7 Weeks Until the Firecracker 5K: The Perfect Amount of Time to Start Training!

Posted May 19, 2014 by Warrenville Park District
Categories: 5K Race Training, Firecracker 5K Run/Walk, Fitness Goals, Fitness Routine, Jogging, Running, Warrenville Park District

Tags: , , , , ,

Need some motivation to reach your fitness goals? How about joining us for our annual Firecracker 5K Run/Walk on Friday, July 4?

Firecracker 5K logo14Now is the perfect time to begin a training plan so you can be ready to participate as either a runner or walker at the event. Not only is the 5K a fun community event, but having a goal to work toward may help you stay motivated to exercise, and a 5K race is an attainable goal for any runner (or walker) since it’s just 3.1 miles.

According to May Clinic, a 7-week training schedule is perfect to prepare for a 5K; theirs can be found here.

“This 5K training schedule incorporates a mix of running, walking and resting. This combination helps reduce the risk of injury, stress and fatigue while boosting your enjoyment of physical activity. Remember, you can run or walk slowly to help your body adjust to this 5K training schedule.

“As the weeks progress, you’ll gradually increase the amount of time running and reduce the amount of time walking. If you’re adapting the training for a 5K walk, then you always walk…”Firecracker 5K 13 KR 357

If you plan to run, “most coaches agree that you need to run three or four days a week. During one of those weekly runs, you should focus on increasing the amount you can run at one time until you build to at least the race distance, or the equivalent amount of time spent running,” according to Runners World. “Most of your running during the week should be at a comfortable pace. This is especially true for runners who simply want to finish the race. But since adding some faster training to your schedule is the best way to improve your speed and endurance, even novices should consider doing some quicker running.”

Other general tips for a successful 5K include don’t begin the race at a pace that’s too fast — start at a comfortable pace and try to run each mile just a little bit faster; don’t eat too much on race morning — something like a banana and a glass of skim milk is perfect; make sure to warm up and cool down properly — mix walking and jogging. You can sign up for the Firecracker 5K at warrenvilleparks.org or signmeup.com. Hope to see everyone on July 4!

By Kama Nevious, FitnessNOW Supervisor

The Best Health & Wellness Fair EVER

Posted February 18, 2014 by Warrenville Park District
Categories: Cardiovascular health, Exercise Benefits, Firecracker 5K Run/Walk, Fitness Goals, Fun, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Heart, Personal Trainer, Strength, Warrenville Park District, Wellness


What if you could gather information about how to stay healthy, discover if the state of Illinois owes you money, partake of free food, win a fabulous prize when you enter a drawing, go on a scavenger hunt (more prizes!), get answers to your questions about the Affordable Care Act, take a tour of our FitnessNOW Center, learn about some great new WPD programs, have your blood pressure screened, and receive a free gift — all in one morning and all right in your own neighborhood? And all for free?

Join us for our Health & Wellness Fair from 9:00-noon Tuesday, March 11 at the Warrenville Park District Recreation Center, 3S260 Warren Ave.

We take our mission of “providing opportunities that enrich the mind, body and spirit” very seriously, so we hope you’ll stop by.

This is just a sampling ofWPD Putting the Pieces Together 0214 what you can do during the event:

· Learn about how the Affordable Care Act will impact you and your family from representatives of DuPage County Community Services

· Pick up useful, usable health and wellness information for all ages, including seniors, from organizations like the Illinois Department on Aging

· Use the Illinois State Treasurer’s I-Cash program to see if the state owes you money

· Win prizes by going on a fun scavenger hunt in the Rec Center and entering drawings

· Learn about the facilities, programs, and upcoming events offered by the Warrenville Park District, including a variety of new art programs taught by a local artist, a new FitnessNOW plan that includes access to all of our facilities and all classes, adult softball leagues, and birthday parties with inflatable fun — just to name a few

· Graze on free food (we may even grill out if the weather is nice enough!)

· Find out what your blood pressure is

· Get a free gift (offer limited to first 150 guests)

· Save money by getting a $5 off coupon to use on an upcoming Warrenville Park District class

 So plan to stop by the Warrenville Park District Health & Wellness Fair — it’ll be the best one you’ve ever attended and admission is free. And, if you bring in this blog, you’ll receive a free gift. Hope to see you March 11!

By Tim Reinbold, WPD Superintendent of Recreation

Top 9 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick in 2014!

Posted January 3, 2014 by Warrenville Park District
Categories: Fitness Goals, Motivation, New Year's Resolutions, Warrenville Park District

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We’ve all done it time and time again: we’ve made resolutions for the new year with the best of intentions, but failed miserably. By the second week of January, even. Make 2014 a different story with these tips:Happy New Year 7

1. Recognize that humans have a limited amount of willpower and don’t try to do too much. Give yourself one challenge at a time.

2. Be realistic. If your resolution is losing 5 pounds a week, you probably aren’t going to be successful. Set an attainable goal that you need to stretch a bit to reach.

3. Break up your resolution(s) into small tasks. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, make your resolutions working out three times a week, eating a healthy dinner every day, and walking whenever you can. Small changes seem more manageable and you’ll see wins right away, which can be motivating.

4. Write down your goals. Research has shown written goals get achieved more than mental vows. Post a list of goals in a place where you’ll see them often and share them with friends and family members.

5. Post visual cues that can help motivate you. For example, if your goal is to save enough money to take a vacation to the Caribbean, post pictures of beaches in places where you’ll see them often.

6. Track your progress. Showcasing your accomplishments will give you motivation to keep going.

7. Reward yourself. Set up an incentive program that will help provide you with motivation. For new year's resolutions dreamexample, for every week you work out at least three times a week, treat yourself to a movie.

8. Anticipate obstacles and try to avoid them. If you find yourself binging on chips at 4:00 every afternoon, eat an apple at 3:30.

9. When you find your willpower wearing down, do something that puts you in a good mood.

10. Cut yourself some slack. Yes, you want to stick to your resolutions and make them life-long habits. But let’s face it — some days are harder than others. Life happens. Focus on what you’ve accomplished so far and keep going. Tomorrow will be better.

And by the way, if your New Year’s resolution is to get in better shape, join us for the Warrenville Park District FitnessNOW Center’s annual open house from 10:00 a.m.-noon Saturday, Jan. 4. You can take a tour of the facility and sign up for a FREE week Flex Pass good from Jan. 6-Jan. 12, where you can try out our eligible group fitness programs. Happy New Year!

By Kama Nevious, FitnessNOW Supervisor


Top 10 Tips for Running (Walking?) Your First Firecracker 5K

Posted June 21, 2013 by Warrenville Park District
Categories: Firecracker 5K Run/Walk, Fitness Goals, Fun, Jogging, Motivation, Running, Warrenville Park District

Tags: , , , ,

Firecracker5K 2013_color_runner-1-25-13 You know you want to. You’ve been meaning to get back into running —or start running — for awhile. But you’re  worried. Maybe even intimidated. You’re not really athletic. You don’t have a lot of time to devote to exercising. You don’t even know how to start.

You’ve got lots of excuses, but c’mon — get up off the couch and join us for the annual Firecracker 5K Run/Walk at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, July 4. It’s easy, it’s exhilarating, and it’s good for you!

Here’s what you need to do to get started:

  1. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
  2. Sign up for the race at signmeup.com or warrenvilleparks.org.
  3. Get good shoes. Have a professional assist you. This is not the place to skimp. Get socks designed for running, too.
  4. Start slow. Ease into your 5K training plan. Start with 20– to 30-minute sessions three times a week where you walk and gradually increase the time and distance you run or jog. Build mileage gradually. You will feel some muscle aches; consult your doctor if you feel severe pain at any time. Soreness is normal; stabbing pain is not. If you’re feeling out of breath, slow down. Many new ruFNFD062113nners make the mistake of running too fast.
  5. Avoid running on consecutive days; instead cross-train by swimming, cycling, or taking a fitness class. Keep a training log so you can see your progress. Set small, achievable goals.
  6. Know it’s not always going to be fun. You probably will experience some setbacks as you train, and some times when your motivation is low and your self-doubt is high. Keep going. It will be worth it. It gets easier.
  7. Consider joining a running group to keep motivated; the park district’s Happy Feet Running program begins July 8 and goes for 8 weeks.
  8. On race day, remember there is no shame in walking. Pace yourself from the start. Keep hydrated (at the water station, grab a cup, pinch it, and drink).
  9. After you cross the finish line, celebrate!
  10. Remember — you are a runner now! “I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner,” said Bart Yasso.

Fifteen Fabulous Fitness Holiday Gift Ideas

Posted November 29, 2012 by Warrenville Park District
Categories: Body & Spirit, Fitness Gifts, Fun, Warrenville Park District

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Giving the gift of health and fitness is priceless; here are some ideas for everyone on your shopping list, from least expensive to most expensive.

  1. Magazine subscription to a fitness publication, such as Men’s Health, Fitness, or Runner’s World. $10-25
  2. Magnetic yoga: “The Magnetic Yoga 63-Piece Set features one-inch tiles that you simply snap apart and put on any magnetic surface. You get 63 different poses, in a variety of colors, complete with both the Sanskrit and English names. They can be rearranged to create numerous unique yoga routines…” $11.99
  3. ASICS “A” Swirl LED light: keep safe when exercising outdoors in the dark. “Four powerful red LED bulbs with 6 different sequences provide one-mile visibility when attached by built-in magnet to any garment. Replaceable battery.” $12.95
  4. Duro-Med Pedal Exerciser: “The pedal exerciser stimulates circulation and muscle strength. Place the unit on a table to exercise the arms or enjoy bicycle-type exercises from your chair.” $19.75
  5. GoFit Core Disk: “Full-body training tool inflates or deflates for varied levels of difficulty. Adjusts easily with standard ball pump and needle. Core disk measures 13 inches in diameter.” $21.45
  6. Fitness Anywhere Kit: “With the Total Body Toning Kit, you can sculpt and tone right in your own home. Perfect for beginners and experts alike, the Kit includes a 65-cm balance ball, 3 resistance bands and a workout DVD.” $24.99
  7. Takeya Water Infusion Jug: “Create any flavor of fruit infused water: lemon, orange, lime, strawberry, kiwi or a combination of fruits. Made from BPA free Acraglass™, the Fruit Infusion Jug lets anyone create homemade fruit infused water in minutes.” $24.99
  8. The 4-Hour Body book: “The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation.” $27.00 list price
  9. Gaiam Audio Yoga Mat: “Listen to music or audio yoga practice. Compatible with both an iPod & MP3 Player…” $28.27
  10. Zip™ Wireless Activity Tracker: “Get a kick out of fitness with this little device. It tracks your steps, distance, and calories burned – and syncs those stats to your computer and select smartphones.” $59.95
  11. Gaiam Balance Ball Chair: “Created by leading health and fitness experts to improve your back health. Employs the same balance ball used in your workout routine.  Helps build a healthier back, align the spine, relieve pain, and improve your overall well-being.” $63.98
  12. Polar FT4 Heart Monitor: “Shows when you’re improving fitness based on your heart rate, displays calories burned, comes with comfortable fabric transmitter and coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk.” $99.95
  13. AudioFlood Waterproof iPod Shuffle: “Completely Waterproof up to 200 ft. Waterproof Headphones Included.  15 hrs of battery life, 2GB of storage (enough space for over 500 songs).  Built in clip to easily attach to goggle strap, shirt, or anywhere else you would like.” $135.00
  14. Folding bicycle: “Folding bicycles allow for easy transport and storage. The nicest folding bicycles often collapse the fastest and smallest. Many folding bicycles easily stow in small specially designed bags for public transit use and work storage ease, states online transportation resource website Transportation Alternatives.” $200-$2,000
  15. Warrenville Park District gift certificates: great for any occasion, and they come in all sizes! Gift certificates can be used for a variety of programs and services. Call 630.393.7279 for more information.

Do you have any ideas for great fitness gifts? Please share them with me!

Happy holidays, and here’s to a fit 2013!

Make Just a Few Changes to Eliminate Calories and Fat from Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted November 16, 2012 by Warrenville Park District
Categories: Healthy Eating, Warrenville Park District

Tags: , , , , ,

What if I told you that making a few simple changes to your Thanksgiving menu could significantly reduce the number of calories and amount of fat you consume, and nobody is probably even going to notice how much healthier they are eating?

You don’t believe me?

It’s true.

Here are some ideas for healthy recipes you and your family will be thankful for.

In the article “Thanksgiving: The Ultimate Meal Makeover!” the Cleveland Clinic promises a menu that cuts calories by about one third and fat by 89% over traditional fare.  Recipes include minted fruit kabobs, herb and apple stuffing, cream cheese whipped potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes in an orange-brown sugar glaze, lemon-Dijon green beans, and pumpkin pie with whipped topping. See, sounds pretty good, right?

The folks at foodnetwork.com are showcasing their “Healthy Thanksgiving Menu,” which includes two appetizers, antipasto sausage skewers and spinach and green apple salad; turkey roulade with apple-cider gravy, jewel roasted vegetables, smashed potatoes with sour cream and chives; mashed sweet potatoes with orange essence; and pear ginger crumble.

Thanksgiving recipes: Delicious and healthy options” offered by MayoClinic.com include a wide range of recipes under the following categories: soups and salads, turkey and stuffing, side dishes, bread and muffins, and healthy desserts.  Some of the recipes that caught my eye are pumpkin soup, glazed turkey breast with fruit stuffing, acorn squash with apples, pumpkin-hazelnut tea cake, and rustic apple-cranberry tart. Yum!

If you’re skeptical, this year maybe you only want to try a few new healthful recipes before overhauling your entire menu. Who knows? You may start all-new, all-healthy traditions that everyone will be thankful for!

And some general eating tips to keep in mind as the holiday season approaches from WebMD.com: don’t skip exercising, don’t skip breakfast, watch your portions, skip seconds, eat slowly, and watch your alcohol intake.

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!

Top 10 Reasons to Take a Boot Camp Exercise Class

Posted November 9, 2012 by Warrenville Park District
Categories: Boot Camp, Cardiovascular health, Exercise Benefits, Flexibility, Muscular fitness, Strength, Warrenville Park District

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boot Camp at the Warrenville Park District consists of a variety of strength and cardio exercises that are challenging no matter what your level of fitness.

It kind of sounds intimidating: Boot Camp. Nonsense!

Although the name “boot camp” was inspired by military training, boot camp exercise classes are not as extreme as their military counterparts. If you want a great workout with results, you may want to consider taking a boot camp-style exercise class.

“Boot camps can vary, but generally include a fairly intense mix of strength training and aerobic elements,” according to MayoClinic.com.

When you take a boot camp exercise class you:

  1. Are challenged.
  2. Become more confident; often that confidence extends into other aspects of your life.
  3. Build strength and tone muscles.
  4. Build endurance.
  5. Increase agility.
  6. Get support and motivation and greater results from camaraderie in the class.
  7. Get a whole-body workout.
  8. Give your mind not just your body – a workout.
  9. Burn calories. According to a study cited by MayoClinic.com, “the average exerciser burns approximately 9.8 calories per minute during a typical boot camp workout.”
  10. Won’t get bored.

The Warrenville Park District offers Boot Camp every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:45-6:30 a.m. The class consists of a 5-minute warm up, 35 minutes of cardio and strength training, and a 5-minute cool down and stretch period. The workout is challenging for all levels of fitness, and no class is ever the same.

Lori, who has been going to Warrenville Park District FitnessNOW Boot Camp class “since Day one,” started to get more in shape and has kept coming because she likes the “hard and good workout…You feel so good after you’ve done it – you have such a sense of accomplishment,” she said.

You can pay for Warrenville Park District Boot Camp classes on a per-class basis, or you can purchase a Flex Pass, which allows you to take any group exercise class, any time, for one single fee.

If you’re not sure whether you’ll enjoy boot camp, you can take the first one for free! Just call 630.393.7279 for details.

As with any activity, “if you’re older than age 40, pregnant, haven’t exercised for some time or you have health problems, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a boot camp class,” recommends MayoClinic.com.

Now get down and give me 20 pushups! (Just kidding!)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.