Choosing the right gym in Charleston can mean playing the role of the picky maiden in "Princess and the Pea."
One gym might be too expensive, while another is too small. Classes at a yoga studio could be constantly filled wall-to-wall with occupied mats, or their hours just won’t work. The locker rooms leave something to be desired at one gym, while another doesn't have the right equipment.
The good news: As more people move into the Lowcountry, fitness clubs have begun to rise to the occasion and open more options around Charleston.
If you like the pricing and accessibility of chain fitness clubs, there are several in the area. Planet Fitness, O2, Pivotal and Gold’s Gym each have spots in the area.
For something locally owned but at a big-box price, try Chucktown Fitness, where this reporter finally settled in after trying several other options.
The Medical University of South Carolina's Wellness Center offers the most robust facility on the peninsula, for a slightly higher price for non-employees compared to other clubs. Amenities abound there, however.
Though Charleston is late to join in on the fad, more "sports tourism" complexes have opened of late, as developers hope to attract competitions.
They include a 9,000 square-foot gymnastics center in Goose Creek, several baseball fields near the Wando River, an Olympic-size pool in North Charleston and an indoor sports facility in the Citadel Mall.
Orangetheory Fitness recently took over a more than 3,000-square-foot space in northern Mount Pleasant, where Anytime Fitness used to be. This will be its fourth spot in the Lowcountry.
Then Club Pilates opened two new locations in May, one in North Charleston and one on James Island.
A bit more grit
Kickboxing classes and boxing clubs are nothing new to the Charleston area. Charleston Boxing has been in place on the peninsula for about 35 years inside an old firehouse.
But the more physical classes available in the area don’t start and end with boxing.
There is a healthy rivalry between the area’s martial arts studios. Jiu jitsu, Krav Maga and mixed-martial arts experts can be found at Charleston Krav Maga & MMA, American Top Team across the street and Devine Jiu Jitsu, to name a few.
Aikido, a Japanese form, is available in a few spots around town. Look for karate institutes, too.
For the differently abled
Anyone with a disability knows it can be hard to find the right fit, but options are growing in the Charleston area.
The Medical University of South Carolina’s Piece it Together program is geared toward young adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, or the like.
The activities range by the week, but might include yoga or spin classes. Call 843-876-1507 for more information.
As the aging population grows in Charleston, senior centers are popping up around the area to meet their needs. The city of North Charleston scheduled two new ones to open this summer, something Mayor Keith Summey has long been hoping for.
Line dancing classes are available at the Hanahan Senior Center, if you don’t mind being out-danced by two 89-year-olds.