In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
The inspiring trainers at MetaBody lead troops of women workouteers in results-getting one-hour workouts several times weekly. The fun classes utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment ideal for both beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. MetaBody's motivational instructors will use your instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. They’ll keep your muscles guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so you’ll never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth-brushing. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early morning boot camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late evening class. In addition to the fitness classes, you will receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound-loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching.
The 2014 Fitness Fusion Expo is put on by the ThYck Troupe organization, a nonprofit performing-arts company that creates performance opportunities for women with curves. Today, ThYck Troupe has gained the support of Secretary of State Jesse White and Governor Pat Quinn in its mission to enrich the Chicago arts community.
In addition to mentoring young women and promoting size acceptance, the troupe produces an original web series, organizes fashion shows, and showcases performers in theatrical and musical productions. With the Thyck and Fit Initiative, they broadcast a message of health as well as confidence, giving full-figured women and men the tools they need to achieve good exercise and nutrition habits at any size.
Praised for their calorie-blasting abilities by Time Out Chicago and BurnThis, TruHarmony's heated yoga classes help students hone strength, flexibility, and endurance. In beginners' yoga, instructors lead newbies through flow sequences, teaching pupils how to link fundamental yoga poses with careful, balance-challenging movements and deep-breathing exercises; pose modifications help beginning yogis or those with especially inflexible spandex. For those who prefer working out at more neutral temperatures, TruHarmony offers an unheated class each week.
For a more intense workout, students can head over to yoga sculpt and boot-camp sweat sessions, which incorporate strength-training, circuit-training, and plyometric exercises into traditional yoga moves to build the endurance and strength needed to wrangle sticky-mat kites into the air. Mornings can begin in the Sunrise Flow class, and yogis can try something new in the Barre/Flow Fusion classes. A new "Kid's Corner" offers childcare during select class times for practicing parents.
The Windy City unfolds before joggers during laidback excursions hosted by Chicago Running Tours & More. The three tours emphasize fun and education over speed, as professional guides share extensively researched facts and anecdotes about the sights along each run. But the guides aren't just versed in stories from Chicago, the main guide Marlin has run a marathon in all 50 states. On the Grant Park 5K, runners visit Buckingham Fountain, race the bronze walkers of Agora, and absorb the view of the skyline from the John Logan. The Chicago River Navy Pier tour explores the river's unique characteristics, and guides on the Chicago Tragic Events run describe some of the darker tales from Chicago's past. Those who complete all three Chicago runs, will also receive a t-shirt, designed by a person with special needs, which helps further Chicago Running Tours & More's mission. No matter what tour you sign up for, the runners abide by a simple philosophy: "the slower we go, the more we show." To free up guests' hands during the trip, each guide takes pictures with a camera throughout the trip, then uploads them to Flickr for sharing.