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The best of 2012: Health and beauty

We bring you the best of health and beauty Philly has to offer.

All week long, Metro has been highlighting our selections of the city's best -- from bars to salons to dance parties -- of 2012. Check back tomorrow as we honor the best and brightest Philadelphians of the year.

Best reason to cancel your gym membership: CrossFit Renaissance

Is the gym scene getting boring? Time to switch it up. This high-intensity workout is unlike anything you've ever done before. CrossFit is based on plyometrics -- fast and powerful movements such as jumping rope, flipping tires, sprinting and bodyweight exercises including kettlebells and gymnastics rings. Owner and certified CrossFit trainer Bill Shiffler will push you to your limits, meaning you will be sore the next day -- and the day after. No hype here, just results.

3668 Salmon St.

215-760-5795, www.crossfitrenaissance.com

Best alternative to a Center City happy hour: Athleta running club

Instead of meeting your friends for drinks after work, change your Tuesday routine and go for a run instead. Known for its cute yoga and running outfits, Athleta's running club for guys and girls consists of a scenic run along the Schuylkill River and ends at its store on 17th & Walnut. While you're there, take advantage of the other free workout classes, such as pilates and yoga, offered each month.

1722 Walnut St.



Best yoga studio you've never heard of: Anjali Power Yoga

Tucked in a small space on South Street, this fast-paced vinyasa flow class in a 90-degree studio will leave you sweaty, refreshed and sore from all the pushups. Once you get over the heat, you'll realize what a bargain the workouts here are: The new student special is an affordable $20 for 10 days of unlimited yoga. With other locations in Westmont (a few minutes away from PATCO) and down the shore in Avalon, there's no excuse not to try it. Don't forget a towel -- or two.

1519 South St.

856-854-1182 www.anjalipoweryoga.com

Best workout before your island vacay: Lithe Method

Need to drop a few pounds or tone up before a week of relaxation at the beach? This cardio-cheer-sculpting workout developed right here in Philly is just what your body needs. With 40 classes (40!), you are bound to find one that fits your style. Not only do they have a variety of classes, but the names alone will get you motivated: Skinny Mini, Hot Legs and Sweet Cheeks are just a few of our favorites.

Various locations, www.lithemethod.com

The couture manicure that will have people mistaking you for Rihanna (from the hands down, at least): Nail Tite

This by-appointment team treats your fingernails as a canvas, not merely a tool for digging through your purse in search of your keys. Suzi Analogue founded the niche nail service after returning from a stint in Tokyo to find that no U.S. salons could recreate the crazy styles she craved -- think evil eyes, batik and tribal prints, cartoon creatures and liberal smatterings of stones and studs. The most expensive package comes in at $35 for a Japanese gel manicure with a custom design on each finger, and add-ons from the extensive menu include 3D appliques, designer decals and shaped tips.

Inside the Concrete Polish Studio, 716 N. Third St., www.nailtitesite.swrv.biz

Best budget mani-pedi: Genesis Nails

There's a good reason that Genesis Nails is always packed: The cheery salon's $40 mani-pedi comes complete with all the little extras -- hot rocks, massages, a paraffin wax treatment if you play your cards right-- that usually result in a much steeper price tag. In NoLibs, you'll drop more money than this in a coffee shop.

984 N. Second St.



Best gym to run into the Eagles cheerleaders: Passyunk L.A. Fitness

It's hard to do crunches when the Birds cheer squad turns the yoga room into a Calvin Harris dance party.

2401 W. Passyunk Ave.


Best gym to run into girls you might have a chance with: Society Hill Philadelphia Sports Club

Sneak some bourbon in your protein shake, sit by the pool and watch the ladies flock.

250 S. Fifth St., 215-592-8900 www.mysportsclubs.com

Best place to get an old-fashioned shave and haircut: Groom Philly

Tucked away in the Arts Condo basement, this is where Andy Warhol would have gone to get chopped.

1324 Locust St.



Best trend for your tresses: Blow-out bars

Technically, you can book a wash and blow-dry at the same place you get your cut and color. But at blow-out bars, no one is judging the split-ends and roots you forgot to make an appointment for -- they're only in the business of washing and drying. The concept, which has been popular in New York and L.A. for years, finally caught on in Philly in 2012 with newcomers including Blo/Out (www.bloout.com) and Heads and Tails (www.headsandtailsrittenhouse.com). We already can't remember the way it used to be, and we don't want to.

Yoga studio we're trying to move into: Amrita Yoga

Who says you can't be enlightened and posh? With fireplaces, skylights, a soothing fountain wall and more candles than Mariah Carey's place, this Fishtown studio is so gorgeous you'll find yourself lingering after class as long as possible. Playing dead in savasana will only score you an extra couple minutes, but we say it's totally worth it.

1204 Frankford Ave.



Salon that's as pretty as its clients: The Parlour

This Frankford Avenue newcomer quickly became a neighborhood beauty hotspot for its ayurvedic facials, all-out color services and meticulous waxing (note the number of Fishtown dudes suddenly sporting shapely brows). But the space itself -- industrial but plush, with tons of salvaged goodies and vintage curiosities -- is just as stylish as anyone walking out the front door. Try sitting still in the chair while gawking at the former warehouse's perfectly curated tableaus -- we dare you. 1339 Frankford Ave.,


Best dog-grooming that won't cost more than your grooming: Spot's Spot and Spa

In the city, it's easy to spend more getting your dog groomed than you spend grooming yourself. But at Spot's Spot and Spa, the friendly staff will primp your pup and send him home in a cute bandanna for a more than reasonable price. Plus, for a little extra they'll paint his nails, clip some hipster feathers in his new 'do and even add rainbow highlights.

123 W. Girard Ave.

267-687-7928 www.spotsspotandspa.com

Best workout for closet (circus) freaks: Beginner Aerials at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts

This near-nightly class is a rigorous total body workout for the young-at-heart, but not the faint of heart. Students receive an introduction to all manners of dangling, twisting and swinging through the air by rope, fabric and trapeze. A word to the wise: The school’s website cautions that those who aren’t comfortable hanging from a trapeze bar from their hands and knees should consider checking out their Conditioning Basics class before attempting to go airborne. Juggling and unicycling instruction is also available for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground.

Sundays-Fridays at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 5900A Green St., 215-849-1991 www.phillycircus.com

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