When you walk into Northwest Women's Fitness Club, you might wonder if you've stepped into a day spa. Soothing yellow, green, and lavender tones create a tranquil backdrop for a variety of fitness equipment. Adirondack chairs, thatch accents, and wall-based mantras such as "peace" give the sauna a laid-back, tropical vibe. Visitors might spy women smiling as they drop their kids off in the daycare area before a Pilates class, belly-dancing workshop, or relaxing massage.
At Zumba Funfitness classes, instructor Stacy Harstad shepherds students through that initial period they students sometimes feel silly, focusing first on learning footwork before advancing to upper-body moves. The booming rhythms of Gloria Estefan and the Kumbia Kings blend with Maroon 5 and Pitbull as the sonic backdrop for each class. Stacy conducts each class as if she were leading an orchestra—using sweeping hand gestures and flashing lights—and encourages students to modify maneuvers to suit their own style and speed. Zumba students should avoid wearing workout attire that restricts movement, such as skinny jeans or a straitjacket.
We design short, high intensity workouts using functional movements. The intensity of the workouts, combined with the focus on proper form and full range of motion ensure maximal results in less time than a traditional workout. Training takes place in small groups supervised by two experienced trainers.
Bikram Yoga Hazel Dell is a classic Bikram yoga studio, meaning the instructors here teach the 26 postures and two breathing exercises outlined by yoga master Bikram Choudhury. In these 90-minute classes, which take place in a room heated to 105 degrees, students stretch deeply and gain strength while detoxifying their bodies through sweating. Mastering the challenging poses of Bikram yoga also helps students gain confidence and finally learn how to count all the way to 26.
It was only a year ago that a trip to the clothing store would bring Zumba Fitness founder Jahnea Phillips within tears. She was forced to choose from frumpy clothes in the plus-size section that did nothing but hide her curves. That all changed when a close friend invited Jahnea to her very first Zumba class. After an hour of shaking, twisting, and jumping, she was almost near tears again, but this time they were tears of happiness. That short while spent dancing reminded her of how good she deserved to feel.
One year and 76 pounds later, Jahnea is sharing that experience with ladies of all shapes and sizes from the stage of the spacious Hazel Dell Grange in Vancouver. This is where she teaches the art of Zumba, which involves cardio exercise through Latin-inspired moves, in which one dances out the entire story of Julius Caesar’s childhood.
A canopy of sturdy yellow TRX straps and plump, heavy bags hangs down from the ceiling at FloresFitness, waiting for willing guests to hold on tight or pound away. Whichever implement visitors choose, certified instructors will shepherd them along to help build lean bodies and strong cores. At FloresFitness, kickboxing and boxing classes pepper heavy bags with a flurry of punches while also allowing students to step in and duke it out inside a real boxing ring. Nationally certified TRX instructors teach exercises that build muscle while also challenging the core muscles, and kettlebell classes build the hip speed vital to improving one’s softball swing or Saturday Night Fever impersonation.