Morton Grove Park District offers ways to get fit in 2013
Yoga instructor Sophia Hui leads a class at the Morton Grove Park District's Prairie View Community Center. Yoga is one of many fitness programs offered by the Park District. | James C. Svehla~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 4, 2013 6:14AM
MORTON GROVE — Instead of waiting until the new year to make one personal pact with herself, Jennifer Kim, recreation supervisor for the Morton Grove Park District, focuses on three ways to improve throughout the year.
“I figure if you have a goal you should just get started,” she said.
Morton Grove resident Andrew Segal said he is fit and exercises nearly daily, but knows there is room for improvement in 2013.
“My resolution is to get to bed early and wake up early,” he said.
Segal is committed to arriving at the gym by 7:30 a.m. before going to work.
“I’ve had this resolution before but I think I’m getting closer and I’m going to do it,” he said. “There is no excuse.”
Many also equate Jan. 1 with a chance to start fresh, be it by losing weight, exercising more, or living a healthier lifestyle in general. As a result, flocks of people are lacing up their shoes and heading to their local gyms.
“I think that people want to feel healthy, want to feel well, and that’s what does it,” said Morton Grove Park District Interim Director Rich Grodsky of the uptick in “get fit” goals come January.
To further encourage residents to start the new year off on a healthy foot, the Park District is offering group exercise classes for free and Club Fitness memberships at a reduced cost during the holidays.
Residents may drop in for yoga, Zumba and indoor cycling classes through Jan. 5.
The goal of encouraging people to try new activities is to foster ongoing exercise habits.
“The issue really gets down to sustainability,” Grodsky said.
The park district aims to offer a wide range of activities, keep up with trends in fitness and address the whole person – both body and mind – to make exercise interesting and exciting.
“The reality of it is – I hate to say this – exercise is boring,” Grodsky said. “But people just have to do something.”
Since supporting wellness is a year-round task, the Park District regularly promotes its 5,000-square-foot fitness facility, located at the Prairie View Community Center, 6834 Dempster St.
Since September, Club Fitness sold over 300 memberships through the popular deal-of-the-day website Groupon.
Currently just under 1,000 members take advantage of the Park District’s fitness and recreational activities. More than a third are seniors.
Exercise, Grodsky explained, “doesn’t stop at the age of 65.”
Fitness regimens can be modified to accommodate a person’s physical ability, he said.
Age and diabetes haven’t prevented Morton Grove resident Rebecca Ramos from hitting the gym. She visits Club Fitness to walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes two to three times a week. Last month she turned 69.
Ramos said she appreciates the social aspects of being a gym member. She has a stationary bike at home, but prefers exercising and chatting with other seniors at Club Fitness.
“It’s nice to see them,” she said. “You miss them when they’re not here.”
As of last week Ramos had not yet settled on a New Year’s resolution. She may not have too much to worry about, however, since staying healthy and active are already part of her weekly routine.
“I enjoy it,” she said of her gym visits.