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Your Tewksbury Today

Invigorating Workout or Relaxing Spa Day? Why Not Both?

Jun 30, 2014 07:31AM ● By Bill Gilman

Nora and Edmund Araya own and operate RelaXercise Fitness Spa.

On the surface, a gym is everything a spa is not.
At a gym, you get hot and sweaty and your heart rate accelerates for maximum cardiovascular benefit. At a spa, you cool down, you breathe slower and your blood pressure drops for maximum relaxation.
The gym and the spa -- never the twain shall meet.
That is, until last year, when Nora and Edmund Araya opened "RelaXercise Fitness Spa" at 1445 Main St. Nora Araya says the three most important attributes RelaXercise offers its clients are convenience, privacy and one-on-one personal attention.
"As a mother, I've always wanted a 'one-stop shop,'" she said, "some place where I could come and bring my child and not have to pack up all over again to go to another place."
With much more square footage than it appears from the outside, RelaXercise has two rooms dedicated to fitness training. The Arayas offer spin classes and one-on-one personal training, as well as Insanity, BootCamp, Zumba, Kettle Ball, Tabata, Yoga and even Zumba for Kids Classes.
According to Nora, clients find the smaller class sizes and private workout areas to be less intimidating than larger, open-space gyms.
"I think, especially for women, this can be more comfortable. In some of the bigger gyms, you can feel like you're (on display), like everyone is watching you," she said. "In our spin classes, for example, all the bikes are in a circle facing each other. You don't feel like someone is staring at you're (backside)."
Both Nora and Edmund teach classes at the club, though by day, Edmund works as an engineer for Intel.
While there is plenty of room for exercising, the Spa side of the business does not get shortchanged. There is a room for manicures and pedicures, as well as a room for deep tissue massage and aroma therapy and another room dedicated to Reiki. RelaXercise even offers spray tanning (with organic products) and the new "Wrap" therapy.
"We are walking advertisements," said Nora. "We will try all the products first before we bring them in here."
There is also a children's play room, where the kids can play safely while mom or dad is busy.
While many of the services offered by RelaXercise are popular with women, the facility is gender-neutral.
"We're definitely not women-only. We have several men as clients," said Nora. "We have men come in for personal training or for fitness classes. But some come in for manicures or pedicures."
If there is one notable difference that sets RelaXercise apart from gyms or spas, it's the overall atmosphere. Rather than walking into an office, visitors get the sense they are walking into the Araya's living room, complete with gracious decor, including a love seat and flowers. There is also complimentary fruit, water and coffee.
"I'm from Honduras and my husband is from Costa Rica and when we visited Costa Rica, the people there were very welcoming. It was very much a family atmosphere and that's what we wanted here," said Nora.
RelaXercise does not have contracts but does offer membership packages. A three-month or six-month package includes unlimited participation in all of the classes offered on the schedule.
For more information on RelaXercise Fitness Spa and the services they offer, you can check them out online at

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