Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. 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, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
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.
While serving oversees in the US military, Tracy Lee Thomas would often dream of opening his own martial-arts training studio. He had been training in martial arts since he was 13 years old, mastering the form and self-defense techniques of a variety of styles and eventually earning his seventh-degree black belt. He was able to realize this dream once he returned to American soil, where he opened up his own studio: Changing Lives Martial Arts.
Today, the official American Taekwondo Association master pulls from his years of expertise to lead karate, tae kwon do, and krav maga classes to students of all ages. Tracy and his team of expert instructors teach self-defense tactics and guide students through dynamic punches and kicks while emphasizing the importance of life skills such as self-discipline and focus. The instructors also take a load off moms and dads by hosting kids’ birthday parties, where martial arts–inspired games provide a fun alternative to messy piñatas and games of pin-the-tale-on-the-grownup. His dedication to his students and martial arts has also gained the attention of the Virginian-Pilot, which has awarded him the Best of Hampton Roads award seven times from 2005 to 2012.
Jim White, who recently earned the 2011 Community Fitness Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and his staff help promote their clients’ wellness with a four-factor approach. This system supplies clients with a dedicated training team, varied workouts that produce results, nutrition plans designed by registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, and tools to help clients maintain fitter bodies.
Every member of the Jim White team operates with the mantra "If we can't do it, we can't expect you to," and they maintain that mindset when recommending realistic training programs to their clients. Workouts are selected from a menu of plyometrics, boot camps, and kickboxing routines, and onsite dietitians help balance exercise with a healthy nutrition plan. As a result, clients can develop healthier eating and exercising habits to get them on their way to long-term success.
It takes a particularly dedicated yogi to teach Bikram yoga's heated, 26-posture series, as a certification in the style requires aspiring teachers to undergo more than 500 hours of intensive training and immense dedication. Bikram Yoga Virginia Beach owners Trish and Pete Monsen, fell in love with the practice after Pete's college football career ended, and, over the last 15 years, the couple has put all their energy into yoga instruction. The couple credit the practice for keeping them active and healthy and shares their passion—and combined 40 years of instruction experience—for the sweaty series daily with students of all experience levels. Upon starting a practice at Monsen’s studio, new students find a welcoming environment with many experienced instructors who help students learn the poses properly and create an inclusive atmosphere where groups learn and grow together. The studio also features anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic flooring and a fresh-air exchange system for the clear-breathing comfort.
Pilates Fitness Club is a Pilates studio that specializes in the Joseph Pilates method of Contrology, and pays special attention to proper biomechanics. Owner Christopher Moxley’s fascination with biomechanics stems from a life spent in athletics. He competed in numerous sports in high school, including track-and-field events such as the high jump. He later joined the Marine Corps, where he found a niche athletically training fellow Marines one-on-one. He finished up his contract with the military and headed off to college to study kinesiology.
Despite all Christopher’s hard work and insight into how to move healthily, he injured his back in 2007. It turned out to be a fortuitous injury, as it introduced to him to the Pilates Method. It was a style that, like him, emphasized biomechanics. He completed 1,300 hours of practical application before he began teaching. As owner of Pilates Fitness Club, Christopher shares his knowledge and skill with students of all ability levels, helping them develop strong cores and lead healthy, balanced lives.