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.
Equipment: Hoist, LateralX, Keiser, LifeFitness, Precor, Arc Trainer, StepMill
Students should bring: Optional: bottle of water, towel, change of sneakers
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 25+ people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Free street parking
Fitness Unlimited's owners boast more than seven top brands of workout equipment and 28 unique fitness classes on a mere two floors, dedicating every square inch to women's fitness. They invite members to chart their own course toward fitness with solo workouts on the gym floor or one-on-one personal training, or they can take one of more than 80 group classes held each week. Classes cover everything from yoga and barre workouts to full-on strength and endurance training for those preparing for the annual Grand Piano Shoulder Press Grand Prix. The gym's program advisor notes that this variety is key to helping members achieve success. "Frequently throughout the year we have fitness challenges that our members really enjoy," the advisor says. "They feel that it keeps them motivated and encourages them to try new things."