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S20 Episode 02: Youth Fitness

Fitness manager Kristina McGrath and trainer Dave Schatz discuss benefits of fitness training for middle school and high school students, including physical health, confidence, fun, social connections and good habits for life.

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Quotes from the episode: “They (middle school students) get a lot (in our workouts). We’re getting the internal health, with keeping them moving, so they get that cardio vascular, but we’re also giving them the ability to create better coordinated movements, both fine motor and gross motor.  We’re building confidence, and we’re building muscle tone, both connective tissue and bone density.  They’re also getting the motivation to create their own plan and keep going with this for the rest of their life.

For the high schoolers, we focus a little more seriously, still keeping it fun. We’re establishing that confidence level and body recognition, so they are comfortable in the body that they have, but also teaching them the skills so that if they choose to make a change, they can do it. And we send them on their way with a good idea that they can do this on their own or they can have someone help them.” – Dave Schatz

“One of the slogans I always like is HWPO – hard work pays off. When you’re putting fitness into your life, you’re learning how to set goals and achieve them. And then seeing really measurable improvements. It’s a great way for kids to learn that I have to work hard, and when I work hard, I see results and achieve my goals. And that’s how that confidence really builds. It’s effort.  I think that carries over into adulthood.

The Fitness Center has really been boosting their ability to see each other. We see 2, 3, or 4 friends coming in to work out together, supporting each other, and giving each other ideas, suggestions and encouragement. It’s really nice to see.” - Kristina McGrath

Learn more about fitness for teens at Fort Hill Fitness

Teen Fitness University is for ages 12-14. Includes three sessions with a personal trainer and the opportunity to join Fort Hill Fitness after successfully completing the training.

Junior Hybrid Fitness is one of the premier classes available for ages 11-14. Next session is scheduled to begin in mid-January 2021. Register here.

High School Strength Camp – a 4-week program for small groups, ages 14 and up. Contact Kristina McGrath at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Sports-specific training classes – available by arrangement with a personal trainer. Contact Kristina McGrath at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Dave Schatz leading an outdoor youth fitness class

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Funds raised through the Naperville Parks Foundation support the Naperville Park District’s Fee Assistance Program. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
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