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Staying Active by Anna Aquino Fort Hill Fitness Personal Trainer


I hope all of our Fort Hill friends and family are staying healthy during these strange and unprecedented times.  I know that it can be very frustrating and isolating to be stuck at home, unable to visit the Rec Center and see all of the familiar faces of fellow members and staff.  To be sure, the staff misses all of you as well.  I wanted to reach out and offer some suggestions that you may use to keep active during your stay at home time.

Of course, with the weather getting nicer every day, we can always go outside and walk or run, keeping in mind that 6 foot separation from others.  For those of us with dogs, we are getting that walk in whether we want it or not!  But if you are wanting some other things that you might do, you need just look around your house for inspiration.  For example, do you live in a house or building that has stairs?  You can add some stair climbing to your weekly activities.  You can climb those stairs at your normal pace, or if you need additional challenge, run some of them, skip some of them, or lunge up onto some of them.  Hop up, side squat up or down, and stand on the edge to do some calf raises are more examples of how you can utilize the stairs as part of your fitness journey.  These types of activities, will challenge your cardiovascular system as well as helping to maintain some muscle on the legs and glutes.  The lower body as a whole is widely considered the largest muscle group in the body.  It is important to maintain muscle on the body in order to maintain function and mobility,  as well as to keep the metabolism running optimally.

If you live someplace without stairs, fear not!  You can still do squats to a chair, with your body weight, or using some household items to add more resistance.  Full gallon jugs work well as free weights, or fill an old backpack with books and hold that or strap it on.  Squatting small children or pets is another option.  Don’t laugh, they often like it!

In terms of upper body strengthening, as long as you are working the chest and the back muscles, the rest really is icing on the cake.  Chest muscles are worked with pushing movements, and the back muscles get worked with pulling movements.  So, one thing you can do to work the chest, or pushing muscles, at home is  pushups.  Now bear with me.  I know alot of you are staying, “Ha, i can’t do pushups!”  Stay with me, here.  While I recognize that not everyone can do a full military pushup, or even, a modified pushup (on ones knees), you can always modify further to a standing pushup against the back of your sofa, or kitchen counter or table.  Just make sure it won’s slide away from you!  You can even do a pushup against the wall.  Respect where you are in your fitness journey and do what you are able.

The back muscles are the trickiest to work with little to no equipment.  But, if you have an exercise band, yoga strap, or even a towel or old necktie, you can close that in the jamb of any doorway to create something to pull toward, in order to recreate a row.  You can add challenge or modify by adjusting the angle of your body, (how much you lean away from the door).  This is but one example of a back exercise you can do.  If you have that full gallon jug mentioned above, you can do a decent one arm row with the support of a kitchen or dining chair.

I hope these suggestions help those of you who are missing the resistance equipment in the gym and the walking track.  I realize that these activities must still be done in isolation, but doing something is always better than doing nothing.  Activity is good for the body, the mind, and the soul.  Take care of yourselves.


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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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