The doctor didn’t have good news for Laura. She was overweight and was diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, and sleep apnea. She had lived long enough with aching joints, and decided a change was in order. On Laura’s birthday, she unwrapped a Zumba DVD set. The high-energy routine captivated Laura while helping her become a healthier, more fit individual. Now a licensed Zumba instructor herself, Laura helps others take control of their own health. The studio’s sound system blasts Latin music while students stomp, spin, and sashay their bodies through dance styles that include hip-hop and mambo.
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.
At Bikram Yoga Waverley, it's always summer—at least, it feels that way. The sultry studio stays hot no matter the season, thanks to its full slate of Bikram yoga classes. The studio's team of seasoned instructors each received certification in the signature 26-pose hot yoga style that mimics the sultry heat found in India during its annual relocation to the sun. The studio itself sports a purpose-built heating system and floors designed to stay hygienic and forgiving. During classes, students sweat away equal parts calories and self-doubt, reshaping physiques while honing mental intangibles including patience, determination, and willpower.
Waverley Oaks Athletic Club was founded in 1979 as a racquetball club by a family focused on fitness. Over the years, they added on to the club, creating a 55,000-square-foot facility with modern workout equipment, fitness classes, and amenities such as a nursery and heated indoor pool. In addition to its four regulation-size racquetball courts, Waverley Oaks now also houses facilities for volleyball, basketball, and spinning. Strength training and cardio rooms provide dumbbells of up to 120 pounds and more than 10 types of cardio machines. Groups can stretch their muscles in yoga classes or prepare for community theater roles as Jean-Claude Van Damme in kickboxing classes.
Warrior Nation's intense boot-camp workouts challenge participants to get fit, shed weight, and finally learn how to properly apply warpaint. The dynamic workouts are held in parks and include everything from interval training to plyometrics. The focus on functional exercise?plus the outdoor location?hammers home the fact that you don't need a gym to get in great shape.
The instructors at Tokyo Joe's Studios/Dragon's Eye CrossFit know that each day provides new challenges?and so they train their students to face them. One way if through CrossFit classes, which use varied workouts to keep students on their toes as they build strength and endurance. Each workout is designed to prepare participants for any kind of physical exertion they might face, from lifting heavy objects to jumping over hurdles on their morning commute.
On the karate side, kids and adults train in more traditional martial arts forms that have been passed down for centuries. The kids' program focuses on discipline and building self-esteem while teaching kids how to protect themselves from bullies. Adult classes are available too, in which instructors establish basic techniques culled from a variety of disciplines, including tempo, jiujitsu, and MMA.