Despite being housed in a former chocolate factory, Milton Hill Sport & Spa is more dedicated to burning calories than consuming them. By adopting a holistic approach to health, Milton Hill encourages its members to exercise regularly and practice nutritious eating habits—and it has the resources to back up this approach. Personal training sessions focus on lifestyle and health goals, as opposed to just building muscle or the ability to tolerate sweatbands. Nutritional counseling is tailored to each participant to include vitamins, minerals, and healthy food plans. And spa services, such as massages and facials, help destress members and boost their overall health and wellness.
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."
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.
Channeling more than 60 years of experience in the health-and-fitness industry, Abington and Quincy Athletic Club's management staff has built two family-friendly facilities that aim to bestow each guest with personal treatment. Each building houses at least 20,000 square feet of workout space, including hardwood studios for group classes such as Zumba, Pilates, and Les Mills BodyPump. Cardio and strength gear from Nautilus, Magnum, FreeMotion, and Star Trac accommodates physiques of all fitness levels, from exercise amateurs to those who would rather wall-sit during movie dates. A squad of certified personal trainers and nutrition counselors steers patrons onto a custom pathway to wellness, and childcare services and senior programs broadcast welcoming vibes to club guests of all ages.
Yoga can instill its practitioners with inner strength and peace, and Real Life Yoga helps students capture these qualities through more than just sun salutations. The studio conducts its classes in an environment designed to be non-competitive, welcoming, and lighthearted. Owner Dee Lyon and her team of accomplished teachers welcome brand-new students as well as yoga aficionados, providing mats to those without. The certified instructors encourage safe, healthy sessions, suggesting modifications that can ease stress and prevent discomfort, injury, or getting stuck that way. They offer non-yoga classes, too, including tai chi, self-defense, and a high-energy combination of boxing, dance, and Pilates.
Though Christopher Bopp has won first place three times in a row at the New England Regional Yoga Asana Championships, he does not consider yoga a sport. For him, the art is a daily practice, one that assists with the regular upkeep of his body and mind. He and the certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Quincy hope to pass the basics of the technique on to others, who will in turn interpret them to suit their personal credos.
Because everyone's perception of yoga varies, Christopher encourages guests to attend classes from different instructors. The 90-minute class structure—26 asanas in a toasty studio—remains the same, but each teacher's character illuminates the lesson from a fresh angle. As the instructors’ personalities coalesce under a single yoga style, the end result is a diverse but dedicated community. Familial vibes fill the lobby after every class, when students and instructors can share crisp bites of fruit and figure out who was and was not a heat mirage.