Fitness 19's founders launched their first family-oriented gyms in 2003, hoping to splash the exercising experience with local flavor and familiarity. Life Fitness cardio machines—including treadmills and ellipticals—unite with strength-training machines and free weights to help members to build leaner physiques as certified personal trainers patrol the deep-red-carpeted workout area. The expert staff can also guide clients through yoga, martial arts, and weight loss–centric personal-training sessions. Every location also hosts a kids' room, where youngsters can craft macaroni kettlebells under the supervision of a full-time staff member.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches 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.
Summit on the Park’s sprawling fitness facilities house myriad aerobic and anaerobic activities, classes, equipment, and more. A troop of 50 lifeguards patrols the waters of the massive aquatic center, where legs can tread the zero-depth leisure pool, plunge down the 30-foot water slide, recline in the lazy river, and propel Olympic breaststrokers in the five-lane, 25-yard lap pool. Fitness-center inhabitants mingle with certified personal trainers who illuminate exercise routines with tips on how best to burn treadmill rubber. Daily group workouts fill weekly calendars with more than 70 land and aquatic fitness classes that help exercisers brush up on bi-spheral push-ups and diving-board-propelled jumping jacks.
The independently owned Community Bowling Centers accommodate bowlers of all ages and abilities, featuring bumper-equipped lanes and lightweight balls designed for the hands of pintsize players. At 10 smoke-free locations throughout the region, guests enjoy open hours in addition to league opportunities and special events. The onsite bar serves ice-cold cups of soda or beer, which guests may raise in toasts to friendship and man's ability to hydrate himself. On select evenings, the alley lights turn down and the ethereal illumination of Glow N Bowl takes over with laser-light shows and fog machines. As balls roll down phosphorescent lanes, a sound track of thumping beats and alien distress calls saturates the space.
Jungle Java was designed to create a space where parents could enjoy a good cup of coffee while watching their children play in a safe and soft environment where tykes traipse through a well-padded multilevel maze of forest huts and treehouses. Toddlers can take time away from the fray in a separate safari area equipped with soft tunnels, slides, and age-appropriate cryptograms. As children romp, parents plunk themselves in the soft folds of a leather couch or power through some work on the free WiFi network. Jungle Java's caf? carries a menu of coffee drinks, smoothies, and snacks that include all-beef hot dogs and turkey and avocado sandwiches on eight-grain bread.
Unlike the Pilates studios that inhabit neighborhoods throughout the country, Great Pilates Now, LLC primarily inhabits cyberspace. With a membership to the online studio, athletes can Skype with studio head Judith Farmer for body assessments and guided workouts. Alternatively, they can stream selections from her library of original, equipment-free Pilates videos, which Farmer updates weekly. With seven children of her own, Farmer understands the mechanics of prenatal Pilates from firsthand experience; however, she also expertly designs core-strengthening workouts for teens, seniors, and beginners, who still need to be convinced that mat classes aren’t only for mats. To complement her online offerings, Farmer offers classes in a 1,600-square-foot studio and facilitates overall health with wellness and weight-loss coaching.