The start of a new year is the most popular time of year for making resolutions about fitness and wellness. While many start the year with the best of intentions, resolutions often fail to get off the ground or fall by the wayside in a matter of weeks. The Park District of Oak Park (PDOP) wants to help you turn those resolutions into reality, and the Park District’s adult fitness programming is designed to help residents of every fitness level stop wishing and start doing.

Program Supervisor Laura Greeley says that the New Year is a perfect time to reassess and look ahead. “The New Year affords us the perfect opportunity to reflect on our previous successes and also set goals for the upcoming year.”

She recommends setting goals for resolution milestones since most people are motivated by rewards. “For example, if your goal is to lose twenty pounds, focus your efforts on achieving this goal five pounds at a time. Celebrate your success with the first five pounds lost, then chase the next five. This will keep you motivated to achieve the larger goal, and who knows, you may end up losing forty five pounds or deciding you can conquer that 10k.”

Emphasizing that health is a journey not a sprint, Greeley says it is important to understand that change takes time and effort. “Allowing and planning for inevitable bumps in the road and having a strong support system by your side can help you along the way. The Park District of Oak Park takes pride in building community in our classes. Community acts as a natural support system to keep you enthused about your progress. Our passionate instructors take pride in motivating and celebrating our members’ accomplishments, regardless of their goals.”

The PDOP offers programming for all fitness levels to help members meet their New Year’s resolutions. Class size ranges from ten to fifteen people to allow instructors to customize each class and assist with technique correction to ensure that members have a safe and effective workout each class.

There is something for everyone at the Park District. The 2017 schedule has grown to over fifty- five classes each week, ranging from total body conditioning classes such as Body Pump™, Cardio HIIT, Cycle Circuit, Kettleworx, Pilates, Barre and POUND® to dance formats Zumba® and Werq®, with yoga classes for the mind/body connection.

The PDOP offers fitness classes at convenient locations throughout Oak Park at the Ridgeland Common Recreation Complex (415 Lake St.) the Gymnastics and Recreation Center (21 Lake St.) Stevenson Center (45 Lake St.) as well as the Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center (167 Forest Ave.) and upstairs in the Fitness studios at the Dole Center (255 Augusta St.).

Class times vary to allow workouts when it suits your schedule. Morning classes begin as early as 5:45 a.m. for those who want to get in a workout before heading to work. For those who prefer to hit the snooze button, classes are held throughout the day until 8:15 p.m. Greeley says the Park District has also adjusted class formats to offer more thirty and forty-five minute options to accommodate busy schedules.

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