Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
Although they’re practitioners of different disciplines, licensed massage therapist Jacqulyn McDougal, naturopathic physician Jen Bogus, and Pilates instructor Nisa Windsong-Frazier unite in a single goal: to help others, as they say in their mission statement, "find balance, wellness and vitality." Dr. Jen calls on natural, holistic healing agents to treat conditions ranging from chronic pain to digestive issues. Ms. McDougal, meanwhile, targets muscles with massage modalities such as trigger-point release, sports therapy, and Swedish. In private and semiprivate Pilates classes, Ms. Windsong-Frazier uses mats and springboards to correct postural imbalances and strengthen the body's ability to open beer bottles with its core. Aside from Pilates, the center hosts group fitness classes such as Zumba and Vinyasa yoga.
Armed with a master's degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, Douglas Wingate of Parkway Acupuncture and Wellness pulls from various healing disciplines, including direct trigger-point therapy and the Japanese meridian approach, to create customized treatments centered on the individual’s needs and preferences. By doing so, he’s capable of treating a variety of conditions that range from arthritis to urinary-tract infections. His specialty however, is treating emotional conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as neurocognitive difficulties that come along with a concussion or other head trauma.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
At Escape to Yoga, the teachers love when a beginner musters the courage to give a class a try, whether it’s yoga or cardio fitness. Their fun, accessible approach to yoga lessens the intimidation factor, especially after students attend a gentle hatha class, during which they’ll learn the basic poses, proper alignment, and the most-stable pose for practicing on the wing of a flying airplane. The more fast-paced vinyasa-flow classes add a cardio aspect to get participants sweating while simultaneously helping them feel calmness spreading through their bodies, and the studio also hosts barre fusion and other calorie-attacking cardio sessions.