Toil away in this small Northwest Portland fitness studio for a couple of weeks and you’ll likely feel mighty enough to go toe-to-toe with the American Gladiators. We’re not kidding: Once you’ve spent your afternoons cycling through a barrage of old-school phys ed basics (squats, jumping jacks, pull-ups), executing agility drills like hopscotch-style jumps through a rope ladder, and running laps while tethered to a 20-pound medicine ball, you will become the seriously buff badass you know you really are. No, the Navy Seal-like routine isn’t easy, but husband-and-wife trainers Tina and Nathan Jeffers, who opened Recreate a year ago as an antidote to StairMaster ennui, keep members motivated with their genuine enthusiasm. (“Great job!” “Way to go!” “Push harder!”) Goal setting—and goal reaching—is an integral part of the Recreate regimen. Like being able to perform your first-ever chin-up, a feat that you could post on Recreate’s blog, where members also can track their fitness goals and leave comments like, “I will never go back to my old gym again.”
For a business offering a 2,500-year-old therapy, this Cully neighborhood clinic embraces a thoroughly modern approach. Open since 2002, Working Class Acupuncture was the first such clinic in the United States to use communal rooms to treat patients. And while it might sound a little strange to lie alongside up to 15 other people while your head resembles a pincushion, plenty do. In fact, the clinic sees around 420 patients a week, and they’ve done their best to make the vibe inside the bright blue barn of a building entirely relaxing. Tall, leafy plants bring the outside in. Overstuffed leather recliners ease sore backs. And occasionally a live harpist—yes, a harpist—soothes frayed nerves. Best of all, by operating in a smaller space and treating patients en masse, the office saves money, which means you do too. The sliding-scale rate of $15 to $35 is plenty doable, even if your private insurance company just laughed you off the phone when you asked if acupuncture was an approved treatment.