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.
Koko FitClub’s automated personal-training system rockets both men and women toward fitness goals with 30-minute custom workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training. An initial consultation determines fitness levels and baseline measurements, which Koko’s computerized equipment uses to design a tailored workout plan that precisely measures the weight, pace, and rest time appropriate for each exerciser.
The Koko machines guide exercisers through each workout and adapt as the user’s fitness needs change in order to constantly challenge the body. Designed by professional trainers, workouts maximize the body’s lean-muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and help fight off disease by challenging viruses to kickboxing matches. Exercisers can track their shrinking waistlines and swelling muscles online by analyzing workout scores and comparing individual fitness levels to the Koko FitClub community.
The certified trainers at CATZ Sports Performance Training Centers are focused on motivation, not intimidation. The centers' classes are designed to increase the fitness of attendees of any skill level, including adults with sedentary jobs and children who avoid sports in school and extracurricular environments. While the strength- and conditioning-trained coaches regularly work with professional-level athletes, they motivate attendees through the ever-changing workouts with encouragement and individual attention, instead of barking orders and forcing students to push themselves too far.
All the centers' workouts are clinically designed by these certified trainers to build muscle, trim fat, and boost overall fitness regardless of the attendee's starting point. All sessions keep the student-to-instructor ratio low to ensure the professionals keep students on their toes and injury free. Students work through a dynamic routine of exercises that focus on both cardiovascular conditioning and strength training, including body-weight-based moves, running, and flexibility-boosting techniques such as systematically replacing limbs with rubber bands.
KidsStreet bolsters the minds and bodies of whippersnappers ages 11 months through 9 years within a safe, positive, esteem-building 7,000-square-foot kid-centric facility. Parents opting to treat their progeny to the jungle-gym pass can kick back while wee ones explore a two-story funstructure of rompable slides, tunnels, and board rooms for discussing quarterly projections of candy revenue.
Native Bostonians and Mass Art graduates Caterina Urrata and David Weintraub share a passion for the sinuous geometries of glass. They've shaped that passion under some of the top blowers and lampworkers in the field. Their preferred aesthetic emphasizes intricate form, in stemware and vessels that incorporate the delicate curve of a seahorse's back or mischievously twisting horns over a devilish visage. Sculptures range from eerily suspended bowls held up by their frozen contents to monolithic forms bearing tribalesque patterns. And Weintraub's vetrographs are, if possible, even more inimitable: he devised the process himself, flashing light through carefully constructed glass forms onto photo paper to create images that evoke primitive life forms growing in caves or under subway seats.
The couple practice their delicate craft in a studio-cum-gallery in Newton Upper Falls. Besides providing an eyeful for any glass-loving gawker, they occasionally also offer introductory classes to the multifaceted art.
Whether training one-on-one or leading small-group classes, the trainers at Vitality Personal Fitness Inc. give everyone individualized attention. A cap of eight students per class ensures close supervision as participants swing kettlebells, lift weights, and pull against TRX resistance bands during functional-training exercises. The practicality of these movements effectively enhances not only strength but also agility and balance—skills valued in numerous sports and physical activities.
The trainers’ commitment to wellness expands beyond their clients to encompass the entire planet. Whenever possible, they ride their bikes to the eco-friendly building where they recycle, compost, and use a water-filtration system instead of plastic bottles or coal-powered drinking fountains. To encourage their clients to go green, they offer a $20 gift certificate to members who walk to the studio 10 times.