Celebrate National Preschool Fitness Day January 28

January 28th is National Preschool Fitness Day, a day to acknowledge the importance of developing

healthy lifestyle habits in preschool age children. With the growing concern over childhood obesity, diabetes and an early predisposition to heart disease, it is imperative that healthy habits of regular exercise and sound eating are taught to our youngest population. Two-thirds of adults and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese.

This has a direct impact on our work force, health care costs and overall quality and length of life.

National Preschool Fitness Day is a perfect time for the community, child care centers, preschools, businesses and parents to come together to encourage daily physical activity for all children during the preschool years.  Numerous studies point out that preventing disease and implanting healthy habits works best when aimed at children age 5 and younger.

To help celebrate the day, Aerobic Fitness Consultants offers a number of free preschool fitness activities and ideas. Go to http://www.kid-fit.com/preschool_fitness_toolkit.htm

to download your FREE National Preschool FitnessDay Tool Kit. A few of the items included are:




  • Fitness Activities
  •  Simple Healthy Recipes
  • Easy to make physical education equipment
  • Educational Handouts & Coloring Sheets
  • Classroom Projects

This event is sponsored by KID-FIT, a division of Aerobic Fitness Consultants, Inc. KID-FIT is a world renown physical education program designed to combat the childhood fitness crisis by teaching children ages 2-5 that it’s fun to exercise, eat right and take care of their bodies. Contact Aerobic Fitness Consultants toll free at (888) KIDFITT or via email at corporate@kid-fit.com.


Work Out for Free!

Thanks to the Chicago Park District, you can start your 2011 off right.  Work out for FREE January 2nd-9th at all Chicago Park District Fitness Centers.

The Chicago Park District has over 70 fitness center located across the city that feature state-of-the art equipment and a variety of fitness classes!  To find a location in your neighborhood click here.

Watch the video below to learn more!

Do you workout at a Chicago Park District Fitness Center? Share your experience and comment below.

to Get Healthy on National Women’s Health & Fitness Day

Sponsored Content—

As National Women’s Health and Fitness Day (September 29) approaches, Fit Lincoln Park is reaching out the to the community to remind women to make their health a priority.

Fit Lincoln Park Recommends the following five fitness tips to women:

  1. Make your workout a priority in your calendar. If you have a lot going on for the week, literally schedule it in. That way, no matter how hectic life gets, it can’t fall by the wayside.
  2. Vary your exercises, particularly for cardio. Doing the same thing week after week, whether it’s running, biking or playing a sport, can increase your chance of injury. It will also allow your muscles to develop memory for the activity, causing you to burn fewer calories performing the activity over time.
  3. Combine cardio, strength training and flexibility work for optimum results. People who do one or two of these things will see health benefits, but those who do all three will have stronger muscles, a more efficient cardiovascular system and a great range of motion.
  4. Enlist moral support. Numerous medical studies have shown that people who exercise with a friend have a much higher likelihood of exercising consistently.
  5. Don’t diet, change your lifestyle. Regular exercise and good eating habits aren’t a phase. For the best results, create a regime that you can continue for the rest of your life. Your waistline and your organs will thank you.

Founded by Sarah Martin and Bojan Jocic, certified trainers from the Chicago area, Fit Lincoln Park boasts a unique indoor-outdoor workout space, single or joint personal training sessions, more than 25 group fitness classes, ultrasound body fat analysis and a Pilates studio with a private view of the outdoors. With no enrollment or membership fees, clients only pay for the services that they use, offering a more flexible workout option for frequent travelers, people who use a corporate gym during the week, or those who want to try a workout without making a big membership commitment.

To learn more about Fit Chicago, contact them through email at info@fitlincolnpark.com, phone at 312.929.2395, or on Facebook or Twitter at Fit Lincoln Park. Visit their website at http://fitlincolnpark.com.

Healthy Weekend Happenings

Check out more Chicago healthy events or list yours on Healthy in Chicago’s Healthy Events calendar!


Octoberfest-Lincoln Avenue and Southport

Great American Dine Out– eat out and help end childhood hunger

presidential Bike Tour


Fleet Feet Fun Run

The Energy Efficient Home

Octoberfest-Lincoln Avenue and Southport

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Moonlight Dinner Paddle

Randolph Street Market Fest

Chicago Gourmet

Octoberfest-Lincoln Avenue and Southport

Great American Dine Out– eat out and help end childhood hunger

Farmer’s Markets


Farmer’s Markets

On Your Mark Pioneer Trail Run

Octoberfest-Lincoln Avenue and Southport

Sunday Salutations with lululemon athletica

Chicago Gourmet

Randolph Street Market Fest

10 Tips for First-Time Half and Full Marathon Runners

Good luck to everyone running the Chicago 1/2 Marathon this Sunday!

Here are Coach Jenny’s from Runner’s World tips to those first-timers.

  1. The number one rule in all of marathon-land (write this one down) is go with what you know and don’t try anything new during your taper, in race week, or race day. I can write this because I’ve made this mistake on numerous occasions. For example, the time I ran the St. George Marathon the week before my wedding and wore a brand spanking new singlet in the race. Guess who had a lovely chafing mark in her wedding photos? Keep it simple and stick with what your body knows–from the foods you eat to the clothes you wear. Every week has been a dress rehearsal for the big dance and it is vital to ignore the nervous voices telling you to buy those new shoes at the expo and wear them on race day. They’re just voices of energy and they’ll subside after the race.
  2. Have faith in your preparation, especially during the taper. Something mystical happens when you begin to taper your mileage to rest up for the race. It’s a little like taking away Linus’s blanket as there is comfort in training because you are actively moving towards your target race. As you reduce the mileage, the nervousness sets in. Remember that tapering allows your body time to rest and accumulate energy at the rate of a slow simmer so that on race day you are fresh and ready to rumble. Review your training log to remind yourself of the base you have going into the race and visualize a strong run during the season. You are well prepared and that is the best insurance against earning that medal.
  3. Watch a running flick. A great way to ease your mind and pump yourself up is to watch a running video. A few of my favorites include Without Limits, Chariots of Fire and the Spirit of the Marathon.  It’s a great way to relax, stay off your feet and keep your mind focused on the task at hand.
  4. Warn your family and friends that you’ll have the stability of a 3-year-old child on race day. I’ve borrowed this line from my husband John Bingham, and it’s true. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, making even the smallest decisions like what to eat and what to wear will feel like life changing moments during race week. Ask your support team for extra patience, because they’ll need it.  Anticipate this temporary state of immaturity and lay out your clothes the night before the race. It helps to try on everything you plan to wear (bib number, chip on shoe…) The more prepared you are the night before, the better.
  5. Get to the Expo early. Walking and standing for hours at the expo trying to decide which top is the cutest can really take it out of your legs (please refer back to tip four where you won’t be able to make small decisions). It’s best to go to the expo at off-peak times on the first day to avoid congestion and spend no more than an hour shopping. Plus, the vendors will have more supplies of all their goodies on the first day!
  6. Wear your race shirt only after you finish. I have a thing about celebrating too soon, and the race shirt to me, is a finisher’s shirt. I once heard an adventure racer say that you get seven years of bad joo-joo if you wear it before you earn it. Just saying…
  7. Review the course map and break it down. If you’re like me, you won’t have to know exactly where to run because you won’t be leading the race, but it does help to have a mental picture of the course and to break it down into smaller, more digestible pieces. There is nothing worse than toeing the line thinking, “only 13.1 miles to go (or 26.2)!” Review it, break it down and run check point to check point on race day. You’ll worry less, and celebrate more along the way.
  8. Invest in your finish line photo. Everyone wants a cool finish line photo, but in order to get it, you’ve got to invest in it. The number one mistake all runners make is going out too fast in the early stages of the race. And that can play havoc on your coolness and suck the life out of your legs early on. I’m an advocate for running negative splits. If you run the first half of the race slightly slower than the second, you have the energy to go fishing in the final miles and pass people (nicely)! And let me tell you, there is nothing more fun and energizing than having the strength and focus to pass people (nicely) in the end! Pace yourself and it will pay off in the long run (pun intended). [Fishing: Picking out a person ahead, say the guy in the red shirt, casting your hook into that fancy red shirt, and reeling him in.)
  9. Run the tangents! It took me several years to learn this nugget of information and I shaved minutes off my time once I did. When a race course is measured (and certified) it follows the tangents to the curves. A tangent is a straight line just outside the curve (or as close to the curve while still on the road). For example, Sandra the runner sees a curve on the course and runs a straight line (tangent to) the inside of the curve. Beth (who is not paying attention and didn’t read this blog) follows the curve in the road.  Curve for curve, Beth will end up running more mileage in the end. Sandra will run the measured 13.1 miles (and be showered  before Beth finishes). This will help you in two very important ways:  One, it keeps your mind actively engaged in running the course as you think your way through every turn.  Two, you’ll run only 13.1 miles! You can add more than a quarter-mile to the course by taking the long way around turns! Stay focused, grasshopper, and set yourself up efficiently as you wind through the course.
  10. Have fun and enjoy the journey. You’ve put a lot of time and energy into training for your first race, the least you can do is enjoy yourself along the way. There are no style points awarded on race day and it isn’t a final exam. You’ve trained hard, you’re well prepared, and race day is truly about the celebration. Soak up the excitement of the crowd and take it all in because you only run your first half marathon once and it’s a special moment.

Source: Runner’s Word

All in a Day-Summer’s Best Finds

All in a Day:  Summer’s Best Finds

Chicago during the summer is something to behold.  The city has defrosted from the winter’s deep freeze which, as any native Chicagoan knows, lasts until approximately mid-June.  Ok, I may be exaggerating slightly, but the long winters we have here really mean that we milk everything we can from the summer months- am I right?

The only problem is that sometimes the activities that we’re bombarded with during the summer aren’t exactly the…healthiest.  Beer gardens, anyone?  10¢ buffalo wings?  Don’t mind if I do!  Chicago is a town that can, at times, revolve around drink specials and greasy pub fare for cheap.  For those of us on a budget (don’t lie to me, friends- I see you out there looking at me from across the interweb, nodding sheepishly) these deals are easy and tempting.  And they’re great to take advantage of- once and a while.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with the fact that during the past few years these temptations have become all too commonplace in my routine.  So I’ve set out to find things around town that are either cheap or free and won’t bust my waistline and- dare I say- make me feel good instead of hungover?

This Saturday, with the sun shining and my sneaks strapped on my feet I did just that.  First up was the Lincoln Park Farmers Market.

Lucky for me, the market is only about a mile from where I live.  So, I ran there!  Walking in the summer is definitely the way to go.  It’s free and you don’t have to worry about parking (which is scarce around the farmers market, let me tell you).  The farmers market is fun (there are bands) and you can always find something new and exciting to try!  I found these cool peaches:

And bought this bread:

That turned into pretty rockin’ French toast:

Later, I took advantage of the street festivals that are abundant around this time of the year.  I hit up Summer on Southport for some concerts and revelry.

Now,  street festivals can very quickly turn into indulgent ventures thanks to the plethora of beer tents and fried food, BUT- there are good options, too!  Here are my tips:

1.  Don’t go with the intention of eating and drinking. Think of street fests as a way to hear fun music and enjoy a nice day!

2. If there are games or free samples, take advantage. At Summer on Southport, there were tons of tents set up giving away free stuff- and most of it was health conscious!  There was a Kashi tent, an Ocean Spray tent:

And my favorite: a Clif Z bar booth!  These kid-sized versions of Clif bars in flavors like Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Brownie are totally organic and I love them.  I’m aware that I’m an adult and these are meant for kids, but they’re so good!  I beelined for the booth and the sweet girl working at it threw a ton of free samples in my bag!

She was officially my favorite person of the day.   After eating one of my samples, we listened to some bands play and enjoyed the great atmosphere and warm weather.

The grand total for the day:  $12! And it wasn’t difficult!

I had a great day, took advantage of the city, walked a lot (and even ran a little!) and my head hit the pillow that night knowing that I had made the most of my day without blowing a ton of cash.

Megan is a 20-something professional who lives in Chicago and blogs about her daily adventures in healthy living on her Blog Braise The Roof.  After graduating college in 2006, she moved back to the city and has been navigating the choppy waters of balancing having fun with friends, enjoying a beer (or two) and staying active ever since!  She hopes that through her blog other young people will see that it is possible to live well on a budget and still have fun.