Founded by passionate nutritionist and Western Culinary Institute graduate Julie Merry, The Merry Kitchen is geared toward teaching healthy, seasonal cooking to students of all ages. Each class holds eight to 10 kids, ensuring all junior chefs will receive a high level of attention. Upcoming subjects include the science of baking Disney Princess Dishes for kids ages 5–10 on July 10 and the art of Off to College Quick Meals for teens ages 16–18 on July 25. Most classes run two hours and include all necessary materials. Check out the calendar for an overview of upcoming classes.
Muscles swell and hearts race at Live to be Fit, where clients work toward fitter frames and a healthier lifestyle alongside enthusiastic trainers. With a repertoire of exercises that include strength and resistance training and workouts designed to hone flexibility and mobility, Live to be Fit hardens bodies in personal training sessions and group boot camps. In addition, the gym provides Advocare comprehensive nutritional meal plans to boost metabolism, complement workout programs, and ignite weight-loss regimens.
As the room heats to 105 degrees and intense humidity fogs up the arched windows that span the entire back wall, students hone their mental and physical strength. They move quickly through the asanas, balancing both standing and seated postures while the FloTex carpeted floors reduce joint strain. Though the heat can seem daunting, instructors modify poses for beginners so that they may attain proficiency, even if they just spend the 90 minutes in nap pose.
Peak Condition's owner, Paul Collins, is passionate about fitness and athletics—and about the science that helps people get there. He earned a degree in exercise science, and during his time as a student-athlete, researched deep water running as a training method for people with shark phobias and athletes in rehabilitation. Inspired by that research, he also went on to gain his Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Guided by his science-based understanding of training methods, he encourages his staff to seek out continuing education to bolster their knowledge when crafting workouts for each of their clients. An initial assessment helps identify each client's strengths and weaknesses. Trainers then develop a personalized workout for clients to do during semi-private training sessions, which usually have three attendees and are capped at five. Atop their spacious studio's cushy flooring, trainers might get their groups doing squats, leaping up for burpees, or twirling heavy ropes.
At A'La Carte Fitness, experienced instructor Anne-Marie Johnson leads Zumba classes that burn calories swiftly through intervals of fast and slow dancing. The studio also offers a range of other classes that run the gamut from CPR certification to an intense full body boot camp.
Big chain gyms can often feel like meat markets, especially those gyms that try to sell its fittest members to greedy infomercial producers. Today's Groupon gives casual fitness enthusiasts an alternative with a month-long membership at Giants Gym for $25 (new members only). Giants Gym is also waiving its $99 enrollment fee, making it a $128 value.