A lot of people like to have a one-on-one with a trainer before embarking on a new fitness regimen. But at First Class Fitness, visitors have the option of meeting with a veteran exercise physiologist, who will issue a fitness evaluation and a comprehensive health screening in order to draft a unique, custom-tailored training program. What follows in the cozy, earth-toned gym might vary from person to person: instructors hold boot camp and circuit classes, and personal trainers provide focused attention to help clients reach specific goals. Other guests might opt to work out independently by lifting weights in the carpeted equipment room or by taping toy cars to their feet and gliding on the hardwood floor of the stretching studio. The one thing that is consistent, however, is the inviting atmosphere, which welcomes guests of all ages and from all walks of life.
Mandy Grant is an expert at working up a sweat; she’s been a fitness enthusiast for decades. So it’s no surprise that the avid exerciser went on to open her personal yoga studio, which she lovingly named after the Zulu word for sweat. Students will also be pleasantly surprised to learn that Mandy donates 15% off all profits from this studio’s classes to assist AIDS orphans in South Africa and all donations from community classes to other charities.
Mandy’s passion to help others doesn’t stop there. At the Bergen County studio, students of all levels are given ample attention during 75-minute yoga classes, which are rooted in Hatha but also incorporate elements of Vinyasa flow, pranayama, and meditation. This style of teaching encourages yogis to connect their breathing with their postures and calming thoughts. Mandy and her dedicated instructors also spice up workout routines with heated Vinyasa sessions and mat Pilates.
One can look behind every stationary bike or beneath each treadmill, and never come across a man at American Woman Fitness Center. They will, however, find a swimming pool, rows of cardio machines, and a studio that hosts more than 50 fitness classes. Because the health club only admits women at its two locations, gals can feel more comfortable and confident as they break a sweat on elliptical machines and weight-training equipment.
The all-female staff leads a slew of group fitness classes, including CrossFit, Corebar training, Zumba, and yoga classes, some of which take place in the swimming pool and can result in highly desirable dolphin abs. In addition to classes, they offer personal-training sessions along with weight-loss and nutritional counseling tailored to female physiques. While ladies are working out, they can rest assured that their wee ones are looked after, as the staff also provides childcare services.
As a 5-year-old in the Soviet Union, Daniel Kazachkov underwent a four-hour root canal with no anesthetic. Though the procedure could have ignited a lifelong phobia of dentistry, Dr. Dan instead vowed to become a dentist and prevent others from going through similar pain. After graduating from Tufts University's School of Dental Medicine, he founded his own practice, Dental Arts of Westwood, where he keeps that memory fresh in his mind while carefully monitoring patient comfort.
In their sunny, yellow-walled practice, Dr. Dan and his team tend to the cosmetic and medical needs of teeth with a range of services. X-rays and a CT scans help them to nip disease in the bud, and lasers make surgical procedures quicker, safer, and more likely to finally impress the neighbors. In addition, Venus bleaching treatments whiten teeth. Youngsters can wait in a kids' area with toys, and televisions equipped with Netflix streaming distract patrons from procedures.
Wellness is a way of life. That's why Ripcurl's lavish facility offers everything from weight training and cardio machines to yoga and Pilates classes that shape the physique. An on-staff nutritionist can set up a structured diet conducive to individual goals. Clients may also retreat to a cozy room for a private acupuncture session, or a therapeutic massage with hot stones and soothing aromatherapy.
A licensed chiropractor and experienced martial artist, Dr. John Surie started practicing hot yoga when he met his future wife, Natalie. Charmed by her Australian accent and passion for the practice, he soon became an avid Bikram student himself, and in 2002, the husband-and-wife duo opened their first studio with Natalie helming her own curriculum of Bikram-inspired classes. Today, their hot-yoga empire has expanded to five studios sprinkled across the United States and Australia, each teeming with certified instructors who lead students through 13 different class styles. Designed to make hot yoga accessible to everyone, classes range from the studio’s signature Ignite series, which introduces newcomers to the foundations of hot yoga, to intense Shape classes that see stretchers melding hot-yoga and Pilates moves while solving Pythagorean equations.
Each studio comes equipped with special flooring tailored to the humid environment of hot yoga, as well as air-circulation and advanced heating systems to keep fresh, hot air blowing.