Led by more than 1,000 wellness experts at locations in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Tennessee, the more than 30,000 members of Prairie Life Fitness have discovered why the company slogan is "Fitness for the Entire Family." The certified trainers and instructors cater to exercisers of various ages and abilities, all within an upscale, welcoming atmosphere. Kids take advantage of engaging childcare activities and youth programs, including swimming lessons, martial arts, and story time. Meanwhile, parents can workout on the latest equipment, including stationary cycles and Pilates machines. Guests can also relax with amenities such as massage therapy, tanning beds, and a whirlpool powered by wholesale bags of Pop Rocks.
When was the last time you performed a walking lunge with a pumpkin instead of a medicine ball? Or took a cycling class with an '80s-era pop star? On Halloween of 2012, Pinnacle Fitness Club was filled with unusual props and colorful characters—and not just the typical athletic equipment or energetic personal trainers. The gym encouraged members to wear costumes to their workouts, resulting in classes filled with faux surgeons and familiar Dr. Seuss figures.
It may only happen once a year, but the lighthearted spirit of the club’s October 31st festivities embodies its continually down-to-earth, friendly environment. It offers amenities such as new cardio and weight-training equipment and a 25-yard lap pool to encourage patrons on their journies toward better health. After their workout, guests can head to the jacuzzi to unwind.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine-maneuvering and your muscle-making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The Yoga Path's classes are based on Hatha yoga techniques and geared towards all skill and activity levels. Drop-in classes are held several times a week and run between 60–90 minutes. Small class sizes along with hands-on instruction and telepathic communicating from skilled instructors ensure that each student receives individualized attention. Aspiring contortionists are led through a variety of poses that help increase strength, flexibility, and endurance. After class, sweat-drenched bodies and minds can replenish with tea and chatter and yoga veterans malleable as warm wax and neophytes unable to touch their toes are equally welcome. Drop-ins are asked to call or email before attending class.
After stints in the corporate fitness world, Dustin Adams, Patty Failla, Simon Corzine, and Andrew Failla struck out on their own to create their dream gym: Fit Farm. The 9,500-square-foot facility houses a main workout area with turf and rubber flooring, which accommodates specialized sports training and intensive CrossFit workouts. Between that space and a group-exercise room whose Pavigym flooring boasts a 45% impact-absorption rate, certified trainers help guests avert intense joint strain while striking yoga poses and Pilates moves, or maintaining stamina throughout boot camps. Along with exercise, Fit Farm keeps patrons looking and feeling their best with lifestyle supplements stocked in the fitness shop and consultations with nutrition consultant Terry Shanahan, who dispenses dietary advice more comprehensive than, "Eat this, not that."
All of Omaha Yoga School's classes help connect minds and bodies, but one does it particularly well, Hyp-Yoga. This class uses deep breathing and deliberate movements to help students focus on their life goals, whether they want to experience less stress, lose weight, or levitate.
Mind/Body Melt classes also help center the mind and release tension, and traditional Vinyasa classes rely on focused deep-breathing to power movements. And because class sizes are small, with no more than eight students, there are few distractions.