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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 that positions machines inward so that you'll have a chance to laugh with your fellow fitness frontierswomen while raising your heart rate and burning calories with a complete aerobic and strength-training workout. Hydraulic resistance machines are 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 manoeuvring 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.
A community presence in Ottawa for more than 140 years, YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region remains true to its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages across all seven of its facilities. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, personal training, and full gymnasiums outfitted with equipment for basketball, soccer, and rope skipping. They’ve also filled their fitness centres with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during yoga, boxing, and salsa-dance classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, after-school programs, birthday parties, and outdoor education.
These YMCA-YWCA outposts are dedicated to helping all members of the community. They provide those in need with emergency and youth housing, employment services, and domestic-violence support programs. They further strengthen and unite the Ottawa community through the YActive Assist program, which adjusts membership rates to help families that can’t afford the full cost of any of YMCA’s progressive programs.
For Petra Cliffs owners Steve and Andrea Charest, purchasing the climbing and bouldering school wasn't just a good business opportunity, but a way to add value to the local climbing community. Avid climbers themselves, they helped the facility develop into a place where beginners feel comfortable grabbing their first grips, but also one where advanced climbers and boulderers still feel challenged. Within the 8,500-square-foot space, visitors can climb, take lessons, tackle a high-ropes course, or even work out on strength-training equipment. Of course, the staff puts safety and knowledge above all else, and they teach and keep up with professional development courses so they don't miss learning about new protocols or new rock formations that may have evolved in the last five years.
The Athletic Club strives to help burn-feelers of all abilities attain their fitness goals with a plenitude of fitness classes and equipment, keeping their doors open until midnight through most of the week. Patrons enjoy access to an array of luxurious amenities, including a spacious multisport gymnasium and a child-care centre. A club tour familiarizes newcomers with the facility's sprawling layout. Hearts get ticking on the club’s 160 pieces of well-maintained cardio equipment—outfitted with individual televisions—and over 200 weekly group fitness classes helmed by expert instructors that encourage participants to box, cycle, and Pilates their bodies into sweat-gilded temples.
A unique AntiGravity yoga class employs a silk hammock to help sun saluters as they strike inverted poses and make shadow puppets with their toes. Pellucid saltwater pools accommodate leisurely lap swimming and experiments testing the buoyancy of various cheeses, and a separate women’s-only aquatic area offers an array of aqua-fit classes that sculpt muscles with subaqueous exercises such as pool-noodle wrestling. After a workout, gym-goers can revel in the soothing vapours of the steam and dry saunas in the changing rooms or mill about the WiFi-enabled Members Only lounge. The Athletic Club contributes to global and local nonprofits, expanding the reach of its health initiative from gym members to those in need.
Andrea Harper wears many hats, but they are all connected by a common thread—or pole, as the case may be. She is a certified personal trainer, nutrition and wellness specialist, and pole-fitness instructor, whose fascination with physical health centers around empowering spins. As the owner of Cherry Blossom Pole Dancing Studio, Andrea passes on the moves that made her one of Canada's top 16 pole dancers at Miss Pole Dance Canada 2010, leading women of all backgrounds through lessons designed to strengthen their bodies, self-esteem, and sense of rhythm. During pole-dancing classes, she and her team of instructors take pupils from the fundamentals to advanced techniques, such as convincing your brain that the floor is actually the ceiling. She limits class sizes to 10 students within the hot-pink-and-green studio, ensuring that everyone is able to pair up with a pole. The pole isn't the only gravity-flouting tool at Andrea's disposal, though; she also schedules courses that rely on aerial silks and hoops.
To put a personal touch on twirls, she offers parties replete with dance routines and fun props for all occasions. These soirees readily accommodate groups with 1,500 square feet of space and were suggested by the Ottawa Citizen as one of the top three creative bachelorette-party ideas.