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.
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.
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.
Founded in 1963, Central New York Karate and Kobudo Schools has a history nearly as rich as karate itself. The schools' classes foster self-discipline, healthfulness, and self-defense for children and adults alike. The instructors for adult classes average a decade of experience apiece, each well versed in the disciplines of Okinawan Goju Ryu karate and kobudo.
At Metro Fitness, exercisers receive access to top-of-the-line fitness equipment like Pilates reformer machines and TRX suspension training bands. What's more, they receive access to the facility's knowledgable staff, who lead personal-training sessions and fitness classes such as yoga, spinning, Les Mills BodyPump, Body Combat and CX WORX. Newcomers can kick-start their fitness routines by either scheduling a complimentary fitness evaluation or downing a whole can of raw spinach.
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 Mossa routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.