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Updated: Jul 4

We're taking the drag out of getting fit this year. More of us are looking for alternatives to our fitness regime in 2024. The treadmill is, well, a bit of a treadmill? Luckily, we know new and fun options to get and stay fit in Wilmington, NC, and the surrounding areas. Here are our top picks.

Cape Fear Living Staff

Q&A with Owner Lynnette Spinelli

As a fitness brand, 9Round started over 13 years ago in Greenville, SC. Owner Lynnette Spinelli's journey with 9Round began 10 years ago when she joined a studio in Charlotte. "The 9Round program changed my life and helped me get in the best shape ever," says Spinelli. "While our youngest daughter was a student at UNCW, we began spending more time in Wilmington and fell in love with the community. We also noticed there was not a 9Round in the area. My husband and I began researching the franchise's business side, moved to Wilmington 7 years ago and opened our first location in Ogden over 6 years ago. This was followed by two additional locations, each a year later."

What makes 9Round unique?

9Round is the premiere workout for busy people. 9Round is circuit training with a kickboxing theme, but not all stations use kickboxing. There are no class times, so you work out on your schedule. Show up anytime and get a fantastic workout in 30 minutes. High-intensity circuit training allows for maximum efficiency. Because you change stations and exercises every 3 minutes, the workouts are engaging, always exciting and keep you focused. The workouts change every day and can be scaled to any fitness level. Punching a bag is also an incredibly stress-relieving activity! Instructors teach kickboxing techniques, so no experience is necessary. Our innovative workout screens run a continuous loop demonstrating the day's exercises. Each session is designed to be a total body workout. We have recently added a 24/7 model so members can truly catch a session any day and any time.

What can readers expect when signing up to 9Round for the first time? 9Round offers a complimentary trial session to check out what our program is all about. That session is a one on one with an instructor who will guide the individual through the circuit and teach some kickboxing basics if new to it. Members can also expect ongoing fitness instruction, body composition analysis to monitor progress, kickboxing workshops and member events, accountability check-ins and great customer service.

Q&A with General Manager Ashlee Uebele

Ashlee Uebele has been the General Manager of the Anytime Fitness gym in Wilmington, NC, for the past 6 years. After graduating with a Business and Fashion Design degree, she worked at The NY Post and Salvatore Ferragamo. But when she moved to Wilmington, her career path turned to the fitness industry. "My father owns the gyms, and our dream has always been to open a family business together," says Ashlee. "My husband Alex and I started from the bottom and worked our way up to managing the gyms together. We've gone through all the roles from the front desk, personal trainer, and General Manager. To this day, we all work together and love every minute. We all learn so much from each other and love helping people strive to become healthier versions of themselves. We are family-run and strive to have that as the vibe in our gyms. Everyone is welcome; we all know each other and are all rooting each other on whether they're trying to lose weight, gain weight, run a marathon, deadlift, etc. The list goes on. We really have the best and most supportive communities in our gyms."

What makes Anytime Fitness unique?

We're not just a 'gym'. We're a family, always looking out for each other. Our team, all fitness enthusiasts, share a true passion for helping others. We offer a wide range of free group fitness classes, including Yoga, Spin, Aerial, Mobility, Deadlifting, Beach Bootcamps, Zumba, Silver Sneakers, Kickboxing, and more. These classes are designed to cater to a variety of fitness needs and preferences, ensuring that there's something for everyone. Our trainers have extensive experience working with individuals of all fitness levels and a variety of fitness needs, from hip replacements and shoulder injuries to MS, Diabetes, long-term injuries, weight gain, weight loss, spinal cord injuries, and chronic pain. We're here to support your fitness journey, regardless of your starting point. What’s more, as a member, you will have 24/7 FREE Private access to all the 5,000+ locations worldwide, allowing you to maintain your fitness routine even when you’re on the go.

What can readers expect when signing up to Anytime Fitness?

If you are signing up for the first time with us, you can expect to have a supportive team cheering you on the whole way. Guiding, encouraging, picking you up when you think you need to do more. I've said it before, and I'll repeat it, we truly have the best team and the most amazing members. We have lifelong friends because of it. If you don't believe me, please try us out for free! We'd love to show you what we're all about.

Q&A with Owner Christ Gillenwater

Christy Gillenwater moved to Oak Island from Virginia in 2011 and couldn't find a gym class that intrigued her. "I have always been active and my husband challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and get certified as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and create my own classes and training sessions." She got certified, started beach bootcamp classes, began teaching stability ball and core classes, working with personal training clients and her business took off. "I worked with several different facilities before getting my medical fitness training specialty and opening Premier Fitness Studio in August of 2015. We recently relocated to a larger facility and have incorporated a massage therapist, salt water float spa, infrared sauna, hairdresser, nail tech. We also host the Brunswick County Wellness Center, a non-profit that offers little to no cost group fitness classes for individuals with neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's, MS, Stroke, and neuropathy. It's an amazing place to be for all your wellness wants and needs and our clients make it even more incredible," says Christy.

What makes Premier Fitness unique?

In a world where it is easy to get lost, at Premier Fitness Studio, a community is found. From one-on-one personal training to group classes, our trainers strive to empower our clients to achieve their goals physically and mentally. Modifications to workouts are the stepping blocks to creating a stronger you, which our trainers will always provide when needed. The roots of the community grow deeper within our non-profit Brunswick County Wellness Center. Our BCWC classes included Silver Sneakers, beginners classes, and two classes designed to help slow the specific symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Our location also offers a massage therapist, nail tech, salt water float spa and infrared sauna.

What can readers expect when signing up to a Premier Fitness Class?

Aerial Yoga, Wednesdays at 6:15- 7:15pm

This is an all-levels Aerial Yoga class. Some yoga experience is helpful but not required. Must be in good physical health.

Aerial yoga provides a deeper stretch of the body's fibres and builds body strength. You will use the connection of the many yoga breathing techniques to enrich the aerial yoga experience. Balancing the body in many poses is challenging and rewarding as you learn to meld breathing, stretching and strengthening. And aerial yoga gives a new meaning to inversions!! You will end each session suspended and floating in savasana (restful pose).

Bring a mat, water, and towel, and wear NO jewellery! Class attendees who are 16-18 years of age must have a consent/waiver form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Cardio and Crunch, Mondays at 12-12:45 pm

Join us for a lunch snack pack of core work and cardio. We'll rev up your midday blahs so you can finish the rest of your day like a boss!

Q&A with Owner Bevin Prince


Bevin Prince, originally from North Carolina, attended UNCW before landing a role on One Tree Hill for six seasons. Balancing her acting career in LA and NYC, she pursued an MFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design. In NYC, Bevin worked as a cycling instructor and talent trainer. At the onset of the pandemic, she decided to return to Wrightsville Beach and launch Recess in 2020, bringing her enthusiasm for community, fitness, and wellness to the place she has always considered home. Recess emerged in a humble setting: an event tent in a parking lot equipped with just 25 bikes and a few speakers. It was here, in this unconventional space, that the seeds of the Recess community were sown. Fast forward a few years, and the vision has blossomed into something extraordinary.

"In August 2023, we proudly unveiled our studio space in the Forum—an exquisite studio that embodies the essence of Recess," says Bevin. "Every aspect of our studio has been meticulously crafted with unwavering attention to detail, creating an environment that elevates the workout experience to new heights.

"Despite our growth and evolution, our commitment to fostering a tight-knit community remains unwavering. Whether you joined us in the early days in that makeshift tent or you're stepping into our studio for the first time, you'll instantly feel a sense of belonging—a testament to the enduring bond that unites us all at Recess."


What makes Recess unique?

What sets Recess apart is its appeal to a diverse range of individuals drawn to a distinct workout experience. It fosters a welcoming atmosphere where participants can embrace their authenticity without the pressure of competition or the need to showcase themselves. Recess represents a departure from traditional fitness paradigms, emphasizing inclusivity and personal growth over comparison and performance. It offers a unique approach to wellness, prioritizing individual journeys and fostering a sense of community rooted in acceptance and self-expression. Recess is about embracing your journey and striving to be your best self in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.


What can readers expect when signing up to Recess for the first time?

 At Recess, each class is a vibrant 45-minute journey that merges high-intensity cycling with a holistic focus on both physical and mental wellbeing. It's not just about the workout; it's about cultivating positivity, fostering a sense of community, and infusing every moment with joy and fun. Guided by the rhythm of the music, a class at Recess is a dynamic experience that challenges and uplifts both the individual and the collective.

In this immersive environment, riders are encouraged to shed their inhibitions and tap into their inner sense of playfulness. It's a moment to reconnect with the sheer joy of movement and fully rediscover the freedom from letting go and embracing the present moment. At Recess, we don't just ride; we rediscover the exhilaration of play, leaving each class feeling energized, empowered, and alive.

Q&A with Owner Katelyn Maginnes


I first began teaching yoga in 2016. The practice changed my life a year or two before, and I knew it was something I needed to know more about and something I wanted to share with others. My family and I moved to Wilmington, NC, in August 2020. We knew the yoga community we were a part of in Greensboro, NC, was essential to us, but we only realized how much once we moved away. New to town, at home with a baby, I needed community. I created that the best way I knew how, through yoga. First, I started teaching in a neighbourhood park, Wallace Park and then opened Port City Power Yoga, within walking distance from our house. We were excited to be in Wilmington, create something, and pour energy into the greater Wilmington community. So far we have created a community outside our imagination, sharing what we so passionately believe in, the practice and lifestyle of yoga.


What makes Port City Power Yoga unique?

No matter the day or time, you will get a consistent experience. No need to read through a long list of class descriptions or schedule around certain times and days. Whenever you practice at PCPY, you will find talented teachers, a welcoming community, a place to sweat and a place to have fun. All our classes are at all levels, and we mean that. Beginners and experienced yogis alike are welcome and supported in our classes. All our classes are heated with infrared heaters. Many call it 'warm' yoga. It's 85-95 degrees in the studio, like a warm summer day. There's a reason we live at the beach, right?! We offer that warmth, that comfort, every day.


What can readers expect when signing up for a class for the first time?

The best place to start is by trying our Unlimited Membership for 3 weeks for only $30. Unlimited yoga, no strings attached!

Q&A with Owner, Summer McPherson


Sports was more of the focus in my childhood, not dance so much. I learned a few Filipino folkloric dances and loved dance, but I officially began to learn when I was an adult. First accidentally and then seeking it out as much as I could. I began learning to dance Swing in 2001 after a friend invited me to see a band that played Swing music. Shortly after 2002, I took a salsa lesson, went out dancing one night, and was hooked! I began teaching in Wilmington in 2006, sharing Swing & Ballroom at Babs McDance Studio, then moved to Charlotte and began teaching with Charlotte Latin Dance. When we decided to move back to Wilmington, I asked to bring their model with me, and I launched Wilmington Latin Dance in 2012! We have been honoured to share Latin Dance through classes and social events for 12 years this March.


What makes Wilmington Latin Dance unique?

We love what we get to share with our community, and our mission is to create a fun and encouraging space for our students to learn something new and continue growing and connecting with new people. Our community comprises a diverse group of people in age, background, and occupation. Not only do you get a chance to learn how to dance, but you also get to learn about and appreciate Latin culture and change up your nightlife/ social life options with the various events we have around town.


What can readers expect when signing up for Wilmington Latin Dance for the first time?

If you sign up for the first time, you can expect a lively and encouraging learning space. We like to say, "Bring your two left feet and a smile." Our instructors are welcoming, knowledgeable, and excited to share Latin Dance with you. You'll also be surrounded by others with the same goal - learning something new! We teach you basic steps and how to dance them with a partner. You don't need to have a partner to come, though! Most people come solo, and you'll meet people as we rotate through the class. Along with our Group Classes and events at The Studio Collective, we always teach Intro Lessons at the events that we have throughout town at Satellite, Ironclad Brewery, and Social Casa de Tequila, and we also offer private lessons.

Q&A with Owner, Candace Vivian


As a certified herbalist, registered yoga teacher and a Duke Health and Wellbeing graduate, Candace Vivian has always been interested in alternative therapies. Before moving to Wilmington, while living in Sedona, Arizona, she was first introduced to the concept of Osteostrong.


What makes Osteostrong unique?

OsteoStrong is a unique place where you can go to improve your overall health by focusing on the one thing we all have in common: a skeletal system. We are a membership-based wellness center helping people focus on their bone strength through our proprietary system and offer biohacking modalities to optimize health and vitality. OsteoStrong uses the Spectrum System to deliver unprecedented results. Spectrum is first-in-class of a new category devices called Robotic Musculoskeletal Development System (RMDS). The ultimate biohack, OsteoStrong works for people at all ages and levels of activity to promote skeletal strength which impacts the entire body in many ways using a process known as Osteogenic Loading. Sessions are quick, painless, and results are measurable and happen quickly.

What can readers expect when starting at Osteostrong?

At Osteostrong, members can expect to find a once-a-week, one-on-one, tailored program to meet their unique needs using a low-impact and natural approach.

Osteostrong is designed to help people improve strength, maintain balance and find stability from the inside out.


Q&A with Owner Dr. Ryan Godfrey

Dr. Ryan Godfrey is the owner and physical therapist of Change the Game Performance. Originally from a small town in Upstate New York Dr. Godfrey was a three sport athlete in high school. "Through my own experience with multiple injuries playing football and running track I quickly became interested in how I could not only return to playing quickly, but also limit my chance of re-injury in the future," says Dr. Godfrey. 

After graduating from the University of Buffalo in 2009 he decided he needed a change of scenery and moved to NC, where he worked at a traditional outpatient physical therapy clinic for 6 years seeing over 20 patients per day.  "I felt that I was not providing the level of care that my patients deserved in this setting. My vision in 2018 was to change people’s perception of physical therapy and the traditional medical system.  I was focused on creating a business that was centered around changing our patient’s lives.  Not just providing quick pain relief, but truly educating them on how to break free from injury long-term while getting back to peak performance in their given sport or activity."  

Change the Game Performance started out in a small 12 x 15 foot room in the back of Port City CrossFit. Fast forward to April 2023 and the vision of CTG has been fully realized.  "We now have a 5,500 sf facility that allows us to serve the community of Wilmington on a grander scale.  We have a team of physical therapists, and strength coaches to deliver the gold standard for physical therapy and sports performance in Wilmington," says Dr. Godfrey.

What makes Change the Game Performance unique?

Change the Game is one of very few facilities that merge physical therapy and fitness training to take individuals from injury back to performing in their daily life and beyond. We serve a variety of clients including golfers, runners, youth athletes, as well as general population who are interested in improving their quality of life through strength and conditioning. Everything is approached through a clinical lens, providing baseline testing, emphasis on quality technique, and use advanced technology to  create a safe and efficient training environment, which allows us to reduce the risk for injury. At Change the Game we don’t outsource our programming. We tailor programming to the individual needs of our clients. This helps them achieve their specific goals. Our Head and Strength and Conditioning Coach has advanced degrees, more than just a basic fitness certification, and has worked with multiple collegiate level athletes and programs such as UNCW Hockey. Our classes are molded to the performance goals of the athletes enrolled. We offer golf, run, and other sport specific training classes to help the athletes reach their next level. Our general strength and conditioning classes are even tailored to the individuals in class and educating them on misnomers of the traditional rehab and training models. We go beyond the basics and have the training and facilities to back a higher level of sport performance. We offer virtual, in class, one on one, and team training options. Our Team understands athletes because they are athletes. 

What can readers expect when starting at Change the Game?

When someone chooses to train at Change the Game they will start with a Free Coach’s Consult. This is a 45 minute meeting with one of our coaches to go over goals, a movement assessment, and talk about the offerings at Change the Game to find the right fit for the client. From there, we will set them up with either one on one training, virtual training, or a class to suit their needs. 


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