In the mornings, Kathleen Whippler—YMCA of Regina’s senior director of funds development, marketing, and communications—greets a group of ladies on their way to an arthritis exercise class. They’ve told her how the class helps keep aches at bay for the rest of the day. In the afternoon, she sees parents drop their kids off at the Y’s special-needs program. They’ve told her that before the program, there was nowhere for their kids to go, let alone a place they were excited about. Experiences like these keep Whippler passionate about her work at YMCA of Regina. “You can see the difference you make—what I do affects the lives of other people.”
These programs reflect YMCA of Regina’s overarching mission to build healthy communities. As bustling community hubs, both locations tout dozens of programs and amenities, such as four-lane pools, cardio machines, free weights, and more than 65 weekly exercise classes. Furthermore, the centres strive to make fitness a key part of any lifestyle; personal trainers lead private sessions, fitness classes include yoga and Zumba, and the Northwest centre invites guests to scale a climbing wall.
Although physical fitness is a critical part of overall wellness, the Y’s services extend far beyond the workout room. The centres host an alternative suspension program that strives to transform school suspensions into positive, transformative experiences, and the Community Café provides youth with job training. Whippler says services like these help form tight-knit communities. “It’s just a place to belong,” she says.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Yoga Mala's impassioned instructors limber up bodies and enliven minds through nine different yoga disciplines. Smooth down frizzy brain waves with the soothing, passive Yin yoga, in which postures are held for up to five minutes, slowly relaxing sore muscles and opening up shy joints. Clients seeking high-energy body bends, meanwhile, can opt for Vinyasa yoga, which focuses on opening the hips and shoulders via intense postures, or the Ujjayi Pulse class, set to the beat of live drum music. Yoga Mala's class schedule invites yogis to align spines and stack chakras morning through evening within Yoga Mala's spacious, sunlit studio, making daily practice as simple as befriending a lonely sock puppet.
Led by an instructor with experience in personal training, nutrition, wellness, and psychology, the diet and fitness packages offered at MissFitChick are applicable to people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Individual plans are customized to meet each client’s specific objectives, including weight loss, toning, ability to bench-press a herd of mountain goats, and more. Today's deal begins with a 90-minute personal wellness consultation ($75) to analyze the client’s initial condition and create an outline of personal goals. Clients can then choose from options such as a 60-minute personal in-studio workout session ($45) or a group session at an off-site location, such as a haunted tavern or the Potemkin Stairs ($40 per person). Boot camp classes can be purchased individually ($10) or in bunches of 10 ($80). Otherwise, clients can stretch out progress with a two-week nutritional plan ($80) or a four-week shape-up program ($80).
Flux Crossfit zeroes in on fitness with a host of high-energy workouts and the support of small group instruction. Ease into the flexible, sinewy world of strength training with eight exhilarating group training sessions and three introductory classes. Both training sessions and classes are limited to a maximum of eight participants, granting pupils one-on-one guidance along with the support of a small group. Like a brigade of mercenary circus strongmen, certifiably fit coaches keep muscles on their toes and calories looking for cover with a fast-paced flurry of functional strength-training workouts, such as kettlebells, lifting, running, or rowing. Students are trained in general physical preparedness, honing their bodies into fighting shape for such physical ordeals as bewildering arrogant weight-guessers or beating up a waterfall.
Fit 4 Two's team of certified prenatal and postnatal fitness specialists motivate mothers to get in shape while still attending to infants' needs with a diverse schedule of classes. In a 60-minute Mom & Baby fitness class, instructors and GPS machines wearing sweatbands guide parents through an array of cardio exercises and muscular endurance training to abate pain, raise energy levels, and improve posture. Students can chat with other parents and take breaks to attend to their baby's needs at any time during the class. Moms share laughs as they push strollers toward a high-intensity workout during stroller boot camp; a 30-minute Tummies for Mommies class tones stomachs, strengthens pelvic floors, hardens core muscles, and equips pupils with handouts filled with daily exercises to do at home or during lengthy escalator rides.