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Work It Out!

I like to think that I’m a jill-of-all-trades when it comes to trying new sports and enjoying different hobbies. With that said, there are dozens of items on my bucket list that I have yet to explore — adventure races, rock climbing, a triathlon ... and the list goes on.

Still, I have tried many different exercise and fitness classes over the years and enjoyed them immensely. I’ve simply liked being active, and I thank my parents for getting me involved early on in dance and sports.

I was a four-year, three-sport athlete in high school, so when I hit college and became worried that I wouldn’t be exercising daily, I automatically signed up for several intramural sports to keep myself in shape. I also hit the weight room frequently — since it was free to students — and I even took tap dancing as an elective class as a junior. I enjoyed it so much, I took it again my senior year — even though I didn’t need the credit. The combination of those activities kept me in the best shape of my life.

After I graduated, however, I knew I’d have to stay on top of my fitness because I wouldn’t a) be walking or riding my bike to class, b) have the time to visit a gym during the middle of the day in between classes, or c) have multiple sports leagues available at one nearby location.

So, weeks after graduation, one of my closest friends and I enrolled in a summer tap class at a nearby studio and, because we thought it would be fun, we joined a hip hop dance class, too. Our egos took a little hit after we realized our instructor was a senior in high school, but we have many fond memories of that summer.

In fact, I liked the hip hop class so much, I found a hip hop class close to home just a few years ago and participated in an end-of-the-year recital, which brought back memories of the recitals I performed in as a young girl.

Then, I found Zumba classes at my local park district and fell in love with the rhythms and dances that were fun and made me feel like I wasn’t really working out at all. And a friend invited me to play in a co-ed softball league that, while it probably provided more entertainment than exercise, kept me busy for a few summers.

But recently, for the first time in my adult life, I haven’t been enrolled in any fitness class or been a member of any sports team. In fact, because my husband and I were planning to move this past year, I let my gym membership expire. The lack of exercise in my life has been taking its toll — and quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

That’s why I’ve had such a great time putting together our January issue, which focuses on exercising, healthy living and healthy eating. It’s given me some great ideas of ways to get back into a healthy, active lifestyle.

Our cover story takes a look at some of the new and/or unconventional methods of exercising that are available in Kane County. I peeked in at an Xtend Barre class at V Fusion Studio in Geneva, taught by owner Vicky Waterman, and the upbeat ballet/yoga/Pilates workout had me wishing I had brought workout clothes with me. Waterman told me that the class truly does produce results, and it’s brought her back to life. The stories of airobics at Epic Air in South Elgin and Hoopnotica at the Geneva Park District sound equally appealing to me. You’ll have to be the judge for yourself.

We also are embarking on a three-month Lowfat Recipe Of The Month series in which we’ll showcase a different recipe by a local chef to help you on your road to healthy eating.

Don’t miss our story about the hierarchy of everyday beverages  in which a local health expert rates the best — and worst — drinks available today.

And, for those of you who like to look good while you get all hot and sweaty, we’ve got some fashionable — and technologically savvy — winter workout outfits, complements of Athleta.

I’m looking to get back on track in 2013, and I hope that if you’re planning to do the same, you find some great ideas in this issue!

Blessings to you and yours!

— Stephanie N. Grimoldby