Getting fit, with some rhythm
Instructor Diane Garvey, of Glenview, leads a R.I.P.P.E.D. fitness class at the Lincolnwood Community Center. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:18AM
LINCOLNWOOD — Skokie resident Rosalie Murphy found herself in a fitness rut a few years ago. Her husband, Eric Selinger, said his running routine had also become stale.
A Latin-infused dance fitness program helped get their bodies moving.
“Zumba really got us doing things regularly,” said Murphy, who has been taking classes weekly with Selinger at the Lincolnwood Community Center since 2010.
“There’s something about the combination of Zumba choreography,” she added. “It keeps us on our toes.”
Selinger said the dance class, hosted by the village’s parks and recreation department, introduces the couple to music they haven’t heard before. And in addition to getting in a good workout, he has gained a healthy dose of confidence.
“At almost 50, I grew up self-conscious and looking goofy on the dance floor,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun not to feel that way.”
Fostering healthy habits with enjoyable activities is a year-round priority for the Lincolnwood Parks and Recreation Department, though January tends be its most active month, according to Katie Smith, the village’s Community Center program supervisor.
“New Year’s resolutions come around and everyone is always hoping to get in shape,” she said.
To help residents to start 2013 off on a healthy foot the parks and recreation department is offering new sessions of its all-ages fitness classes, including a boot camp-style workout led by a U.S. Army-certified personal trainer.
“It’s my busiest time (of the year) for personal training,” noted Bill Kelley, instructor of Lincolnwood’s newest class Bill’s Boot Camp.
“Everyone overeats during holidays,” he said. “It’s a vicious cycle.”
Kelley conducts exercise programs for various private and public organizations in Lake and Northern Cook counties. Though he formerly trained military and government personnel on meeting their fitness goals, Kelley isn’t an in-your-face drill sergeant.
His boot camp program is designed to be a challenging, yet doable, mix of strength training and cardio, he said.
“You’re getting a bit of everything while keeping the heart rate up,” added Smith.
Kelley said the Friday “date night” camp class at the Community Center is an opportunity to mingle with others in a healthy environment.
“It’s socially interactive and lots of fun,” he said. “I make it that way.”
The department’s other heart-pumping class, R.I.P.P.E.D., also provides a total body workout. The one-hour class — which stands for resistance, intervals, power, plyometrics, endurance, and diet — is broken down into six- to nine-minute segments.
“It’s a challenge every time,” said Selinger, a regular R.I.P.P.E.D. participant.
“Right at the moment when I feel strong and mastered the workout, the next (session) starts.”
Not all activity has to be strenuous in order for exercisers to get long-lasting results. The Community Center’s Tai Chi program, taught by a certified instructor from the Arthritis Foundation, is designed specifically for adults aged 45 and up to improve physical ability.
Providing a range of activities helps widen exercise’s appeal, Smith said. So, too, does keeping up with current fitness trends. Zumba became a staple a few years ago when the dance craze started to take off.
Now the center also offers Zumba Gold sessions that modify the moves and pacing of a traditional class to suit the needs of older adults and first-time fitness participants.
Easing into a fitness regimen is key to sticking with it in the long run. Kelley said people who recently started exercising should aim for the 5K before tackling the marathon.
“Take it slow and build up to tangible goals,” he said.
Smith said, with a variation of classes at the community’s disposal, there’s something for everyone when it comes to staying active.
“Just getting out and being a part of (a fitness program) is really what we’re after,” she said.