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The Monday Parks PlayBook: How to Choose The Perfect Health Club

If you are looking for a way to ditch those extra winter inches, joining a health club is a great way to get started. How do you find the right fit for you? Here are ten things to consider.

If you are looking for a way to ditch those extra winter inches, joining a health club is a great way to get started. Yet, with so many different kinds of facilities to choose from, how do you find the right fit for you? Here are ten things to consider...

1. Convenience of hours. Is my health club open early and late? Can I come in on my lunch hour? What about weekends? The Prairie Lakes Fitness Center is open Monday to Thursday 5:30am to 10:30pm, Fridays from 5:30am until 9:30pm, and weekends from 7:00am until 5:00pm.

2. Quality and variety of equipment. Do you want to circuit train and get a full body workout? Looking for top of the line equipment? Want to be able to plug in and watch TV or listen to music? Our line up includes Airdyne, Lifefitness, Cybex, and Precor equipment, to name a few, so you can cycle, crunch, curl, and cross train all day long. The center also has a Cardio Vision System, which includes individual receivers on most of the fitness equipment, so you can watch and listen to programs from your choice of six flat panel TV screens. 

3. Other amenities. Can I wind down and clean up after my work out? Our friendly staff will greet you with a warm towel, and, after your workout, you can enjoy the showers, sauna, and whirlpool in our clean, beautiful locker rooms.

4. Group fitness classes. Does the fitness center offer any walk-in classes so I can vary my workout? Yes! Six days a week, Prairie Lakes Group Fitness classes offer a variety of classes from cardio to muscle conditioning. Or try resistance training, body bar sculpture, weights, step, dance and sports moves to jazz up your workout routine.

5. Studio classes. Does the fitness center offer any specialty fitness classes? At Prairie Lakes, we are always on the lookout for the latest fitness trends. We offer Piloxing, Pilates, Yoga, Cycling, Zumba for all ages, and Fitness Kickboxing, with enough time and day options to fit your schedule.

6. Indoor sports opportunities. What else can I do to get a cardio workout? What if I want to get together with friends for a little one on one? We have two courts available for racquetball or walleyball play, and we rent racquets and balls. Basketball or volleyball more your thing? We have court time available for games or one on one play beginning at 3:30pm.

7. I’m mostly a walker, but treadmills bore me. Any other options? Yes! We have a free indoor walking track on the second floor.

8. Qualified staff. What if I need help getting started? Can someone show me the ropes and check my form? Before you begin, sign up for a fitness assessment with one of our certified personal trainers. They will analyze your exercise history, check your cardiovascular and muscular endurance, take your blood pressure and health history, and help you develop a safe, effective, and highly motivated exercise regime to meet your goals.

9. Safety and emergency procedures. Is the staff trained to handle emergencies? The staff at Prairie Lakes is first aid and CPR certified. We also have an AED, automatic external defibrillator on site.

10. Child care. I have little ones, but I still want to take an hour for myself to get in shape. While you work out, your child, ages 3 months to 10 years, will be well cared for in our babysitting room. Hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00am until noon and 5:00pm to 9:00pm, and weekends, 8:00am until noon.

Want more information? It’s all here: www.DPParks.org or call 847-391-5700.

See you around the parks!

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