The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
At The Clubs at Charles River Park, the path to lighter and leaner physiques leads clients through indoor and outdoor training facilities. Those areas?from lap pools to row upon row of cardio and strength equipment?set the stage for individual workout sessions as well as motivational fitness classes focused on functional training.
In these sessions, certified trainers might lead groups through yoga poses or teach boot-campers to swing kettlebells. The trainers also work with clients in one-on-one sessions, and lead aquatic high-intensity interval training sessions in the pool. But whatever the workout, most visits to The Clubs at Charles River Park end in same place: the locker room, where saunas give exercisers and the imaginary Mickey Goldmills who coach them a relaxing reward.
Continuing the mission started in London more than 160 years ago, YMCA Smithfield provides quality, accessible fitness and wellness programs to families. Members enjoy full access to the center's fitness opportunities, whether they're burning calories in the gym, gliding through laps in the pool, or joining fellow members in classes ranging from kickboxing to Pilates. YMCA Smithfield also houses the organization's signature children's programming, helping kids get ready for school with pre-K enrichment or prepping them for a semester abroad in Atlantis with swim lessons. Before- and afterschool programs also give kids a safe spot to play while parents are at work.
The NAUI-trained diving instructors at Cuzins Outdoors specialize in turning ocean-shy beginners into full-fledged scuba masters. Students stretch across a wide spectrum of age and experience, training in the program that best suits their individual needs, from introductions to recreational diving to advanced certification courses. In basic classes, pupils learn to submerge in the controlled setting of the Cuzins swimming pool, whereas more experienced divers can team up with an expert teacher to add to their existing skills with specialized training in areas such as ice diving and exploring wrecks. Cuzins Outdoors also rents and sells equipment and gear, even altering wetsuits to mend a busted zipper or add tweed elbow patches.
Raynham Athletic Club is a family-oriented club with classes for all ages. In addition to a full weight room stocked with Hammer Strength weights, resistance machines, and Cybex circuit-training machines, the club also has a cardio theater populated with Precor machines including treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals. For guided fitness, trainers lead personal-training sessions as well as more than 15 group exercise classes such as yoga, Pilates, Zumba, basic fitness, aqua aerobics, and kids' fitness.
At American Health Fitness Center members build muscle and burn fat with a wide range of workouts, classes, and activities, from hoisting free weights, to running track, or moving to Zumba beats. Visitors tone muscles and set fire to excess calories with TRX suspension workouts or laps in the king-size heated exercise pool. Afterward, they can reward their hard-working bodies with a therapeutic massage or sessions in the whirlpool or steam room instead of buying it another edible arrangement. A wide range of activities keep clients committed to their fitness, with classes in using Eliptigo machines, gravity training, and nutritional counseling.