Message from Montie

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Staying in shape, free fitness classes with Chicago Park District end Jan. 10

Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at


Yoga pants are my favorite around-the-house attire.

If you're one of those people who is sitting around thinking, "I need to lose weight" or "I want to tone up," the Chicago Park District wants to help you out. I just found out yesterday that they are having free workout days at 66 Chicago Park District Fitness Centers. The last day to sign up for in-person registration is Sunday, Jan. 10.


I can't even count the number of hip hop and aerobics class I've been in--including hip hop, Video Vixen, lap dancing, belly dancing, pole dancing, hardcore hip hop, boxing, pilates, yoga, breaking (aka breakdancing) and weight training. I'm one of those folks who finds joy in working out, but considering I'm a freelance reporter, blogger, reviewer and transcription editor, it's hard to even get in the time to work out these days.


My idea of working out now is running from my car to my interviewee's location and trying to dodge Chicago cold sucker-punching me in the face. This fall and winter, I managed to not lose (or gain) any weight eating one or two meals a day even though I cut out fast food tremendously and never keep junk food in my home. (I'm not purposely avoiding meals, but I wake up around 3 p.m., and go to sleep around 6 a.m., so my eating clock is way off.) If you think being a vegetarian means you automatically lose weight, not likely. Exercise is still mandatory to stay in shape.


But working out should be a part of any writer (or any other person's) schedule. We blow off exercising a lot in the winter months when no one wants to go outside, but when opportunities like what the Chicago Park District is introducing come about, I say we sign up. I've spent $50 to $75 on five classes for 30 minutes during summer months when I could've just taken a free walk to the lakefront so why not take advantage of these courses? Paying $75 for three-months for one session sounds like a deal to me.


If you're one of those people who works yourself to death but sits in a chair all day, chances are you're probably munching on junk food and not really getting any exercise in. The online registration date for Chicago Park District fitness courses passed, but maybe you (and I) can make it for the three-month session until March 21 if you can handle the single-digit cold weather this weekend. If you're interested in the program but miss the deadline date, there will be a spring session next month.


Click here for details.


Click the slideshow above for ideas to work out at home if you're anything like me and hibernate in the winter as much as possible.



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1 Comment

Message from Montie said:


I do apologize about the date mix-up. Sunday (Jan. 10) is the last day, not today. If you miss registration by Sunday, spring online registration starts Monday, February 22, 9 a.m.

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