Feel Good, Look Great in the Square

Sure, we generally flock to Market Square as the city's hub of music, food and other fun. But the hot spot we like to think of as the pulse of Downtown is also a great place to keep your heart beating strong — especially since the coming of Old Many Winter will force many us to get physical indoor for the next few months. Whether you're looking for a traditional workout, a new age wellness approach or just a bit of well-deserved pampering, it's time to make tracks to the Square —your one-stop fitness and well-being destination.

The PNC YMCA on Fifth Avenue, with gorgeous bird's eye views of the Square, combines old school commonsense with contemporary attitudes to health and well being in its 44,000-square-foot site. Along with a five-lane 25-meter swimming pool, the LEED-certified PNC Y provides spacious women's and men's locker rooms and scores of exercise equipment for spinning, weight training, running, aerobics and more. And if you aren't quite sure which path to fitness to follow, the Y staff is on hand to help you chart a reasonable course. The Y also offers guidance on leading a healthier life overall, with programs in weight maintenance, nutrition and smoking cessation. Located in Millcraft Industries Market Square Place, the PNC Y is a convenient destination for Downtown residents, workday commuters and anyone else interested in a sound approach to a healthier lifestyle.

Old school fitness fans can pump iron at Gold's Gym, at the far end of Forbes Avenue, near Stanwix Street. But don't let the muscle men and "dumb bells" fool you. This "traditional" gym caters to women too, and provides alternative programs such as Tai Chi and yoga to help anyone to shape up on their own or with a trainer.

You can get your mojo working at Moxie Mind & Body, the Pilates place perched above NOLA. A relative newcomer to the Downtown exercise scene, Moxie takes a holistic approach to improving a person's, well, mind and body. Developed more than a century ago, Pilates increases a person's flexibility and strength through extremely low impact exercise routines. Group and individual sessions are available.

Finally, if you just need a little pampering to the chill off, take a hike up the stairs to Denham & Co., a sweet salon above the Nicholas Coffee shop. With stylists dedicated to making you look and feel your best, Denham adds a personal touch for a nearly head-to-toe treatment, featuring Aveda hair and skin care products.

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