In Wheaton, a day at the park is never the same twice?unless, of course, you want it to be. The Wheaton Park District maintains 53 facilities that encompass everything from pools to hiking trails that weave through the area's lush outdoors. With just a glance at a few of its destinations and attractions, it becomes apparent that the district is serious about its commitment to "enrich the quality of community life."
The Prairie Path Minigolf Course and The Rail, for instance, take up residence at Clocktower Commons. Here, 18 mini-golf holes wind past a central water feature while a 12,000-square-foot skate park lets inline skaters and skateboarders practice tricks that are simply too rad for their parents' driveways. Wheaton Park District also includes The DuPage County Historical Museum and the Cosley Zoo, where a trip into the barn introduces visitors to goats, wooly llamas, and other local wildlife.
Equipment: Aerial hammocks, poles, Pilates equipment, spin bikes, weights, yoga mats
Students Should Bring: Water, yoga mat
Registration Required: Yes
Good for Beginners: Yes
Average Class Length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class Location: Indoors only
Parking: Parking lot
The sky's the limit at Flying Buddha Fitness. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the ceiling is. Aerial yoga is one of the fitness studio's specialties, and challenges students to perform traditional yoga moves while suspended in fabric hammocks that are attached to the ceiling. It sounds both exhilarating and exhausting, but the method is actually quite accessible for students of all fitness levels. The hammocks are hung close to the ground, so beginners can feel safe as they learn how to use the fabric to maneuver in-and-out of poses, support their body weight, and make old workout clothes feel stylish again, while experienced aerial yogis can work their way up to performing acrobatic maneuvers such as inversions and flips.
Of course, Flying Buddha has plenty of classes for those who prefer to stay on the ground as well. The schedule features everything from meditative vinyasa yoga sessions to upbeat turbo kick and piloxing classes. And, although challenging workouts abound, the studio maintains a family-friendly vibe, as evidenced by its array of youth classes and Friday night family fitness sessions.
Some things never really go out of fashion, such as being in shape, working smarter rather than harder, and barbells. The strength trainers at Wheaton Barbell & Fitness dole out all three in spades. In their general fitness classes, students build muscle and endurance by lifting anything that weighs more than ten pounds and can’t be bolted to the ground, such as classic barbells and kettlebells. Their boot camps change tracks from pure lifting to a more cardio-centric regimen, building heart strength over a series of ever-intensifying classes. The gym’s trainers also schedule one-on-one training sessions in which they relentlessly put clients through their paces, speeding them toward their goals, whether they be to lose weight or recover from injury.
The team doesn’t just train adults. They conduct athletic conditioning courses for kids ages 12 to 18, designed to improve essential cross-sport skills. They even carry out job-specific conditioning for adults who work as firefighters, police officers, construction workers, and package delivery personnel, who train by heaving heavy boxes and outrunning rabid mailmen.
As a mother of four, Rebecca Riser already lives an active lifestyle. In addition to keeping her family moving, she also helps her clients avoid sedentary lives by pushing them in a variety of fitness classes. She guides yogis through a series of poses and breathing exercises in yoga classes that improve strength, flexibility, and balance more effectively than wishing to be a professional ice dancer. In Pilates classes, she draws from her training with Pilates experts, including Mari Winsor of the famed Winsor Pilates method, to strengthen core muscles. As she does with her own pack of wee ones, she helps kids lay the foundations for a lifetime of fitness with children’s Pilates and yoga classes.
Eric Johnson has always loved coaching. He has worked with youth and adult sports teams, helped people with post-rehab exercises, and guided friends, strangers, and visiting relatives alike through rigorous workouts. Today, Eric runs the show at Human Component Fitness, offering small group classes that focus on TRX suspension training and free weights to help students build muscle and endurance.
Andres Schwartz, a US Navy SEAL veteran, casts a bemused gaze at a group of accountants, stay-at-home moms, and pharmaceutical reps as they scramble, sweat pouring into their eyes, over the military-style obstacle course that runs through his gym. He follows them to "The Beast"—an impossibly monstrous pull-up contraption where groups grapple with monkey bars, hoist themselves on rings, and shoulder weights at four squat racks. His unblinking gaze cants toward the ceiling watching a pupil's white-knuckled hand cling to the 12-foot climbing wall, before he turns toward the layered bars of "The Weaver"—a part of the obstacle course's outdoor component. He strolls, arms behind his back, over to a group whose neck tendons strain in unison as they heave against medicine balls, ropes, and kettlebells, the last step in the grueling circuit.
By amassing these functional training fixtures, Andres and his team of trainers prep guests to punch through life's everyday roadblocks. FTX stands for 'Final/Field Training Exercise', and makes up the drills that ensure military personnel are ready for an upcoming mission. FTX CrossFit, brings that concept to the gym, challenging exercisers to complete realistic, if somewhat exaggerated, physical challenges without cheating or cloning a stunt double. The gym's trainers demonstrate CrossFit's signature blend of gymnastics maneuvers, Olympic weightlifts, and bodyweight exercises during classes for both adults and children.