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Health & fitness: insider exercise secrets, top trail shoes, celeb spa getaways, newfangled yoga classes ... and much more! .

Yawning through those downward dogs? Think you'll scream if you take another step or spinning class? Try switching it up with these exciting health and fitness alternatives. While you're busy morphing, why not shake up a stale beauty routine and bust out of a blah vacation rut with these innovative up-and-comers? Change is good, so full steam ahead!

SPORTS CLUB LA/BEVERLY HILLS

Are you ravenous after a fab ab workout? Nanette Patee Francini, co-owner of the Sports Club-LA empire, sure hopes so. She's teamed with Los Angeles restaurateur Mario Oliver (owner of Hollywood hotspot Linq) to launch the Linq Cafe in her mega-gym launching in September 2003. You'll enter the stunning 20,000 square-foot club (across from Barney's), and pass tropical gardens, waterfalls and maybe an eyeful of members Tom Cruise, Kevin Spacey and Halle Berry. The club will offer 12 different styles of yoga and house eastern murals, bamboo flooring and soundproofed walls. The membership line is up-and-running, so call 310-888-8100.

In Gotham, Francini first hooked up with restaurateur Drew Nieporent, owner of Layla and Montrachet. "Our food partners are as dedicated and inspired about food as we are about exercise," says Francini. The cafe will feature high-end, low-fat spa cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Be On The Look-Out: The Miami launch of Sports Club/LA on Brickell Avenue--also September 2003--will have 180-degree views of Biscayne Bay and share a pool, sun deck and eatery with the Four Seasons next door.

CELEB TRAINER SECRETS

Here's insider skinny on two of Hollywood's hottest trainers to the stars: Body Rescue 911 Whether it's prepping Donatella Versace for a couture show in the states or sculpting Monet Mazur and Estella Warren for upcoming movie roles, trainer extraordinaire Larry Krug creates figure miracles. "We train six days a week with weights and run on the treadmill for optimal weight loss," says Krug. His favorite get-a-better-butt move? Do a full squat with a light barbell on your shoulders and balance on tiptoe for a bonus calf contraction ... Ouch. Log on for his routines, www.larrykrug.com

Muscle Up To Power Yoga Madonna and Christy Turlington are not the only A-listers who swear by fiery, flowing Power Yoga. To sculpt more muscle for rock 'em, sock 'em roles, Owen Wilson tapped yogini Rainbeau Mars for private instruction. "Owen was amazed that he could touch his toes and progress so quickly in weeks," she says. Mars, who also trains David Duchovny and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers says, "The difference between Power Yoga and other exercise forms is the mental flexibility, grace and inner peace you get from yoga ... David practically glows afterwards." Log onto www.naturaljourneys.com for her workouts.

NEXT GENERATION YOGA

Shake up a stagnant yoga practice with these innovative up-and-comers:

Yoga For Athletes: 90-minute class offered at the Aspen Club in Colorado geared to folks who use yoga to crosstrain for sports such as tennis, downhill skiing or golf. Instructors focus on arm balance poses and incorporate postures to help build reaction time, coordination and overall agility. Log onto www.aspenclub.com.

Yoga Strength: 60-minute session developed by Beth Shaw at Yoga-Fit in Hermosa Beach, CA. Taught in a dozen studios across the country (www.yogafit.com for a list of facilities), you do asanas wearing hand-weighted neoprene gloves, which distribute 1-2 pounds across your hands. "Experienced yogis add this extra weight to the upper body to build muscular endurance," says Shaw.

Tribal Yoga: 60-minute CRUNCH class in New York that combines traditional flowing postures with West African dance. A live drummer bangs a June-June drum, shakers and cowbells to accompany the instructor. Class ends with members performing freestyle African dance moves. Log onto www.crunch.com.

WEST HOLLYWOOD EQUINOX

When New York's most upscale gym chain flew West to build their California dream club on Sunset Boulevard, they aimed for "something between a mid-century modern den and a sensuous evening lounge," according to VP of development Paul Boardman. "Our challenge was to capture the understated glam of old Hollywood in 35,000 square feet and simultaneously create the most innovative exercise programming on the west coast," he says. Equinox set to open in May 2003 with four fitness studios (main room, yoga studio, spinning room and Pilates studio) a retail store, a food and beverage cafe, the full-service spa with relaxation lounge will eventually take center stage. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Julianne Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow are already members. Call 310-289-1900 for membership info.

TOP HOTEL HEALTH CLUBS

It's tough enough to stay buff when you're traveling for business or pleasure, but until recently you were fortunate enough to find a dusty treadmill in the hotel basement. Not anymore, Jack LaLanne. Whether you prefer the opulence of the Peninsula Hotel gyms or the cozy confines of the local Hyatt, you finally have exercise options aplenty. Here are a few of our favorite hotel health clubs:

Canyon Ranch Spa Club at The Venetian 702-414-1000 Las Vegas, Nevada

If hotel health clubs were bike races, Vegas' Canyon Ranch would be the Tour de France--WOW. The 65,000 square-foot facility offers 100 different fitness options daily, from kick-boxing, physical therapy and acupuncture to aqua aerobics and cycling class. BONUS: The demanding 40-foot indoor rock-climbing wall offers fabulous booty views, just ask Tyra Banks and Kirsten Dunst.

Spa Mystique Century Plaza Hotel 310-277-2000 Century City, California

At 30,000 square feet, Spa Mystique is the largest day spa in Los Angeles and the gym (plus yoga studio) rocks. There's a wide array of cardiovascular equipment and free weights, plus a class lineup to rival the local 24-Hour Fitness clubs, including Core Conditioning, Pilates and Balance Ball class. Minnie Driver, Tori Spelling and Reba McEntise are regulars. BONUS: Locals can purchase a membership to gain access to the steam-room, sauna and spiffy locker rooms.

Meadowood 800-458-8080 St. Helena, California

The great outdoors beckons with full-fledged golf, tennis and croquet programs here in Napa Valley, but the 11,000 square-foot gym and spa make you yearn for hardcore exercise. Sixty hours of weekly fitness classes are available, plus rental bikes, a 65-yard lap pool, yoga-meditation sessions and bird-watching hikes. BONUS: The "no cell phone" rule allows you soak up the eucalyptus steamroom without interruption. Michael Jordan, designer Kate Spade and Rene Russo have been pampered here.

The New York Palace 800-697-2522 New York, New York

The 7,000 square-foot club on the eighth floor of this midtown Manhattan luxury hotel features the latest in cardio and strength equipment, personal training and free workout clothing and footwear in case you forgot to pack properly. (Sorry, ya gotta give 'em back.) The comely cast of "Will and Grace" recently stepped and stretched here. BONUS: Toss up between an in-line skating instructor who takes you through Central Park or the magnificent city views from floor-to-ceiling windows.

BEST FOOT FORWARD

Trailrunning 'cross hill and dale is one of America's most popular outdoor activities, but you can't jog safely outside in hiking boots or traditional running shoes, so manufacturers created a hybrid category. These top trailrunners typically have thicker lugged soles, added ankle support and other hotshot features to make your off-road forays safer, more enjoyable adventures:

Reebok's Premiere Trail ($80) Ideal for the intermediate jogger who enjoys diverse terrain, this comfortable shoe provides more forefoot stability and a moisture management system which keeps the runner's foot cool, dry and blister-free.

Adidas Response Trail 9 ($79.99) This adaptable trailrunner features open-air mesh for light-weight breathability and shock-absorbing material under the heel, which provides protection from harmful impact forces (i.e.: large rocks, slippery gravel or dips in the road).

New Balance Trail Addiction ($85) This high-tech shoe helps control foot and ankle turnout as you cruise through groundbreaking territory. Water-resistant mesh keeps feet dry as you tromp through puddles, and a unique "comfort collar" improves fit and feel around heel and Achilles tendon.

Nike Air Trail Pegasus ($80) This sturdy contender features a breathable mesh body reinforced by a rubber sheet toe guard and a specialized "waffle trail" outsole designed for wet traction on tough, steep hills. Plus, the shoe is double- and triple-stitched for added durability.

CHIC OPENINGS: THE BEST IN SKINCARE

Americans spend $30 billion annually on cosmetics, wrinkle creams and plastic surgery. Here are a handful of exquisite new options to keep you looking younger, healthier and blemish-free: La Jolla's 14,000 square-foot SPA MD is the country's ultimate "medi-spa" with surgeons, nurse practitioners and aestheticians anxious to coddle and correct you seven days a week. SPA MD marries beauty treatments with breakthrough science, and you see proof on every floor from basic Botox and spider vein removal to revolutionary cellulite treatments--all projected on a giant Minority Report-like TV screen. Call 858-459-7011 or log onto www.spamd.com for a list of high-tech treatments.

Some of the world's most beautiful faces (Claudia Schiffer, Jennifer Garner and Courteney Cox Arquette) head to the oh-so private Beverly Hills office of Aussie-born Nerida Joy's self-named skin clinic. Joy specializes in refining pores, soothing long-term sun damage and eradicating ruddy or blotchy complexions. Call 310-777-8897 for your very shhhh! appointment.

La Prairie, Switzerland's first U.S. spa just opened at the Ritz-Carlton New York at 50 Central Park South. The plush place offers weary travelers warmed towels, Frette robes, heated massage tables and European specialties. From the Jet Lag Massage that eases water retention all the way to La Prairie's signature facial with Caviar Extracts, just stop by and be thrilled. Call 212-521-6135 for an appointment--you're worth it!

Yugoslavian-born aesthetician Olga Lorencin teams with renowned French restaurateur Christine Splichal, to debut the West Hollywood day spa, cafe and boutique, Kinara. Lorencin creates skincare products that combine high-potency vitamins, antioxidants and herbal extracts, and her fans include Christina Applegate, Carrie-Anne Moss, Anjelica Huston and Sharon Stone. Call Kinara (which means "on the edge" in Hindi) for details, 310-854-6272.

YOUR NEXT ACTIVE VACATION: 5 FANTASY SPAS

For those weary souls anxious to rejuvenate spa-side but who require some exercise to feel sane and saintly, the destination spa vacation is a tailor-made chunk o' heaven. Bike, hike and raft all day then slip into the Jacuzzi between cocktails to work out the kinks. Here are five exciting, sweat-inducing getaways:

Aquae Sulis Spa at JW Marriott Resort, Spa and Golf 702-869-7777 Las Vegas, Nevada

Just 15 miles north of Sin City's sassy strip, this elegant resort is surrounded by 11 lush acres of world-class golf, horse and hiking trails near Red Rock Canyon National Park. The 40,000 square-foot Aquae Sulis spa has 36 treatment rooms, stress management classes and cascading waterfall showers for post-exercise pampering. Try the Turkish Body Scrub after sinking big bucks at the in-house casino.

Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort 760-786-2345 Death Valley Nat'l Park, California

This 18-hole championship golf course here is the world's lowest (214 feet below sea level), and the greater gravity and barometic pressure challenges your game. There are four tennis courts, two pools fed by natural hot springs and all-day horseback rides (or hikes) around Mosaic Canyon. The wild desert vistas of Death Valley look otherworldly from the top of Telescope Peak, the highest point in Death Valley.

Bacara 877-422-4245 Santa Barbara, California

On 78 beachfront acres at ritzy Bacara, bordered by the Los Padres National Forest, activities span catamaran cruises and snorkeling to riding the 1,000-acre ranch next door (your pick--horses or mountain bikes). There's ocean kayaking, windsurfing, para-gliding, whale watching and two championship golf courses. Afterwards, mellow out in the 42,000-square-foot, full-service spa and salon.

Red Mountain Resort & Spa 800-690-9215 St. George, Utah

Nestled at the foot of the Pine Valley Mountains in southwestern Utah, this extraordinary destination is located on 55 scenic acres near the entrance to pristine Snow Canyon State Park. Red Mountain offers guided hikes, rock climbing, kayaking, bike school, horseback riding, rafting, nutrition consultation, daily cooking classes and archeology walks.

Four Seasons at Spa Sayan 62-361-701010 Bali, Indonesia

Snuggled between the rice terrace and herb gardens on the verdant western side of Bali are three spectacular Spa Villas crafted in indigenous teak woods with hand-loomed silk furniture, rice paper blinds and free-standing soaking tubs that overlook a private pool and courtyard. Spa treatments come via Bali, Java and India and include Tropical Rain Baths, Red Ginger Body Polish and Basil Rosemary Mud Wraps. At the well-stocked health club, attendants hand guests cool towels mid-workout. (Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. stayed recently.) There's plenty of local biking and paddling along the Ayung River, but you may prefer coddling spa services after the 18-hour flight from LAX.
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Author:Dorsey, Nicole
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Advertisement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 5, 2003
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