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If you want to try yoga, cycling, barre, interval training, or visit a full-service gym to meet your 2018 fitness resolutions, look no further than North Hills.

The popularity of boutique fitness studios (small, specialized, exercise facilities) is transforming the fitness industry nationwide. IHRSA, a health and fitness club industry association, reports that boutique fitness studios now account for more than 40 percent of the fitness club market, which is double what it was in 2014.

At North Hills, the variety of fitness options available illustrates that trend locally. Some residents have even taken to calling the string of options “Fitness Row.” Orangetheory Fitness, an interval training studio, will open its doors this month and become North Hills’ third boutique fitness studio. It will soon be joined by Midtown Yoga. Pure Barre, offering workouts that combine ballet, Pilates, and yoga, has been a North Hills mainstay for seven years, and CycleBar, a stationary bike studio, opened in late 2017. Fitness Connection, a full-service gym, also provides group classes, fitness equipment, and a pool.

Part of the appeal of boutique fitness studios is that classes are led by highly-trained instructors and provide a lot of variety.

“No two Orangetheory workouts are ever the same which alleviates workout boredom. The classes incorporate a healthy dose of cardio, weights, and rowing machines to keep you on your toes,” said Realtor and North Hills area resident CJ Tabor. “The trainers are hands-on, making sure you’re using correct form or helping clients modify the workout to accommodate any fitness level.”

Tabor has been driving to Orangetheory’s North Raleigh location and is pleased to have a studio in her neighborhood.

“I couldn’t be happier that Orangetheory Fitness is part of North Hills’ Fitness Row,” she said. “With it so close to home, there’s no excuse for missing a workout!”

Pam Mueller, who works in admissions for a local university, has been a devotee of Pure Barre for five years.

“Pure Barre is my favorite workout,” she says. “I have seen so much improvement in terms of muscle tone and flexibility.” As someone who works primarily from home, Mueller says the camaraderie in the classes is important to her too.

“Not only is it a great workout, but there is a great sense of community,” she says. “You meet people and connect with people – I don’t think you get that in a big gym.”

Mueller meets a group of friends for a weekly class, and they go to Starbucks or Panera for coffee after their workout. She says she often makes a quick trip to Target or checks out some of the specialty stores.

“I don’t live in the North Hills neighborhood, but because of the studio, I do a lot there,” she says. “It anchors me in North Hills and gives me a reason to visit.”

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