Best of Indy: Health & Beauty

Rock-Climbing High
Housed in a 33,000-square-foot warehouse on the northwest side, Hoosier Heights is the Mount Everest of local rock-climbing facilities. Everywhere you look, there are walls to conquer, all covered with colored tape indicating the degree of climbing difficulty. You pick a “route” and follow it to the top. If you’re a first timer, you’ll get a quick lesson with your $20 day pass. But most of the time, it’s just you and the toeholds. So you’re going to build character as well as muscle. 9850 Mayflower Park Dr., Carmel, 317-802-9302,
1214-PUREBARRETrendy Workout
You don’t have to be a ballerina to do Pure Barre. In fact, you don’t need any dance ability at all. Just stamina. Lots of it. These low-impact workouts centered around a ballet barre may look graceful, but they’re brutal after a few repetitions. The simplicity is what distinguishes them from the rubber-band explosion of new workouts in Indy the last few years. You don sticky socks for traction and use the rail for balance and resistance as you work through a series of squats and leg lifts. Easy, right? Just like a pirouette. 726 Adams St., Carmel, 317-816-1261,
1214-BEAUTYBARBeauty with a Buzz
Primp a little, sip a little. When The Beauty Bar at Geist opened this year, it became the first establishment of its kind in Indiana, pampering you with booze as you take advantage of salon services such as hairstyling, nails, waxing, and makeup application. Belly up to the first-floor nail bar and order a martini to go with your manicure, or enjoy a glass of pinot with your pedi. If you’re here for a cut-and-color, you’ll have to haul your adult beverage upstairs—a small price to pay for feeling as good as you’ll look. Heck, with bourbon and beer on the menu, men just might want to hang out, too. 11691 Fall Creek Rd., Ste. 150, 317-595-6300,
Reader’s Choice Best Spa: Evan Todd Spa
“I love the tranquil atmosphere, and it always smells great up there!” — Cara Shanks
Holistic Fitness Concept
For those who aren’t getting results from time on the elliptical, Next Step workouts offer a holistic approach to fitness. Combining nutrition counseling, personal training, and light physical therapy, owner Jeff Sidwell and trainer Elizabeth Dickey start by consulting on a range of subjects from a client’s diet that week to sore muscles from lawn work. Following up with a 30-minute workout, they finish things off with a massage. It’s the kind of individual attention you’d expect from a facility inside the Residences at Carmel City Center clubhouse. But we don’t want any lip from the partners about catching us at Matt the Miller’s afterward. 720 S. Range Line Rd., Carmel, 317-385-1793,
1214-workouts.spinningRockin’ Spinning Class
Carmel-based InCycle breathes new life into mundane spinning classes with themed music nights every Friday. And like the Dorito habit that sent you to the gym in the first place, these are guilty pleasures. Past workouts have pumped the tunes of hair bands, boy bands, and Beyonce. If you’re lucky, they’ll even pull down a screen so you can watch some  videos while you pedal. 736 Hanover Place, Carmel, 317-805-1867,
1214-ugoHealthy Snack
Fresher than gas-station “energy bars” and engineered for athletes, UGo bars just might go the distance. Made in Bloomington by competitive runners Rebecca Walter and Tracy Gates, the snacks contain locally sourced, gluten-free, vegan ingredients. Which sounds as fun as a marathon in the rain. But the gooey Ultra Cherry Cacao (pecans, cherries, cocoa, and raisins) and salty-sweet Anutter (peanuts, almonds, and flax) taste like dessert and nourish like salad. Find them at Good Earth and Hubbard & Cravens.
1214-YOGAYoga Retreat
With a name like New Harmony, the Southern Indiana town was overdue for a yoga retreat. Two years ago, Invoke Studio rolled up its mats and rolled down for a weekend, and the September pilgrimage has been a hit ever since. The scenic beauty (log cabins, labyrinths, Wabash River) provides a mystical backdrop for three days of yoga, gourmet meals, accommodations at MacLeod Barn Abbey, and meditation. If you want to go, watch for registration in early 2015. 317-631-9642,
Blowout Bar
To be fair, Do-tique introduced the area to the concept of a dedicated blowout bar when it opened late last year. But even in a crowded field, something tells us the scissorless Carmel operation will thrive. For $35, they’ll wash, dry, and style your hair as you sip champagne in a posh space lit by crystal chandeliers. And the stylists can offer tips on how to achieve the look yourself. 110 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-569-6000,
To see all 119 Best of Indy winners, click here.