My Gym Children's Fitness Center, 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 6–8, 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.
Carol Hameister, a former United Airlines flight attendant, spent 15 years reminding travelers about the first step in an emergency?put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Today, Carol invites people into her newly expanded Stolen Moments Spa, where they can forget distractions and stresses and focus on themselves during spa treatments. By bridging the divide between med spa and day spa, Carol?s services blend the efficacy of treatments such as microdermabrasion with the pampering qualities of botanical-based facials. Stolen Moments uses only botanically based products.
Wheaton Sport Center's expert Pilates trainers fortify cores with personalized workouts that match the distinct fitness goals and abilities of every participant. Consisting of three to five students, the six-week, semiprivate Pilates reformer sessions tone, tighten, and align bodies throughout 55–60 minutes of varied exercises that help to enhance muscular balance, improve posture, and distinguish left wrists from anterior cruciate ligaments. First-time participants can skip the fundamentals course required to register for the session and instead receive a general orientation during their first class. Each week, the challenging, nonstop circuit workout conjures up full-body aerobics by rotating through simple mat exercises, dynamic machine routines, and exercises with Pilates props from gym-set productions of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Equipment: Aerial hammocks, poles, Pilates equipment, spin bikes, weights, yoga mats
Students Should Bring: Water, yoga mat
Registration Required: Yes
Good for Beginners: Yes
Average Class Length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class Location: Indoors only
Parking: Parking lot
The sky's the limit at Flying Buddha Fitness. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the ceiling is. Aerial yoga is one of the fitness studio's specialties, and challenges students to perform traditional yoga moves while suspended in fabric hammocks that are attached to the ceiling. It sounds both exhilarating and exhausting, but the method is actually quite accessible for students of all fitness levels. The hammocks are hung close to the ground, so beginners can feel safe as they learn how to use the fabric to maneuver in-and-out of poses, support their body weight, and make old workout clothes feel stylish again, while experienced aerial yogis can work their way up to performing acrobatic maneuvers such as inversions and flips.
Of course, Flying Buddha has plenty of classes for those who prefer to stay on the ground as well. The schedule features everything from meditative vinyasa yoga sessions to upbeat turbo kick and piloxing classes. And, although challenging workouts abound, the studio maintains a family-friendly vibe, as evidenced by its array of youth classes and Friday night family fitness sessions.
Some things never really go out of fashion, such as being in shape, working smarter rather than harder, and barbells. The strength trainers at Wheaton Barbell & Fitness dole out all three in spades. In their general fitness classes, students build muscle and endurance by lifting anything that weighs more than ten pounds and can’t be bolted to the ground, such as classic barbells and kettlebells. Their boot camps change tracks from pure lifting to a more cardio-centric regimen, building heart strength over a series of ever-intensifying classes. The gym’s trainers also schedule one-on-one training sessions in which they relentlessly put clients through their paces, speeding them toward their goals, whether they be to lose weight or recover from injury.
The team doesn’t just train adults. They conduct athletic conditioning courses for kids ages 12 to 18, designed to improve essential cross-sport skills. They even carry out job-specific conditioning for adults who work as firefighters, police officers, construction workers, and package delivery personnel, who train by heaving heavy boxes and outrunning rabid mailmen.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.