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.
Light floods through Midwest Fit Club's floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the exercisers a healthy glow as they run on treadmills, track their heart rates on elliptical trainers, and grunt through free-weight reps. In the gym’s spacious group fitness studio, experienced trainers lead students through the flowing poses of power Vinyasa yoga, work full bodies during Fit Camp sessions, and groove through Zumba classes’ thumping global party beats. Trainers also lead one-on-one and group personal-training sessions focused on each student’s goals, whether they're beginners who’ve never exercised regularly or fitness enthusiasts who did burpees in the womb.
Bloomingdale Park District's The Oasis Water Park welcomes splishers and splashers with three separate playscapes dedicated to aquatic fun. 'Cuda Cove devotes itself to exercise with its eight-lane competitive lap pool, and the one- and three-meter diving boards that launch human cannonballs or real cannonballs that just want to know what it's like to be a human child. More leisurely pool-goers can saunter over to Mango Bay, where they'll find a zero-depth entry pool complete with geysers, spilling buckets, and water slides that send guests careening into the pool below from heights of ten stories. Otter Island invites tiny fun-seekers to run wild in a safe playground complete with water cannons and pint-sized slides.
For more than 40 years, the Bloomingdale Park District has been creating safe and healthy spaces for active families and energetic children. The park district oversees more than 160 acres of open space, as well as 2,400 exercise and enrichment programs for children, seniors, and Dorian Grays in need of a new hobby. Its central hub, the 21,000-square-foot Johnson Recreation Center, teaches agile arts of gymnastics and dance while hosting the furious bouts of roundball on four basketball courts.
Giacomo Ribaudo embodies the phrase "fighting fit" to a tee, The owner and instructor at Infinity Fitness Studio, Ribaudo holds a fifth-degree black belt in Extreme Fighting System's mixed martial arts and shares his skills through training sessions with police officers, cage fighters, and flight attendants, as well as practical self-defense classes for women. Students at his studio can also turn to yoga, hot yoga, and Zumba classes for a lower-impact workout than his martial arts classes and a higher-impact workout than a nap.
Healthy Inspirations’ weight-loss programs help women shed pounds by tweaking everyday routines. Throughout each four-week course, trained weight-loss experts oversee a diet metamorphosis, helping clients reshuffle priorities in lifestyle planning, balance old habits with new ones, and resist the lilting songs of sentient pound cakes. Thrice-weekly one-on-one coaching sessions teach clients how to replace food faux pas with nutritionally sound selections, and expert-advised workout regimens combat stresses that lead to overeating. Before-and-after measurements help track progress, and nutrition plans and easy-to-follow cardio workouts reestablish control over fitness and help clients self-monitor progress. Like a street luge drawn by cheetahs, Healthy Inspirations' program gets off to a fast start, with many clients dropping between three and six pounds in the first three days.
The hot-pink walls aren’t the only element of Studio Energia giving off an energetic vibe. Owner and fitness instructor Julie hops and twirls across the hardwood floor as she leads fast-paced Zumba routines set to catchy Latin music. Trained by the program's founder, Beto Perez, Julie personally guides all Zumba sessions, which include Zumbatomic classes designed especially for kids and Zumba Toning sessions that build muscle and fend off stray lacrosse balls using a weighted stick. The studio also keeps energy high by offering a seven-day-a-week schedule packed with Latin-dance lessons, kids' hip-hop classes, cardio kickboxing, and boot camps.