My Gym, 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 to 9, 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.
Tia Falcone wasn't always the muscular fitness afficionado she is today. In fact, there was a time when she was extremely overweight. It was only after she developed a fitness plan and healthy eating habits that Tia won her slim physique and sculpted abs, and eventually went on to earn her certification as a personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Today, Tia pulls from her unique experiences and years of training to help clients reach their fitness goals at her own studio—Tia Falcone Fitness. Within the bright space, Tia conducts personal-training sessions and group fitness classes such as kickboxing and body sculpting. She leads her students through high-intensity cardio and strength-training exercises using functional equipment, including exercise balls, resistance bands, and kettlebells.
O Yoga owner Tiffany Sisko does not differentiate between the novice and the advanced yoga student. She opened her studio as a venue for anyone to practice the art, and to that end, none of her classes are grouped by skill level. She extends her inclusive attitude to her teachings, drawing poses from kripalu, prana, and yin styles to combine their therapeutic effects during fluid Vinyasa sessions. With an eclectic blend of music, stretches, and breath work, she and her team of instructors send each student on a distinct mission of self-discovery.
Even the studio's environment forwards the message of all-encompassing acceptance. Using cleverly recycled decor, Tiffany has crafted a stark yet elegant aesthetic. She repurposed plywood and furring strips—which were ripped up to expose the building's original pine flooring and still-beating heart—as shelves and wall embellishments. The asymmetrical furniture in the open lounge area is molded from the wood of a felled box-elder street tree, whose vibrant red striping adds flair to the grain.
There are no frills at the SaltCity CrossFit gym. Instead of rows of flashy cardio machines, televisions pumping out talk shows, and a diamond-glazed lobby, there is a dedicated staff of certified coaches and an abundance of simple, functional exercise equipment. Amid pull-up bars, free weights, and sandbags, instructors lead groups through the CrossFit program’s innovative, high-intensity workouts, scaling movements to accommodate each student’s level of fitness. The coaching team also provides students with nutritional advice, encouraging diets that are high in lean proteins and vegetables and discouraging the consumption of candies, soda, or fried candies and soda.
The front room of CrossFit Core Fitness is packed with rowing machines, free weights, resistance bands, TRX systems, and medicine balls in bright colors. The assembly of exercise equipment aids clients in meeting their fitness goals under the guidance of personal trainers.
After realizing her successful yet stressful career in retail wasn't making her happy, Kim Fischer turned her passion for yoga practice into her very own studio, Lotus Life Yoga Center. During weekly hot yoga classes, Kim and her crew of certified instructors heat the serene, lavender-colored practice space to a balmy 90 degrees to help practitioners sink safely into healing postures and stretches. While Kim's teaching style takes students through flowing, Vinyasa-based posture sequences that link movement with conscious breath and pinky-pointing direction, the studio also offers slower-paced restorative styles, yin-yang yoga, and yoga and Pilates fusion classes designed to increase range of motion and bolster the abdominals.