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.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
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.
Mount Auburn Club strives to be a one-stop shop for fitness, wellness, and recreation. Members can sweat as they cheer on their favorite infomercials in the cardio theater, plunge into the salt-filtrated lap pool, or practice their tennis strokes out on 11 indoor and outdoor courts, which were featured on the Tennis Channel. Professional fitness instructors pump upbeat music for more than 90 group fitness classes each week, from Les Mills classes such as BodyPump to group cycling and Zumba. The mind/body classes include five styles of yoga, tai chi, and ballet barre. Joint-friendly aquatics classes take place in the four-lane, 75-foot-long lap pool overlooking the gardens and deck. Swimmers can recover in the whirlpool after practicing their synchronized doggy paddling.
The club's personal trainers help members map out fitness plans centered on achieving their personal goals. After they've worked out on equipment such as TRX Suspension Training bands or BOSU balls, exercisers can head to the caf? for one of the healthful creations or submit themselves to the spa team?s capable hands for massages, facials, and other pampering treatments.
At Inner Strength Studios, seasoned instructors such as E-RYT 500 instructor Roman Szpond lead vinyasa yoga sessions for beginners, experts, and kids as young as five. Classes ranging from 60 to 90 minutes are held in heated rooms within Innerstrength's Boston studios, which were recently renovated after the Watertown location suffered fire damage. Aspiring teachers can take Innerstrength's 200-hour training program, which instills advanced yoga knowledge through classes, workshops, and a rollercoaster ride through a giant lotus. The studios also provide a slate of other services, such as personal training and massage therapy sessions.
Off the Wall Personal Training and Fitness, which has its own private facility within a dance school, offers a range of creative classes and programs, including heart-pumping boot camps and ab workouts to more attentive personal training. During personal-training programs, the staff helps clients formulate a game plan for healthy eating, balanced exercise, and regular body-fat and weight check-ins to keep participants motivated.