Get fit while getting hip to a popular European-import sport.
Ever heard of netball? Yeah, neither had we until we came across the Phoenix Heat, the Valley’s own team devoted to this domestically obscure sport.
Similar to basketball, netball is played on a court divided into zones featuring two 10-foot baskets. The seven players on each team are restricted to certain zones depending on what position they play. There’s no running or dribbling with the ball; players must shoot or pass to another player within three seconds or be penalized. “Games can get pretty intense,” Faye Hall, Heat president, says. “Your level of fitness has to be pretty high.”
Beat the summer exercise void with the Olympic sport of curling.
Now that liquid-asphalt season is here, the idea of participating in winter sports is literally cooler than ever. There’s always ice skating or hockey, but if you really want a butt-busting cool-down, try curling. Tempe-based Coyotes Curling Club conducts classes year-round. The Olympic sport – said to boost balance, agility and strength – consists of sliding 42-pound pieces of granite, called “stones,” across a 150-foot ice “sheet.” The game plays like overgrown shuffleboard, with teams of four vying for superior stone placement in the target “house,” comprised of a set of concentric rings. The challenge lies in the “delivery” slide of the stone, and then the “sweeping” of the ice by players alongside the stone. Players rub the ice with brooms to melt it and change the stone’s trajectory. “Learn to Curl” classes cost $30 per person at Coyotes Curling Club, 2202 W. Medtronic Way, Tempe, 602-300-4808, coyotescurling.com.
Do you know bow? Enhance your archery skills with these local clubs.
As more bow-and-arrow-wielding protagonists save the day in blockbuster movies, interest in archery is starting to curve. Whether you aspire to be a competitive Katniss Everdeen-type or a prey animal-slaying Ted Nugent, archery clubs across the Valley aim to further your enthusiasm and skills. Tony Cuchiara, owner of Arizona Archery Club and Pro Shop, says two things make the sport special: It’s gender-neutral, and it emphasizes mental focus. “[Archery] doesn’t take a lot of physical strength. It doesn’t matter how fast the arrow goes, it’s where it lands in the target. Everybody can do archery and it’s really cool to see young ladies get into this sport,” he says, adding, “It’s easy to learn to shoot a bow. But it’s extremely difficult to focus and develop the skill archers need.”
It’s said that a poorly conditioned mind defeats the purpose of a well-conditioned body. So as we’re bombarded with trendy diets and infomercials that hardwire us into thinking the only objective of exercise is exterior validation, we should also remember that exercise is spiritual. It keeps the cheeseburgers off your thighs and balances your chi. Here are a few Zen-friendly Valley workouts to help you restore that delicate balance between mind and body.
With birth rates above the national average, Arizona offers parents-to-be more options than ever.
...in the Beginning there was an egg and a sperm. Whether their union was divinely ordained, scientifically schemed or accidentally arranged is for their owners to say, but their triumph over the obstacle course of the reproductive system – from fertilization to implantation to gestation – is by turns miraculous, monumental and downright messy. Every human has the same basic biological building blocks for his or her origin story. What happens next is where the plots diverge, and in Arizona there are more possibilities than ever before.
Frustrated by an ungainly system, more Valley physicians turn to the “concierge” model. Translation: couture health care.
For much of her career as a practicing cardiologist, Dr. Anne-Marie Feyrer-Melk essentially kept one hand on the doorknob during patient visits. She had to. Falling fee reimbursements from insurance companies had forced her to reduce patient appointment times from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. It was a matter of livelihood.
Trek in a new direction with these lesser-known Valley hikes.
There's no shortage of hiking trails in Arizona. Perhaps the most comprehensive guide to hiking in our state, arizonahiking.blogspot.com – authored by none other than PHOENIX magazine's resident hiking expert, Mare Czinar – covers more than 500 trails, and Czinar says many others exist. Though local hikers tend to gravitate to well-known and well-trodden urban trails like Piestewa Peak, Papago Park and Camelback Mountain, the Valley has plenty of less-traveled options for folks who want to enjoy a good quad burn while communing with nature. Here are a few hiking-guru-approved alternatives to our typical tracks.