The YMCA of Coastal Georgia promotes healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility through a variety of fitness and wellness classes. Membership includes access to gymnasiums, pools, strength and cardio equipment, and group exercise classes such as Contoured Bodies at the Effingham branch, in which simple deep-muscle movements tone the body to improve posture, balance, flexibility, and the likelihood of causing nearby coworkers to sit up straighter in their chairs. Various locations host traditional yoga and flexibility-technique classes, and Zumba classes fuse energetic music with calorie-burning dance moves for a lively workout experience. Groupon buyers also receive $25 to use toward classes, programs, and benefits not included in the monthly membership, such as a 30-minute massage from a licensed massage therapist ($25 for members), or a fall youth soccer session ($50+ for members) that teaches good sportsmanship, the value of exercise, and the importance of being able to manipulate a large object with one's forehead.
Sol Pedal Cycling Studio's stationary cyclists lead students on an invigorating imaginary ramble during 60-minute spinning classes. After consulting the schedule's array of morning and afternoon sessions, students hop on their waiting Schwinn steeds for an hour of pulse-raising routines calibrated to boost stamina, challenge multiple muscle groups, and prepare legs for backward reenactments of last year's Tour de France. Sol's high-energy instructors keep students confident and engaged with a funky, sweat-inducing soundtrack. Students should arrive a few minutes early for each session to prepare bikes to their liking by adjusting workout settings and attaching the gym's optional handlebar streamers.
Club 14 Fitness' roster of trainers reads like the manifest of a submarine on its way to SEALAB III. It includes one University of Chicago educated biologist, one former Navy man, one chiropractor-turned-holistic healer, one nutritionist, and the first runner-up in the Mr. Wyoming bodybuilding competition. Together, they downright plaster the walls with all manners of certifications, issued by everyone from AFAA to CrossFit. They lean hard on their multifarious backgrounds to build personal-fitness regimens and a schedule of calorie-blasting classes, including a lineup of LesMills sessions, that firm up bodies more effectively than falling asleep in a cement mixer.
When not dancing or spinning through group fitness sessions, members can bolster heart rates in the cardio room, hoist free weights, or target hyper-specific muscle groups on the gym's cache of Star Trac equipment. Guests wind down in the wood-paneled sauna, slake thirst at the juice bar, or bronze up in the tanning bed. To make getting to the gym more accessible, Club 14 keeps kids entertained with childcare and pint-sized fitness programs, and keeps its doors open 24 hours. All of this earned the gym the Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award in 2010.
As a nurse, fitness trainer, and avid marathon runner, Pamela Kato understands that building a strong and healthy body isn’t about locking yourself in a gym. Everyday activities can inspire workouts like the ones she guides at Bodyworks of Northeast Florida. Feet pound sand or pavement in BeachFit and BuggyFit classes. In the former, participants perform cardio and calisthenics exercises in beach sand; exercisers in the latter sweat through boot-camp sessions while pushing their babies in strollers down the street. Individual sessions include lessons in aerial fitness on silk hammocks and ballet-barre work, and Bodyworks also offers consultations and nutrition plans that focus on long-term goals for health and wellness.
Each 60 minute Jazzercize class incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training (with handheld weights) to a total-body workout complete with cardio, strength training, and stretching techniques. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, simply review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Certified personal trainer Samantha Shay leads small groups of female campers through intense strength-training and cardio exercises in the verdant expanse of Gardner Field. To keep students encouraged throughout each four-week session, she doles out nutritional counseling and enthusiastic high-fives. On Saturdays, Shay offers a lighthearted boot camp for kids, leading exercise routines and teamwork exercises that build fitness.