When it comes to exercising, I like to, as I call it, "work out lite." A little short yoga class here, a little walking on the treadmill while reading Us Weekly there. Breaking a sweat is a bonus, not a must.
Realizing there's more to working out than browsing magazines, and that two years post-baby I can no longer blame my lack of working out on newborn fatigue, I determined I needed to up the ante for 2012.
I decided to push it and push my body out of its comfort zone. Turns out, I had a plethora of options to choose from and was able to work out my body from head to aching toes.
Shred 415, 2156 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago
This is not your mother's interval training. Combining the best treadmills in the business with hard-core plyometrics and weight training, Shred 415 claims to burn calories "long after your workout is over." I don't know about that, but my body was sore long after my "Butt and Legs" class was over. Not necessarily a bad thing. shred415.com, three-class introductory pack for $60.
Core Power Yoga, 10 locations in the city and suburbs
With locations in seven states expected by 2012, Core Power Yoga takes the basics of standard yoga practice and heats it up a notch. Literally. Core Power Yoga is hot, with the yoga studio rooms heated up to 100 degrees. I broke a sweat just by sitting in the room. corepoweryoga.com, one free trial week
Flywheel Chicago, 710 N. State St., Chicago
Because I could not live on strength training alone, I had to try out one of the hottest cardiovascular workouts to hit downtown. An indoor cycling studio with state-of-the-art bikes and technology (read: a TV screen in front monitoring the performance of all the cyclists in the room, loud Top 40 music pumping in the background), this was one of the most fun workouts I had. Apparently Katy Perry's music is good for something. chicago.flywheelsports.com, single rides start $25
You Grow Girl! Fitness, classes held at A Fairytale Ballet, 3236 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Founded by personal trainer Jen Dixon, YGG!F offers boutique-sized classes for moms and moms-to-be. Dixon teaches a range of workouts from Group Power (weight-based training) to Group Centergy (a mix of yoga and Pilates). Expectant moms and postpartums can also enjoy the "Pump the Bump" class that helps you get fit for the biggest workout of your life. yougrowgirlfitness.com
Sara Fisher is a mother of two living in Roscoe Village. She also blogs at selfmademom.net.
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