Fit body & mind

A morning workout at Balance Club Brumlovka

Working out is one of my favorite free time activities, but as a mom of three who works part time, I don’t often get the chance to visit the gym. A typical exercise day for me might be a jog or a bike ride on the wooded trails near our house, or when the weather turns cold, a workout session on the stationary bike at home. I’m fond of Pilates and yoga, but instead of attending a class, I usually play a DVD at home. Exercising at home saves time, but it can also be lonely.

When I was invited to visit Balance Club Brumlovka for the day, I was both excited and curious. Brumlovka is located on the top floor of the BB Centrum office complex in Prague 4, just one bus stop from the C (red) line metro stop Budějovická. It was a bit farther than I’d normally travel to the gym, but from what I’d heard about the club, my trip would be worth it.

As a long-term resident of Prague, I’ve been a member of a few Prague gyms before, but it had been awhile since I’d been in a gym as large as Balance Club Brumlovka. Plus, I’d never been in a Prague gym that had a swimming pool and sauna world in addition to a complex fitness center. Brumlovka’s 25-meter swimming pool was the most intriguing aspect of the gym for me, and I made sure to pack my bathing suit.

On Brumlovka’s website, I discovered extensive information in English about the club’s offerings, which include more than 100 different fitness classes each week (i.e. spinning, Zumba, TRX, Gunning, Gravid Yoga, Body Styling). Along with high energy classes, there were rehabilitative classes for back health and a class called SM Fitness which uses elastic bands to strengthen and rehabilitate muscles. There were also nutrition lectures, swim classes for members’ children on Wednesdays and special events like a six-hour spinning marathon.

Although I was tempted to try a Pilates class, in the end I opted for a gym workout followed by a swim. At the reception, I was given a chip for the locker, two towels and a sheet for the sauna. The locker area was spacious and equipped with showers, hair dryers and a space with mirrors for putting yourself together after a workout.

By the time I got to the main fitness room, it was mid-morning. Several people were working out, including personal trainers with clients and an on-the-floor club trainer who answered questions, helped with the machines and gave members general fitness advice. I headed for the stationary bikes and started my interval workout, briefly regretting that I had forgotten headphones to listen to music. But I started watching CNN Live on one of the large televisions.

As I pedaled, I glanced around at the other morning fitness buffs. At the stretching station in the corner, a trainer was helping a client do plank stretches. Two women were jogging on treadmills and another was climbing on a stair machine. A few men were lifting weights behind me and a trainer was coaching a client to pass a medicine ball back and forth. By the time they made it to the end of the room, several people were cheering the client on.

Since it was my first visit, I stuck to the equipment that I knew how to operate. The bike was more high tech than I was used to. The screen showed me how to place my hands and how to position my body depending on whether I was hill climbing, resting or doing an interval. When I went to get a drink of water, I could hear music from the Pilates class above me.

Club manager, Hana Gottwaldova, told me that in keeping with the club’s philosophy on whole body health, upon joining the club, each new member has an initial diagnostics session including a body analysis, a personal training session and a session with the nutritionist. There is even a 30-minute massage and a swim instruction class. The services are provided in English for English speaking clients.

The client welcome package helps gym goers get the most out of their gym experience. Rather than being shy to try different equipment or getting stuck in the rut of running on the same treadmill each training, Balance Club Brumlovka’s approach encourages gym users to try new things and to focus on incorporating healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle into their fitness regime. For members who are interested in getting personalized help, the club offers a comprehensive dietary and nutrition service.

When my bike workout was finished, I stretched out and headed to change into my bathing suit. The pool was divided into three lap lanes with a large space for open swim. I saw hydro bikes, weights for aqua aerobics, kickboards and flippers. I swam several laps and then decided to relax in the whirlpool before I headed to the sauna. The whirlpool relieved any lingering muscle aches from my ride. Since I had the chance, I wanted to indulge in pure relaxation. I bypassed the pool bar and headed for the sauna in the Relax Zone.

The best part of my gym experience was, by far, the small Finnish sauna and private relaxing room for women only. Although I was tempted to try the other saunas, steam room, tepidarium and Kneipp bath, once I settled in the reclining lounge chair of the women’s only relax room, I knew I had found the right spot.

I left Balance Club Brumlovka in time to grab lunch before I taught my afternoon English classes. I would have stayed longer, and I hoped to go back. Getting out of the house and into a gym with such a variety of workout options had given me the energy boost I needed to get through the pre-Christmas holiday craziness.

For information on joining Balance Club Brumlovka or to purchase a gift voucher for a friend or family member this holiday season, contact the Client Service Center to arrange a meeting.

Balance Club Client Center +420 234 749 810 (813, 818) or info@balanceclub.cz

www.balanceclub.cz/en
Facebook: www.facebook.com/balanceclub

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