When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number more than 34,000 around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
The experienced instructors at TM Martial Arts aim to help their students strengthen more than muscles in their hapkido, tae kwon do, and self-defense classes. They prize the character development and cognitive benefits—such as self-confidence, perseverance, and improved concentration—that people can experience with regular practice. That said, their American kickboxing and Ultimate Fitness programs blend strength training with sparring drills to help students reshape their bodies and embrace fitness for the rest of their lives, no matter their age or starting level.
For 28 years, Master John Carroll has assisted students in the journey to fitness by teaching Shorei Goju karate, guiding pupils from fledgling white belts to expert black belts. Master Carroll and his fellow instructors currently engage students of all ages in the study of martial arts and fitness. They arm students not only with karate techniques, but with the more meditative skills of tai chi and even the Latin-infused dance moves of Zumba. During these Zumba lessons, certified Zumba instructors blast Latin beats and lead easy-to-follow dance routines, ideal for burning calories or surviving the effects of a rampaging musical number.
My Gym Children's Fitness Center, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 30 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 months—and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–8, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Shihan Hercle Brown, a sixth-degree black belt with more than 30 years of martial-arts experience, teaches every class at Brown's DragonFire Martial Arts. Centering on shorinji-ryu karate—an authentic style with roots in Okinawa—classes focus on mental and physical strength for martial arts and self-defense. Brown leads classes for all ages, striving to shape students with better focus, discipline, confidence, and balance. Programs also involve weapons training and sparring.