With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
By day, guests are busy watching sunsets or bottlenose dolphins during Incognito Adventures’ three excursions. The spacious boat, Incognito, includes the furnishings of a dream house: a curved lounge equipped with a fully stocked bar; an entertainment center set up with a television, stereo, and DVD player; and a master bedroom outfitted with a queen-size bed, dual nightstands, and lockers lined with cedar wood.
During half-day and full-day fishing trips, Sunrise Fishing Adventures leads groups in pursuit of snapper, grouper, and other reef species found near the shore. The captain provides all the necessary gear for every trip, including bait and tackle and fishing licenses, and even cleans catches, meaning fish are ready to take home and eat or hide under the pillow of a favorite roommate. For their part, anglers should bring along sunscreen and medication to ward off sea sickness, if necessary.
Kristen Mory, owner of Generations Yoga & Fitness, and her sidekick and business partner Courtney Graham help kids and adults lead healthier lives with their unique classes at the Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove. They keep their classes small to give students personal attention while they strike peaceful yoga poses, battle through challenging boot-camp classes, or transform back into mermaids during aquafit classes. Students also receive nutritional advice and personal challenges to help them achieve their goals. They also offer outdoor yoga classes and host adventure retreats and fundraising opportunities to help empower local girls.
From the moment seasoned nature tour guide Kurt Zuelsdorf first dipped his paddle into Clam Bayou, he knew the mangrove estuary would be the right place to set his kayak tours. But there was a catch—a garbage dump’s worth of rusting shopping carts and waterlogged plastic bags was strewn about the waterway. Undeterred, Kurt hit upon a clever cleanup strategy: people could launch his fleet of kayaks for free, so long as they toted a bag of garbage out of the bayou with them.
Numerous grants, media attention, and awards later, Kurt’s waterway cleanup program has reached its final stages. Now, kayakers and paddlers can freely navigate the mangrove channels, nabbing sights of manatees, herons, and tugboat captains hopelessly lost in the mangroves. An avid nature enthusiast who has kayaked waterways from Wisconsin to Florida, Kurt prizes Clam Bayou, citing the diversity of wildlife along the one-mile stretch. “It’s not like the zoo,” he says. “Every time you hit the water, it’s a completely different experience.”
When she founded Gulfport Yoga, certified instructor Jen wanted to create a place for people to shed stress. Of course, everyone has different ways of doing so, and that's why she and her team of teachers lead a variety of classes, suitable for practitioners of all skill levels. Beginner-friendly Slow Flow, for instance, covers traditional Vinyasa sequences at a steady pace, while Power Flow provides a challenge ideal for intermediate-level yogis.
Aside from flow sessions, the instructors also lead restorative yoga classes, which incorporate bolsters, blocks, and straps to help participants ease into deep stretches. Meditation factors into the studio's lessons, as well, transporting students into a lucid dream-like state without requiring them to stare at a ceiling fan for an hour.