With summer in the rearview mirror and winter around the corner, you may be finding it difficult to make time for physical activity. But now is a great time to establish a fitness routine to last you through the cold months ahead. Get back in gear at one of these one-of-a-kind fitness centers and head into the holidays looking and feeling your best.
If you crave the calming and strengthening benefits of yoga, head to YogaFit’s new Excelsior location, which opened its doors in May.
According to Jodi Sussner, director of programming, YogaFit is perfect for those individuals who want both convenience and a real yoga experience.
“It’s not just about 24/7 convenience,” she says, “but we know that it’s not always easy to get in your practice and participate with a group in a class setting.”
For those with especially busy schedules who can only make time outside of YogaFit’s regular class schedule (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily), the location offers virtual classes as part of membership. Early birds and night owls alike are encouraged to attend these video-based sessions (which run from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.) in lieu of live classes.
“We know that yoga is best done with instruction and hands-on guided support,” Sussner explains. “But some people really need that convenience factor.”
And if you needed another reason to hit the mat, YogaFit partners with charitable organizations to help make the world a better place. On the corporate level, a portion of the company’s revenue is donated to programs such as Common Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to building schools and educational programs in Guatemala. YogaFit also contributes to local charities: A certain amount of membership dues goes to Excelsior’s ICA Food Shelf and Minneapolis-based Feed My Starving Children, which packages food for malnourished children around the globe. Thanks to YogaFit, you can feel good about feeling good.
YogaFit Excelsior // 494 Water St., Excelsior // 952.401.8888 // yogafitstudios.com
Minnetonka’s Strength Studio is making it personal. This fitness center offers personalized, one-on-one training by appointment only. No full-to-bursting group classes, no mirrors, no loud music. “It’s just you and your instructor,” says trainer and co-founder Kevin Ness. “We customize the workouts to fit each individual’s needs.”
Beyond creating a personal exercise experience, Strength Studio is dedicated to making the very best use of its clients’ time. According to Ness, the workouts Strength offers are extremely efficient. In fact, they only last 20 minutes, once or twice per week. “A lot of our clients are very busy,” Ness explains. With jobs and families taking up time, he says, working out and staying healthy should be easy and efficient.
The workouts are based on building and maintaining muscle by providing the body with a brief but intense stimulus designed to completely fatigue your muscles. Recovery time is essential to the process of building muscle, hence the infrequency of workouts. Working out too often keeps the body from being able to recovery adequately, resulting in minimal change overall.
Safety also matters at Strength. Although the workouts are intense (they have to be, since they’re so condensed), the training rooms are kept at a constant 62 degrees to keep clients cool and prevent overheating. The studio uses Renaissance Exercise (RenEx) equipment, a high-end line of machines that encourage motion based on natural movement and joint function.
“A lot of equipment these days is designed to track athletic movement,” says Ness, “but that’s not necessarily how the body is meant to move.”
“We want our clients to feel valued and cared for,” he says. “We believe that if we can help our clients improve their health, they will be able to live their lives to a much fuller level.”
Strength Studio // 5125 County Road 101, Minnetonka // 952.322.7070 // mystrengthstudio.com
When Tina Fraser first tried a barre workout in California in 2010, she fell in love with it—so much that she felt barre needed to come home with her to Minnesota, where it had yet to gain popularity. In early 2010, Fraser began instructor certification, and by November 2011 had opened her own barre studio, Balanced Barre in Wayzata.
Balanced Barre teaches the BarreAmped method, developed by fitness instructor Suzanne Bowen. The method focuses on precise, isolated movements performed while holding challenging poses. It is an intensive type of exercise, drawing from its roots in classical and modern dance (but don’t worry—there’s no actual dancing involved).
While this may be intimidating for some, Fraser assures clients that all levels are welcome at Balanced Barre.
“Everyone can do barre,” she explains. “In my book, everyone is a beginner. I don’t want anyone to be discouraged.”
So whether you’ve never tried barre before or you’re a long-time devotee, Balanced Barre’s doors are open to you. The studio offers a variety of barre-based workout classes, including basic introduction to barre and BarreAmped Bootcamp, which incorporates cardio intervals with classic barre technique. There is even BarreAmped + yoga, combining the intense workout of barre with the mind-body aspect of yoga.
Balanced Barre // 240 Minnetonka Ave. S., Wayzata // 952.473.2433 // balancedbarre.com