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.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
Courtney and Corey Nappa complement each other’s skill sets well. Courtney has a wealth of business experience and a passion for beauty, and Corey has years under his belt as a personal trainer and fitness-center manager. They realized that they could combine their skills into an ideal health-club experience, and Ten X Club was born.
On the fitness end of the business, instructors hold group Pilates, yoga, and spin classes. Cardio and weight-lifting rooms feature equipment from manufacturers such as Nautilus and Precor. A kids’ playroom keeps tykes entertained while parents shed sweat. On the other end of the spectrum, the sleekly appointed salon features hair services, mani-pedis, and spray-tanning services in a quiet environment, the air perfumed with the scent of hair products. Here, too, members can send their kids to the playroom while they enjoy grownup relaxation time with beautifying services, adult conversation, and the freedom to eat animal crackers any way they choose.
The Vein & Aesthetic Center of Boston's experienced physicians implement noninvasive aesthetic treatments in order to enhance the body's natural beauty. The FDA-approved Zerona treatment breaks down body fat with low-level lasers. Before treatment, clients meet with an amicable aesthetician for a 30-minute consultation to review the extensive treatment plan that encompasses six 40-minute sessions over a two-week period. Then, clients relax underneath a cold laser light that gently renders superficial fat cells porous, enabling the body's lymphatic system to expunge subterranean chub via widened protoplasmic portals. This fat-cutting procedure is nearly pain-free and requires little to no downtime, allowing clients to resume their daily routines quickly afterward. Patients typically experience results (up to 3–4 inches off the waist, hips, and thighs on average) about a week after completing the six-session regimen.
At Visions HealthCare, a team of doctors and practitioners focuses on health’s fundamentals, taking into account each patient's environment and lifestyle to root out the causes of ailments during acupuncture, nutrition consultations, and other treatments. Functional medicine emphasizes preventative care by identifying the causes of physiological and biochemical disturbances that negatively impact health, and stress-reduction programs counteract the damage done by backbreaking bosses or back-talking pets. Acupuncturists draw upon the ancient practice's tenets to free up energy flow, thereby helping to allay migraines, uro-genital conditions, and allergies. Chiropractic treatments address the biomechanics of each section of the spine, aligning the vertebrae with manual adjustments and supporting the joints with soft-tissue or myofascial treatments. Visions HealthCare rounds out its whole-health focus during spiritual alignment sessions that bolster clients' peace of mind and reduce their tendency to mispronounce chakra.
“It’s the challenging fits—either spectacles or contact lenses—that drive me," writes optician John Parrelli on his website. Since opening his first shop in 1978, these challenges have included cataract sufferers who were left without binocular vision following surgery. Parrelli and his team of lens specialists experimented with different materials, designs, and indices of refraction until they could fabricate a lens thin and strong enough to restore these patients’ sight.
Today, Parrelli Optical has grown to six locations, where optometrists inspect patients' vision with a comprehensive, 15-point eye-health assessment and complete visual analysis. Through digital corneal photography, they're able to diagnose corneal disease and increase the precision and comfort of prescriptions. The locations also host a wide selection of designer frames, ideal for experimenting with different styles, such as wearing 20 frames at once.