Inside Athletic Evolution, a 30,000-square-foot sports complex, seasoned trainers craft fun, customizable workouts from functional movements designed to build strength, stamina, and flexibility. Filled with running, barbell drills, and bodyweight exercises, each small-group class draws inspiration from Olympic events such as track and field, naval warfare, gymnastics, and weightlifting. Abs and arms ripple as students wield kettlebells and climb 25-foot ropes that dangle from the ceiling, and the facility's 65 yards of indoor turf set the stage for sprints, prowler pushes, and impromptu lawnmower races.
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.
Husband-and-wife team and Prana Power Yoga cofounders Philippe and Taylor Wells foster an environment in which clients can explore holistic wellness through yoga, intensive workshops, and events. Instructors at each heated studio locations roll out the welcome yoga mats, encouraging students of all interests and skill levels, from mothers-to-be to veteran sun saluters, to build strong bodies and peaceful minds in a judgment-free environment. During athletic Vinyasa-style yoga classes, certified instructors crank up temperatures as high as 99 degrees before taking mat mavens through a sequence of sweaty postures linked with mindful breathing exercises designed to boost lung capacity to Sting-like levels. Meanwhile, visitors in search of a transformative experience can attend one of the studio's workshops or events, which range from juice cleanses to destination yoga retreats in Nayarit, Mexico.
True to its name, Today's Fitness Center embraces an ultramodern ethos in its spacious, high-ceilinged gym, with flat screens buzzing above high-tech treadmills and weight machines. Instructors lead groups in interval training classes—popular, effective workouts built on high-intensity movements and constantly varied exercises. Kids play in a toy-filled paradise at the gym's daycare while parents take Zumba and Pilates classes or focus on spinning, lifting free weights, and bending iron bars. Personal trainers help members of all fitness levels maximize the efficiency of their workouts.
Though dance is a great form of exercise, it's equally a great form of self-expression. That's the idea behind Shine On Performing Arts, a dance studio that focuses on not just the discipline of dance, but also artistry and fun. Children combine an appreciation for fitness with fancy footwork in such dance styles as hip-hop, ballet, and jazz, helping them potentially work up to a spot on the studio's competitive dance team. Adults immerse themselves in creative workouts such as the dance-heavy Zumba, barre fitness, and ballet bootcamp, which teaches students to lace a pointe shoe blindfolded.
The instructors and massage therapists at Zen Muscular Therapy & Wellness Center rely on yoga and Pilates classes, massages, bodywork sessions, and energy healing to keep bodies and minds in optimum condition. They work on bodies in yoga and Pilates classes, guiding participants through moves that challenge muscles and increase flexibility, and on massage tables, where they perform everything from injury work to lymphatic drainage massage.
They relax minds and rejuvenate spirits during bodywork sessions, which rely on hot stones and aromatherapy, and during energy healing appointments, which rely on Reiki and energy healing techniques. The wellness experts also perform private meditation sessions that teach clients how to relax their minds and finally stop singing "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" over and over in their heads.