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December 31, 2012
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Resolving to get or stay in shape this year, Eagle County?

The good thing about New Year's resolutions is, in coming up with one for yourself, you don't have to be original.In fact, the most popular New Year's resolution is also the one resolution where choosing it multiple years in a row doesn't necessarily mean you failed at it in the past. So when someone asks you what's your New Year's resolution, it's usually best just to go for the easy answer -- you're joining a gym. Here's a guide to some good ones in our area.At Dogma Athletica in the Riverwalk at Edwards, you can train with a pro, but even the most amateur of folks curious about the gym are welcome.Pro triathlete Josiah Middaugh runs classes there, and said there's something for everybody at Dogma. "We do have the top end stuff for the elite athlete, but most of the clientele is the average person in the valley with all kinds of different fitness levels and different needs," said Middaugh. "There's definitely something for everybody. It's a functional training gym, meaning you don't see a lot of single-station machines, but there's definitely everything you need."You'll find free weights, squat racks, Olympic lifting platforms, Woodway treadmills, elliptical trainers, rowing machines and a Yoga studio there, but you'll also find some average-Joe programs that can appeal to the gym novice looking to get in shape."Dogma runs a lot of weight loss programs for the new gym member looking to join," said Middaugh, "where they incorporate dietary guidelines and workout programs into a six or eight week class." And for the athlete-type looking to improve his or her performance, Middaugh's CompuTrainer classes at Dogma come free with a membership."You can track progress very well, and it becomes really motivating," he said.Jeff Morgan is the new director at the Vitality Center in the Vail Mountain Lodge, formerly known as the Vail Athletic Club. He understands from personal experience that coming through the doors of a gym is not the easiest thing for people to do. "People come in with emotional reasons for coming through that door," said Morgan. "Especially if it's not the most comfortable place for them. It's not just something they just throw their credit card down on."He said that understanding has helped him in his new position at the Vitality Center, which he has held since July."My goal is to try to get to that personal side of things and get more detailed into people's goals," he said. "We have open ears, and we listen a lot ... If it's something that's brand new, something that's uncomfortable for you, we take you by the hand and give you that individual view of how you can improve yourself."The Vitality Center has an 18,000 square foot facility right in the heart of Vail Village with strength and cardio equipment.All the endurance equipment comes with private cable TVs, and they also have a mezzanine section with cardio equipment above the main level. "You can come upstairs if you want a nice little private area to walk on the treadmill," said Morgan. But Morgan said they also try to cater to the serious athlete, as well. "If it's going through the beginning stages of improving yourself at the gym, or getting an extra second to beat your buddy on the bike, we try to encompass all of those things," said Morgan.Over on the east side of the valley, the Vail Racquet Club in East Vail offers a calm and peaceful place to work up a sweat. "I'd say the biggest draw is, when you go downstairs, it's usually pretty quiet," said Amy Roden, a manager there.A second draw would be the fact that the Vail Racquet Club is the only health club in Vail with a 25-meter heated outdoor lap pool."It's ideal for someone who wants to train or try to get ready for a triathlon, or any event that involves swimming, because they can do laps," said Roden. But the recreational swimmer will enjoy it, as well."Here in East Vail, swimming outside in the beautiful alpine setting is pretty picturesque," said Roden. "Especially when the snow is falling and you're in the warm water. It's gorgeous."The fitness center is 2,800 square feet, with Cybex strength and cardio equipment, a free weight room, and a stretching area. Ski conditioning, spin, pilates and yoga classes are free with your membership, and day lockers are also complimentary. In addition to the outdoor lap pool, two outdoor, 20-person spas, a family spa (cannonball!) and an adult-only option (no splashing!) are available with a membership at the Vail Racquet Club. When the U.S. Ski Team was in town, their training did not consist sole running gates on the slopes of Golden Peak. They also did a good amount of weight training at the Aria Spa & Club at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. Those guys are big, but in a 78,000 square foot facility, they had plenty of room to move around. "The sheer size of the facility seems to be one of our main selling points," said General Manager Shaun Evans. "We have an indoor running track, and our 18,000 square foot yoga studio is the largest in Vail."Aria Spa & Club also offers indoor tennis courts, a half regulation basketball court, a squash court, a racquetball court, a "Mystic Tan" spray tan studio, 14 spas and a 40- by 20-foot semi-circle pool with training lane. They have the usual yoga, spin and pilates classes. They also have a FitWall, (a vertical training tool that may have you feeling a little bit like Spider Man) and are the only place in the valley to offer FitWall and TRX suspension training classes. But the most singular feature at the Aria Spa is one that doesn't involve working out. "If you're a member working out here, you get three hours of free parking," said Evans. In Avon, at the Athletic Club at the Westin, you may come for the classes, but you'll stay for the amenities. "Due to the popularity of our group fitness classes, we recommend reservations be made 24 hours in advance," according to the club website. But since their recent remodel, the Athletic Club at the Westin now has four separate studios, (yoga, pilates, movement and cycling), and they can run multiple classes at the same time. The cycling studio caters to the latest craze, said membership director Missy Lacy."You bring your own bike and install it into a piece of equipment and it measures everything," said Lacy. "Super high tech. It assimilates cycling in its true form. We offer CompuTrainer classes, and last year, the people who participated in the classes, come spring and summer they didn't have that 'oh my goodness I gotta get back on my bike now' feeling."You'll also find CycleOps indoor bikes, Woodway treadmills, Precor elliptical trainers, Cybex Eagle strength equipment, Peak Pilates chairs and Cybex and Precor cardio pieces. If you want to get outdoors, the Athletic Club at the Westin has a 25-yard saline-based lap pool.What they say is true in Beaver Creek -- at the Allegria Spa in the Park Hyatt, you're not exactly roughing it. "From what I hear from our members, they like the exclusivity that's offered here," said Mary Gunderson, director of sales and marketing. "It's not overcrowded, it's personalized, and it feels very much like a community. People go and work out, and they know the other people working out with them ... you're basically working out, looking out right onto the ski slopes."And the location isn't all that's exclusive at the Allegria Spa. In their 10,000 square foot fitness center, the cutting-edge kenisis equipment from Technogym is a top-of-the-line product."It's lower impact, safer to use, you get cardio at the same time as strength training, so it's a really nice circuit," said Gunderson. The 60-foot outdoor pool is heated to 82 degrees for lap swimming in the winter. There are also hot tubs outdoors. "The views are amazing," said Gunderson.With its location inside the Park Hyatt, the Allegria Spa is a ski-in-ski-out workout facility. But members who choose to drive there get discounted valet parking at the hotel. Aside from the Italian workout equipment, the series of baths at the Allegria Spa's Aqua Fanitas gives the place a European feel. "It's modeled on ancient Roman baths," said Gunderson. "It's a series of pools, a rain shower, warm relaxation room and other spaces. It's very therapeutic."


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 31, 2012 02:42PM Published Dec 31, 2012 02:33PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.