Best of Utah 2012: Active Life | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
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Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2012: Active Life


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Best Place to Get Your Zumba On
Fitness on 7th
If you’re looking for the most welcoming place to debut your Shakira/Beyonce/J.Lo impression, Fitness on 7th is it. The new Zumba studio has a crop of hand-picked instructors with students so loyal, some call themselves “followers.” The studio’s seven-day-a-week class schedule offers a convenience that keeps the place buzzing with activity, but there is one reason followers keep coming back: the instructors. High-energy instructors lead every class and always bring fun and original choreography to the calorie-burning dance floor. The studio also offers strength and toning classes so you can get the booty sculpting you need to make sure you look good during the booty-shaking routines.
2226 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, 801-244-2533,


Fitness on 7th

Best Downhill Transportation
With mountains that rise over 6,000 feet from the valley floor surrounding the city, it’s imperative for people who play outdoors to find the best way up the steep elevations and back down again. Go-Ride High Performance Bicycles is definitely the place to find the best high-end downhill transportation around, including bikes by Intense, Turner, Pivot and Yeti. But, more importantly, the owner and staff are some of the big names in the sport, with an amazing history of competing, filming and designing the best gear around.
3232 S. 400 East, Salt Lake City, 801-474-0081,

Best Reason to Fly South
St. George Winter Bird Festival
Birders from across the West flock to sunny St. George’s annual bird festival every year at the end of January. For those interested in spotting more than 100 species of wild birds, from vermilion flycatchers to wily road runners, St. George is the spot. The festival allows Utahns to set up in the city or in bird hotspots across Washington County to check out the rare birds that like to stop in the area as part of their winter migration to warmer climates farther south. This festival is must for all those with birds on the brain, from would-be birders to hard-core avian enthusiasts.

Best Sweat Sensation
Advanced Training Performance
If you’re looking to get out of a workout rut or need a push from personal trainers, challenge yourself at Advanced Training Performance. Recently added to the ATP program is a group fitness class, Decathlete Fit, which is a competitive, athletic-based fitness class that transforms exercise into sport. Trainers Joe Heinbecker and Tim O’Mara push you to new limits to work your entire body. After an hour-long class of treadmill pushes, kettlebell swings, sit outs, ladders and lunges, you’ll be reaching for the towel.
1356 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-558-7519,

Best New Crag
Momentum Climbing Gym
Salt Lake City has a number of rock-climbing gyms, but the best is also the newest and the largest. Momentum not only has an incredible bouldering room, but also a huge high-ceiling space with tons of top ropes, cracks and lead climbs geared toward every level of climber. Add to that a fitness deck, day care, cafe, classes and yoga, and you have a world-class indoor climbing facility to help you keep your mind and body fit through the frigid months of winter.
220 W. 10600 South, Sandy, 801-990-6890,

Best Hiking


Millcreek Canyon
If hiking in the Wasatch were a fairy tale—and some outdoor enthusiasts would say it is—and the adventurer were a lot like Goldilocks and the area canyons were the Three Bears, then Millcreek Canyon would be “just right.” It isn’t too expansive and steep (like Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons) nor is it too traffic-laden with sparse hiking options (Emigration Canyon). It offers ample hikes for all levels, and, better still, dogs are welcome—even allowed off leash half the month. But unlike Goldilocks, there aren’t bears, and so you’ll want to return again and again—happily ever after.
2. Big Cottonwood Canyon
3. Moab

Best Close-in Lodging in Zion
Cable Mountain Lodge
On your next excursion to Zion National Park, there may come a time when you want a hotel bed over a sleeping bag. Edward Abbey may howl at you from the Great Beyond, but sometimes, a trip to the wilderness demands a warm bed, cable TV and a heated pool. Located on the banks of the Virgin River, Cable Mountain Lodge is literally a stone’s throw from the Zion National Park visitor center as well as a grocery store, a giant-screen movie theater, restaurants and gift shops. If watching the moon rise above Watchman peak while sinking into a pillowtop mattress is wrong, we don’t want to be right.
147 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, 877-712-3366,

Best Ancient vedic Martial Arts
Shiva Centre
While learning a millennium-old martial art and tantric system of human development, Kalaripayattu—commonly called Kalari—might seem like a hefty high leg-kick of an endeavor, the Shiva Centre does a fine job demystifying it. The instructors have the flexibility to balance wry humor with movement-based warmups, conditioning exercises and flowing movement sequences called forms. Within the art’s subtleties, one gracefully learns more than just moves and hand-eye reactivity; students begin to activate the intuitive knowledge of their energy systems. But, hey—back to the demystifying bit—at a minimum, it’s a killer workout.
ShivaCentre, 2065 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-485-5933,


Shiva Centre

Best Yoga to Go
Jen Hecht, Prana Yoga
Many a yoga teacher knows the challenge of filling a class. Class participants need to travel to class, find a place to park, change their clothes, sign in and pay—so much needs to fall into place. So rather than waiting for students to appear, some teachers go to where the workers are and teach them there. Jen Hecht is that yoga instructor. She began learning yoga in 1990 and has studied with a variety of teachers. She offers “lunch-hour yoga” for numerous nonprofits and businesses. For Hecht, it’s all about finding a connection to the heart.
Trolley Square, 602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-3325,