How to Stay Healthy in Jamaica Plain

Use our healthy neighborhood guide to Jamaica Plain to learn where to work out, grab some grub, and get some fresh air in one of Boston's most eclectic neighborhoods.

Lilac Sunday

Photo courtesy of Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Healthy takes a whole new meaning in Jamaica Plain, where bike riding is the main method of travel and getting fresh air in big and beautiful green spaces (sans car fumes) is plentiful, but if you’ve just moved, need a new place to grab a smoothie, or are in search of a gym close to home, we’ve picked out the best spots to stay healthy in one of Boston’s most eclectic communities. Please note: Save the J.P. Licks for after a hard workout—ice cream and strenuous exercise don’t mix well.

Where to Work Out

JP Centre Yoga: Drop in for a $6 community class to see if this studio is right for you. Offering over 60 classes per week, with everything from Fundamentals, Yin/Restorative, and Pranayama, the studio caters to both beginners and more advanced yogis. Aligning with their mission of embracing diversity and establishing a community, they also offer a work-study program where students can trade work hours for yoga classes. Want to catch a class taught by Ame Wren (a former Best of Boston winner for yoga instructor)? She can be found teaching Iyengar and Ashtanga styles of yoga. 670 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-942-8936,

JP Centre Yoga

JP Centre Yoga / Photo provided

Mike’s Fitness: Ready to pick up some weights but don’t know where to begin? Stop by this helath club located at the Samuel Adams Brewery Complex just one block from the Stony Brook T station for one of their new Small Team Training classes. You’ll be put into a group and taught how to use free weights, kettle bells, and medicine balls. Or you can sign up for one-on-one personal training. They also have classes ranging from yoga to cycling. If you just want to do your own thing, take advantage of the 10,000 square foot facility space, boasting more equipment than you probably know what to do with. 284 Amory St. #2, Jamaica Plain, 617-524-6357,  

Boston Pilates: Not ready to get on a Pilates apparatus on your own? No problem. Take a private session with an instructor at Boston Pilates to be fully immersed in the method of the workout and enjoy a class completely tailored to you. They also offer two-person and three-person sessions, perfect for you and your friends to enjoy a combination of that fun group-feel as well as an individualized experience. If you’re a Pilates-pro, sign up for their popular Total Workout System classes which incorporate Mat, Tower, and Reformer and for more advanced groups, try the infamous Wunda Chair160 Green St., Boston, 617-524-0118,

Boston Pilates

Boston Pilates / Photo credit Travis Magee

Where to Eat

Juicygreens: Jamaica Plain dwellers, fear not: You can drink green juice from the comfort of your neighborhood, too, thanks to this new spot on South Street. Owned and operated by a public school teacher and family medicine doctor, their juices are “kid-tested and physician-approved,” offering juice cleanses and other menu items like vegetable-heavy bowls, toasts, and mylks. If you’re not ready for a full-blown cleanse, try out their blue magic smoothie, which is totally Instagrammable, if you ask us. 61 South St., Jamaica Plain, 857-203-9976,

Vee Vee: Serving up seasonal and sustainable American fare from small and/or local producers around Massachusetts, this casual yet elegant dining spot is a perfect weekend date night spot or weekday dinner-out option. Munch on seared scallops, chilled beet hash, or potato-crusted pollock—but don’t get too attached to an entrée, as the menu changes with the seasons. 763 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-522-0145,

Vee Vee

Vee Vee pan-roasted halibut, summer vegetables, tomato-saffron broth / Photo credit Dan Valachovic

Egleston Farmers Market: Spend your Saturday morning perusing rows of fresh berries, local veggies, and slurping down oysters from Red’s Best at the Edleston Farmers Market on Germain Street. The summer market is open every Saturday from 10 a.m.-2p.m. but they are also open during the fall and winter months. With a mission to make local, healthy food accessible to everyone in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, the farmers market welcomes EBT cards, and SNAP recipients can earn benefits through the Healthy Incentives Program. 29 Germain St., Jamaica Plain, 617-283-6914,

Where to Get Some Fresh Air

Arnold Arboretum: Free and open to the public, and occupying over 281 acres, this park within Fredrick Law Olmstead’s Emerald Necklace is a green-space oasis for plant-lovers and city-dwellers just needing to get away from the city’s noisy and crowded streets. Home to 15,000 living plants, which represent 4,000 kinds of trees, shrubs, and vines, we recommend taking a guided tour or a jog around the perimeter to log a quick 2.6 miles while enjoying the views. 125 Arborway, Boston, 617-524-1718,