pilates class reduces stress while strengthening core muscles. The center also features a workout area and classes designed specifically for kids.
In warm weather, an outdoor pool decorated with a natural-looking rock formation invites swimmers to splash about a tranquil waterfall. Exercisers can unwind after a workout with a pedicure, a massage, or a facial at the Spa at HealthRidge, which has been named one of America?s Top 100 Spas by SpAwards. The caf? and lounge area offers nutritious meals and a cozy fireplace that is ideal for soothing achy muscles or burning cheat-day pages torn from food journals.
Under the direction of grand master Yang, a multi-martial-art black belt, the students at Yang Masters United Taekwondo Center gain physical and mental empowerment in challenging tae kwon do classes. Classes focus on powerful punching and kicking movements to improve coordination and flexibility. The tae kwon do self-defense style employs a systemized training curriculum that distinguishes advancement through symbolic progression such as belts and increasingly solemn head nods.
Students who commit to the principles of tae kwon do notice mental and personal benefits in addition to the physical ones. Elevated self-discipline and concentration equips pupils with unmatched staring-contest capabilities, and improved confidence galvanizes leadership inside and outside the board- or classroom. Each session of tae kwon do encourages groups of students to train as a whole rather than as separate individuals as instructors stress unity during drills and heated games of Red Rover.
At Legacy Plastic Surgeons, Drs. James Lehman and M. Devi Prasad Tantri combine more than half a century of medical and cosmetic experience. With more than 70 published articles under his belt, Dr. James Lehman is well versed in all areas of cosmetic plastic surgery, specializing in breast reduction, breast implants, and abdominoplasty. His counterpart, Dr. M. Devi Prasad Tantri, boasts more than 25 years of medical experience, and demonstrates special proficiency in hand surgery, breast reduction, and the removal of cancers from the head and neck.
Together, the doctors lead a team of skilled clinicians—many of whom have served with the doctors for more than 10 years—who revamp and beautify faces with noninvasive techniques such as microdermabrasion, facial peels, and Botox injections. Before administering any procedures or treatments, doctors consult with patients to understand their subjects' expectations and tolerance for witty knock-knock jokes.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.