Scientists have recently discovered that in addition to conducting electricity, water also conducts friendship—a hypothesis proven time and time again at the Sycamore Hills Swim Club. The community-focused swim club boasts both a 35'x37' main pool with a diving board for adults and professional Marco Polo teams to splash in while kids 4 and under wade in a shallow pool that never goes deeper than 18 inches. The swim club's smaller size—and the watchful eyes of at least one lifeguard at all times—helps set guardians' minds at ease as they keep an eye on kids from beneath the shaded pavilion. The staff also fosters a sense of community by hosting Friday night grill outs, movie nights, and other family events. To keep kids safe around the water and foster a love for swimming, Red Cross–certified Water Safety Instructors teach kids to swim during private lessons. Kids can then put their speedier strokes to the test on Sycamore Hills Swim Club's swim team.
When Carrie Rezabek Dorr launched her first Pure Barre studio in 2001, she didn't have a sign or a single client. Today, she rules a fitness empire with her scepter of choice: a wooden ballet barre. Informed by Carrie's background as a dancer and Pilates instructor, each workout brims with ballet-inspired stretches and small isometric movements designed to lengthen the limbs and sculpt the abs, thighs, and backside. Many sessions begin with light weightlifting, then progress to mat-bound ab work and barre-based bends. Though straightforward, the exercises are tougher than wrought-iron jerky, which has led a writer from Glamour to exclaim, "Holy nutcracker, I actually didn't know my legs could shake like this." In addition to helming all-level classes, seasoned instructors build low-impact exercise programs for new moms and lead retreats for students seeking fitness-themed getaways. An online boutique helps students tone and tighten at home, using tools such as weighted balls, resistance tubing, and DVDs starring Carrie herself.
Named for both the Thai word for go and a small, peaceful town in Thailand, PAI Yoga & Fitness strives to combine two conflicting notions?energy and tranquility. Motion and stillness unite in PAI?s roster of classes, which range from yoga's fluid postures to challenging, heart-pumping TRX routines. At two locations, their new one opening in Gahanna in the fall of 2014, the instructors lead classes within appropriately matched settings, with yoga classes taking place in a sunlight-drenched room with gleaming wood floors and fitness classes occurring in a black-floored studio populated by feral megaphones.
Five Star's expert squad of instructors uses a five-part system to boost your metabolism and challenge your muscles and brain over the course of each hour-long camp. A dynamic warm-up heats muscles before they're strengthened and toned with diverse core-firming exercises. Next, you'll improve endurance, boost agility, and zap calories in an intense power circuit. In the heat of your workout, you'll sweat out weakness, fear, and monosodium glutamate while beginning to gain the functional, unsurpassed strength of a body in fluid, powerful motion. Each session ends with tag, relay races, chicken chasing, and a live-crocodile wrestle, followed by juggling ice cubes to cool down.
The Pilates Studio of Central Ohio uses the Stott Pilates method to stretch and strengthen the deep torso muscles of its clientele, emphasizing shoulder and pelvic strength and stability. Beginners can take advantage of the unlimited mat classes to learn foundation exercises and work their way through the eight primary mat sessions required to take the studio's higher-level classes. Those new to the studio but privy to the Pilates secret handshake can complete a 30-minute consultation to determine their correlating plane of practice.
Balanced Family Academy Fitness was founded by two sisters, Rebecca Handley and Sarah Fite. Their goal? To bring together all the elements of a sane parent's lifestyle in one place. Besides high-quality childcare, the duo also provides workout sessions for parents and fresh food for families. This eclectic mix of services draws on Sarah's bachelor's degree in education and Rebecca's certification in personal training.
Childcare sessions at Balanced Family Academy Fitness are far from dry. In the teacher-led portions, everything hinges on literature. Reading is the jumping-off point for lessons on science, vocabulary, and drama. The stories brim with kid-friendly adventures, which youngsters can reenact during their free play time.
The academy's workouts for adults come in a variety of styles. During some, participants master Tae Bo punches and kicks, whereas in others they flow through yoga poses, or get their heart rates up with intense cardio. One extra perk? The schedule was clearly designed with working parents in mind. Classes as early as 5:45 a.m., and as late as 6:30 p.m.
With rotating menu items like hummus-and-veggie pinwheels or graham crackers with peach sauce, the mostly-organic kids' meals here sound good enough for adults to enjoy. The kitchen crafts an entire separate menu of take-away meals for adults and families, however. It features paninis, salads, and other dishes healthier than their kids' miles of leftover grilled cheese crusts.