Columns | Kane County Chronicle

Batavia Park District Dish: Fun and fitness to play your way

I love this time of year, when against a chilly backdrop of snow, we can paint a year of possibilities.

I’m not talking about resolutions. I’m referring to new discoveries. In baby steps. Or giant leaps. You call it and you guide your path. It’s a perfect time to open yourself up to new opportunities and help them unfold.

You’ll see the theme for this year’s Park District Fun Guides is “Play your way.” Our staff prides itself in offering fun events and programs for all ages throughout the year. All you have to do is jump in.

Browse our Fun Guide online to find programs that appeal to you or your family. Embrace the grace and calm of yoga. Try a new craft or learn basic car maintenance. Discover how to braid or style simple up-dos for special events. Attend a special event. Or finally train your doggie to stop pouncing on guests who visit.

“Play your way” also means we support you, whatever your interests and skill level.

I asked our Fitness Director Kathy Freedlund for tips on starting a fitness program. Freedlund, who has been with our district for more than 36 years, is dedicated to helping everyone achieve their fitness goals while sprinkling fun into the equation.

If you are new to exercise, Freedlund recommends starting with Gentle Chair Yoga.

“Anyone can do it and the benefits are many,” she said.

Also, the Easy B-Fit class for active adults is a great option for beginners.

If you are not new to exercise, try classes such as Early Morning Mix, Shape & Tone, TRX or Flow Yoga.

Plus, at the park district, you can try before you buy.

“Drop in and try a class,” Freedlund said.

Sample a fitness class for $7 or a yoga class for the drop-in rate of $12. If you decide to sign up, the drop-in fee is deducted. And “if you miss a class you are signed up for, we will allow you to make it up by taking another class that session in its place,” Freedlund said. “It’s a win-win!”

Freedlund said the best part of being a fitness instructor is helping people exercise.

“I love how participants become so active in their healthy habits once they begin and stick with the exercise program,” she said. “I’ve always said that exercise is the fountain of youth.”

This year, I’ve set a few goals for myself that include walking at least three times weekly and attending a few of the beginner fitness classes available at our park district. We all know that’s easier said than done.

But I’ve started. I’ve registered for Lunchtime Fitness Buffet and Relax and Renew Stretch Yoga. I’ll be on the lookout for fitness pop-up classes, too. Although I work weekdays, there are some early morning or evening classes that I can I attend. I just need to place them on my calendar and show up.

Fitness is fun. Whether you’ve created some healthy routines or are looking to start new ones, everything moves forward from here. Play your way and start today!

To learn more about our fitness programs, athletics or events so you can embrace something new and play your way this year, visit