At Santé Fitness & Wellness at the Chase Park Plaza, 18,000 square feet of space, an outdoor swimming pool, and an expansive schedule of fitness classes skim the surface of its lavish facility. Guests can take advantage of WiFi, personal TVs, upscale fitness machines, and protein shakes and beverages; personal trainers can plan private Pilates sessions and individual health coaching.
It’s only 5 kilometers long, but the Zombie Survival Dash, as the name might suggest, is a bit more than the average run. As runners tagged with timing chips for tracking, placement, and action shots make their way toward the finish line, they're also equipped with three flags representing their health. Meanwhile, the course's stretch is littered with both traditional obstacles and costumed zombies who block, stumble, and chase runners and attempt to steal their health flags.
All the while, spectators look on, as every half hour a wave of 300 survivors is unleashed upon the course. Then, spectators, survivors, and zombies retire hand-in-hand to an all-day after party with live music and entertainment, just like at the end of a real zombie movie. Vendors dispense food and drink as partiers participate in zombie-themed fair activities such as faux-grenade tosses and body-bag drags.
Just as the sun begins to sink, the Twilight Turkey Trot commences. In the waning light, participants run or walk 5 kilometers through Forest Park with fellow fitness enthusiasts. After all, the goal of the race isn't to win, but rather to foster a community that pays close attention to wellness. That's why the Turkey Trot's profits support local fitness activities and nurses.
While childhood obesity is a topic that receives widespread attention, registered nurse Jean Huelsing uncovered a facet of the issue that many have overlooked: Some of the very "fat camps" designed to help overweight kids slim down were actually part of the problem. She takes issue with these camps’ short-term approach, as they rely on fast-acting diets rather than instilling healthier lifestyle habits. Striving to succeed where other camps failed, Jean started Camp Jump Start in 2003 and, just three years and a score of happy campers later, founded The Living Well Foundation to extend the reach of her holistic-wellness principles.
The organization now hosts a wide range of camps for adults and children alike. They’re held at Living Well Village, which occupies 250 acres in the woods, where campers can develop a love for active pastimes through outdoor activities, such as navigating ropes courses, fishing, and juggling beavers.
CrossFit Valley Park's instructors combine lifting, gymnastics, and resistance training to achieve full-body fitness. They implement a variety of tools, such as rowing machines, kettlebells, and medicine balls, and mix up routines daily. Changing exercises keeps boredom away, and the array of motions used preps participants for all physical endeavors. It's a system that can easily be scaled to each member's fitness level, as well. Before starting courses, instructors conduct comprehensive introduction processes that include a beginners' class and an evaluation of clients' current condition and movement limitations. They also keep classes small to ensure everyone receives detailed instructions and personal attention.