Not Your Average Gym

The start of a new year brings thoughts of committing, finally, to a fitness routine. This year will be the year you structure your day and manage your time so that health is a priority, you tell yourself. And if you’ve tried a standard box gym membership and found yourself either intimidated or bored by the options, you might wonder what the alternatives are. Charlottesville has a number of box gyms, furnished with the standard equipment, that also mix it up by offering classes, from spinning, body pump, and yoga, to barre. But it also has a plethora of alternative fitness studios that cater to specific interests or goals in a more intimate environment. Here are a few of those alternative spaces unique to Charlottesville. (There are plenty of studios devoted purely to yoga, Pilates, and Barre as well, but that’s a post for another day.)

Edge Studio

2075 Bond Street, Suite 150

Charlottesville, VA

In addition to yoga classes, this specialty fitness studio offers cycling and intense performance training with equipment such as kettlebells, ropes, and medicine balls to test strength and endurance. Their philosophy is that athletic training betters your performance in all areas of your life.

Zoom Indoor Cycling

1929 Arlington Blvd.

Charlottesville, VA 22903

This strictly cycling studio boasts a “concert-quality sound system” that delivers music with a beat to keep you motivated. Class offerings range from interval training that also incorporates weights to work the arms, a combination of cycling and outdoor running with Tread Happy (see below), and classes organized according to musical genre so you can choose your listening preference.

Pūrvelo Cycle

1000 West Main Street

Charlottesville, VA 22903

The owner founded this rhythmic cycling boutique after a necessary knee surgery prevented her from running and she had to incorporate low impact exercise as part of her physical therapy. You can choose from eight different instructors and class start times range from 5:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., depending on the day of the week.

Tread Happy

103 8th Street NW

Charlottesville, VA 22903

This “run studio” founded in 2015 stakes a claim to fame as the only one in the mid-Atlantic. As the website details, “6 different classes—tread Happy, Hustle, Temp, Distance, Flow, and Recovery—were developed based on the formula runners follow in a given training week.” However, the studio emphasizes that you don’t have to be an active runner in order to participate in, and benefit from, classes there.

DanceFit Studio

609 East Market Street, Studio 107

Charlottesville, VA 22902

DanceFit Studio owner and instructor Edna-Jakki Miller has been teaching mind-body fitness for over 45 years. She developed her dance-fitness program in 1973, which centers on mindful movement. Current class offerings include Yoga Being, Yoga Light, Chair Energy Yoga, Cardio Flex, Hip Hop, Be Fit, DanceFit for Seniors, Kids Ballet, and Kids Hip-Hop-Jazz.

Bar-G Fitness

3042-B Berkmar Drive

Charlottesville, VA 22901

This fitness studio was founded on attentive personal training. Owner Andrew Barga has been a certified personal trainer for 15 years who has also faced his own struggles with weight gain, injuries, and chronic pain. Offerings include one-on-one sessions, small group sessions, exercise classes, workshops, and nutritional guidance.

Clay Fitness

233 Douglas Avenue

Charlottesville, VA 22902

Clay Fitness emphasizes the importance of community to help motivate and sustain a committed fitness routine. To that end, they offer small class sizes in an intimate space where students can get to know each other and encourage each other. The name of the studio comes from the idea that our bodies are “malleable and responsive like clay.” In addition to classes, they offer personal training, retreats, one-on-one nutrition coaching, and a jumpstart program. Current class offerings include athletic training, small group training, high intensity interval training, and cardio boxing.

Success Studio

2125 Ivy Road, Suite G1

Charlottesville, VA 22903

Owner and personal trainer Bill Burnett opened Success Studio 12 years ago with the goal of creating “a safe, non-threatening, and supportive environment that teaches clients a lifestyle change.” His staff includes three other personal trainers, a life coach, and a nutrition coach. Classes are structured as large group personal training sessions, while still maintaining smaller class sizes than what you’d find in a large box gym. Current class offerings are: Metabolic Express, Total Body Strength, Cardio Zone Training, ChiZel (high intensity interval training), and Stacked (in which “targeted movements [are] stacked together”).

CrossFit Charlottesville

1309 Belleview Avenue

Charlottesville, VA 22901

At CrossFit, certified instructors lead small group training sessions in functional fitness, which mirrors daily necessary movements like “lifting things off the ground, sitting and standing, pulling and pushing.” The workouts are high intensity and usually last a maximum of 20 minutes, though there are specific classes that last longer.

MADabolic Cville

943 2nd Street SE

Charlottesville, VA 22902

Technically MADabolic isn’t unique to Charlottesville, but the Charlottesville location is only one of eight in the United States. The “MAD” in MADabolic stands for Momentum, Anaerobic, and Durability. The foundations of their program include high intensity interval training, strength training, and slow, focused movements.


Local Turkey for Thanksgiving!

The opportunity to gather with our loved ones for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. With less than two weeks to go, it’s a good time to consider the local turkeys our area has to offer.

Kelly Bronze in Crozet

The Kellys had raised bronze turkeys for over 30 years in the United Kingdom when they decided to open their first U.S. satellite location in Crozet in 2014 at Heritage Glenn Farm. Operators Cari and Judd Culver had partnered with the Kellys in 2012 while living in Scotland and proposed the satellite location upon their return to the States. All of the turkeys on the Crozet farm are raised completely free range. When purchasing a turkey from Kelly Bronze you have many options, from 10 lbs. to 25 lbs. In addition to being bronze rather than white turkeys, Kelly bronze turkeys are distinguished by the slow process through which they are raised and dried. First, the birds are allowed to mature fully. Then after they are slaughtered, they are dry plucked by hand and dry aged for up to 14 days, with the result that the meat is more tender and flavorful. And according to the Kellys, their turkeys have enough natural fat to make basting completely unnecessary. Their website is set up to accept orders online and they do deliver.

Polyface Farm in Augusta County |43 Pure Meadows Lane, Swoope, VA 24479 | 540-885-3590

Less than an hour west of Charlottesville in Augusta County, the Salatin family of Polyface Farm has embodied environmentally-friendly, sustainable farming practices since 1961. There was even an article published about them in Smithsonian Magazine in June 2000. The Salatins raise their pastured turkeys on local grains and as much grass as they can eat. The turkeys are kept safe in an open-air paddock that is moved every couple of days to a fresh plot of grass. They also have access to a portable hoop house where they can seek shelter. Their turkeys are available for purchase at Rebecca’s Natural Foods and Foods of All Nations in Charlottesville.

Long Roots Farm in Augusta County | 254 Campbells Hollow Road, Middlebrook, VA 24459 | 540-335-3952

This family farm run by Charles and Anna Long, also in Augusta County, raises pastured turkeys that forage their fields and eat GMO-free grain made in the Shenandoah Valley. They reside in open paddocks with netting to keep them safe from predators and are rotated on a weekly basis to allow for fresh grazing and sanitary conditions. As it happens, Charles is very well-acquainted with today’s commercialized turkey farms because he’s the grandson of Jim Long, the founder of Virginia’s first mass-producing turkey farm. While working in the family business, Charles developed an interest in free-range, sustainable farming. The farm requires a $25 deposit when reserving a Thanksgiving turkey, which will be applied to the total cost of the order. Orders are for pick-up only.

Beatrix Farm in Shenandoah County | Toms Brook, VA 22660

About an hour and a half north of Charlottesville, Beatrix Farm is home to pasture-raised turkeys whose diet of foraged goods is supplemented with non-GMO grain. Dave and Regina Farinholt began the farm almost a decade ago and this year they are also offering Muscovy duck for Thanksgiving orders if you are interested in branching out. Reservations are required and the fresh, not frozen, turkeys are available as early as November 19.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may your table be graced with all that our local agriculture has to offer!

Health Food Stores in Charlottesville

With its reputation as a haven for the farm-to-table mentality, Charlottesville, Virginia has given rise to a great number of restaurants and small farmers serving the community. The approach carries over to the retail side of things, where there are many small and large grocery stores providing fresh, local, organic alternatives to the homes in Charlottesville. We’ve highlighted a few here in this post about health food stores in Charlottesville.

Integral Yoga
IntegralYogaCommonly abbreviated “IY,” this health food haven has been locally owned since 1975. You won’t find many (if any) animal products here, but the store carries more than its fair share of meat alternatives (think black bean burgers and Twin Oaks Tofu) but the place really shines when it comes to its produce, fresh and local. IY’s sourcing philosophy is both old-school and new age: they will buy produce from anyone in the area, whether it be a Charlottesville-area farm like Sharondale Farm in Keswick or a guy with a bunch of berries in his backyard. They are partnered with over 30 area farms and boast over 30 local Charlottesville chains, but you don’t have to be over 30 to go in. There is an extremely slim chance that you’ll be able to walk into IY and buy something that isn’t a local product, whether a cup of coffee or a bag of granola. Now that’s commitment to neighborhood partnership! Integral Yoga’s crown jewel may be its juice/smoothie bar, at which you can buy a 16 oz juice with your choice of local frozen fruit. A 16 oz serving of juice packs a walloping five pounds of fruit! And they will cater to any and all dietary restrictions or preferences.

Foods of All Nations
FoodsofAllNationsFoods of All Nations is nothing short of a Cville staple at this point. Its warm, friendly, and inviting staff have been bridging the gap between central Virginia farms and the people they serve for over 50 years, during which they’ve developed both an extensive supply of local, domestic, and international foods. A lot of the produce is locally-sourced, and most of their meats and seafoods are direct from farms in the central Virginia area. What’s more, the folks at Foods of All Nations put as much work into cooking the ingredients as the Charlottesville farmers do growing them. The hot bar and deli have some of the best low-key food in the city, so before you buy a couple pounds of oysters, try, for example the oyster po’boy with okra and homemade remoulade. While you’re at it, get me some gazpacho. It goes without saying, but Foods of All Nations is partnered with a bunch of local businesses…Caromont Farm, Keswick Gourmet Foods, Polyface Farms, and Wade’s Mill just to name a few.

Rebecca’s Natural Food
RebeccasNorman Dill has been working in health food stores since 1976. He opened up Rebecca’s in 1987, naming it after his daughter and basing its core aesthetic on food principles set down at his mother’s table (no junk food!) The result is a health food store dedicated to selling only the most salubrious offerings, whether we’re talking produce, kombucha, or supplements. Rebecca’s is committed to selling only safe products with few or no side effects, and their wares are always local when possible and rarely (if ever) processed. There is an appreciation for ancestral eating: the practice of modifying our dietary inclinations to match those of ancient peoples (think the “paleo diet.”) And like Integral Yoga, they offer a plethora of local brands: Barefoot Bucha, Free Union Grass Farm (a local Charlottesville-area farm, meat and eggs), Mad Hatter Hot Sauce, etc. Check them out at the Barracks Road Shopping Center.

Sunrise Herb Shoppe
While the Sunrise Herb Shoppe doesn’t carry groceries, its offerings vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, probiotics…more supplements than you can shake a stick at. The shop and its website boast a huge collection of articles with different perspectives on what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. They also offer regular classes and (with an appointment) consultation courtesy of Terri L. Saunders, a Certified Health Professional with 26 years of experience. The employees are great sources of information, all well-versed with regard to holistic health practices. They’ve made it a priority to provide information and resources, both on and in person at their store on 910 Marshall Street, Charlottesville VA.

All these stores are uniquely situated to contribute to a healthy, happy living, with regards to both local, organic food and conscientious lifestyle choices. In many cases, their good intentions are corroborated by plain, honest, and transparent relationships with local farms in central Virginia. Fresh food from the farm next door!

Health Rankings for Albemarle County

Here at Gayle Harvey Real Estate, we care about your health. Simply by virtue of being on this site, you probably know that we sell property in central Virginia. This is the first installment in a county-by-county health ranking series. Today we look at health statistics for Albemarle County.

Albemarle County is ranked 4th overall for healthiest counties in Virginia:

  • Years of potential life lost before age 75/100,000 people: 3,900 (compared to a state average of 6,100, and 5,200 among the “Top U.S. Performers*” nationwide.

Albemarle County is ranked 11th overall for quality of life:

  • 12% of people report having poor/fair health, consistent with the average percentage of Top U.S. Performers (12%) and slightly lower than the state Average of 17%.
  • 3 days was the average number of physically unhealthy days and the average number of mentally unhealthy days per month, as reported. This is slightly lower than the state averages (3.5 and 3.3, respectively) and only slightly higher than the national average for Top U.S. Performers (2.9 and 2.8, respectively)
  • 7% of live births were low birthweight (<2,500 grams, <5.51 lbs) compared with 6% for the Top U.S. Performers and 8% for the state average

Albemarle County is ranked 10th overall for health factors:

  • 15% of adults identify as regular smokers, compared to 14% for the Top U.S. Performers and 20% for the rest of the state
  • 23% of adults are considered obese (body mass index of 30 or more), compared to 25% for the Top U.S. Performers and 27% for the rest of the state
  • The food environment index is a confluence of factors that influence good eating habits, on a 0 (worst) to 10 (best) scale. Albemarle has a food environment index of 8.6, slightly higher than Virginia’s average and the average of Top U.S. Performers, both 8.3.
  • 20% of adults over 20-years old report not engaging in physical activity, a percentage consistent with the national percentage of Top U.S. Performers (20%) and slightly lower than the state percentage (22%).
  • 74% of the population has access to adequate exercise opportunities, compared to 91% among Top U.S Performers and 81% for the state of Virginia.
  • 18% of adults report heavy drinking or binge drinking, compared to 12% for the Top U.S. Performers and 17% for the rest of the state.
  • 39% of driving deaths in Albemarle involved alcohol, compared to 14% for the Top U.S. Performers and 31% for the state overall.
  • Albemarle County reported 212.5 sexually-transmitted infections per 100,000 people, compared to 134.1 in 100,000 for Top U.S. Performers and 407 in 100,000 for the state of Virginia.
  • Albemarle County reported 11 teen births per 1,000 teenage females (ages 15-19), compared to 19 for the Top U.S. Performers and 27 for the state overall.

Albemarle County is ranked 4th overall for clinical care in the state:

  • 13% of the population under 65 is without health insurance, compared to 11% for the Top U.S. Performers and 14% for the state of Virginia. It should be noted that this percentage has been steadily decreasing across recent years in Albemarle County.
  • The ratio of population to primary care physicians in Albemarle County is 610:1, compared to 1,040:1 for the Top U.S. Performers and 1,330:1 for the state of Virginia
  • The ratio of population to dentists in Albemarle county is 1,070:1, compared to 1,340:1 for the Top U.S. Performers and 1,570:1 for the state of Virginia
  • The ratio of population to mental health providers is 980:1 in Albemarle County, compared to 370:1 in the Top U.S. Performing Counties and 680:1 for the state of Virginia overall.
  • There were 37 preventable hospital stays in Albemarle County, compared to an average of 38 for the Top U.S. Performers and 49 for the state overall.
  • 88% of Medicare enrollees ages 65-75 received diabetic monitoring, compared to 90% for the Top U.S. Performers and 87% for the state of Virginia.
  • 72% of female Medicare enrollees ages 67-69 received mammography screening, compared to 71% for the Top U.S. Performers and 63% for the state overall.