Since its inception in 1916, the YMCA of Greater Miami has opened its doors to whoever needed it. It welcomed African American youths during the Great Depression, hosted military personnel in the 1940s, and gave Cuban refugees a home in the 1960s. Today, it continues the tradition of depolarizing Miami's fractured populous, remaining a haven for people of all faiths, races, ages, and income. Staffers uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they ensure each location is a safe place for members to play, exercise, and strengthen family bonds weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. YMCA of Greater Miami also raises much-needed funding for kids and families who can’t afford the full cost of any of YMCA’s progressive programs.
At the current locations, kids can leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to afterschool programs and day camps. Adults, meanwhile, can take Zumba, boot-camp, and aquatic fitness classes or work out within wellness centers replete with strength-training and cardio equipment. Adult basketball and indoor speed-soccer leagues further help guests flex their competitive spirits in an encouraging environment.
To combat the scourge of sickle cell disease, the Miami-Dade County Chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America goes beyond simple lip service. They frequently educate the public about the disease, an inherited red blood cell disorder that causes a debilitating form of anemia. They also pair their education with cold, hard cash, raising funds through events such as 5Ks and conferences. These resources help provide social services for afflicted Sickle Cell patients and families.
For more information, please visit Sickle Cell Disease Association of America - Miami-Dade County Chapter's website.
Inside Bodytek Fitness, students of all skill levels use their own body weight to tone and firm muscles on TRX-suspension machines and Bosu balance balls. During Bodytek Fitness’s total-body fitness program, trainers spur clients along as they work with resistance bands, free weights, kettlebells, and rowers to improve cardiovascular systems and develop muscle definition. The one-hour workouts include 20–30 minutes of interval cardio to get hearts pumping and burn away the fat stores that cover up muscle tone. The rest of the 60 minutes is spent moving from station to station for new exercises that push through fitness plateaus by shocking the body much more efficiently than wearing your samurai armor to a Tesla-coil expo. Bodytek's other class offerings include yoga, spinning, and mat Pilates.
Forrest Pilates' full-service staff looks after patrons' holistic well being with Pilates workouts, yoga classes, PowerPlate sessions, prenatal classes, massage, and theta healing sessions. Studio owner, certified instructor, and medical intuitive Maria Forrest began practicing Pilates while pregnant with her daughter, discovering that the strengthening classes prepared her body and mind for the rigors of labor and new motherhood.
Now in her own studio in the heart of Little Havana, Maria helps clients of all ages and experience levels to achieve their personal health and wellness goals with a cornucopia of sessions, from kids yoga classes to private Pilates sessions for advanced-level adults. After class, clients can relax with a warm cup of herbal tea and a hug from their abdominal muscles, still hot from their workout.
Even seasoned martial artists like Master Ze Com Fome have difficulty stamping a label on capoeira. The Brazilian art form combines an arresting flurry of martial arts and dance movements, techniques that Ze has been mastering for more than 25 years. At Capoeira Artes Das Gerais Miami, he introduces students to capoeira basics, from the percussive music created by spectators' hands, feet, and hiccups to the noncontact attacks and counterattacks used to trick your opponent into defeat.
Classes at Punch Boxing for Fitness mirror a professional boxer's training regimen. Instructors put participants through drills with heavy bags, jump ropes, speed ropes, and other equipment. There's only one thing missing: the fight. The classes remove all in-ring confrontation, and instead use the sport to burn fat and tone muscles. The classes still impart essential boxing skills, however, in case students ever decide to box competitively.