If you're hesitant about trying a group fitness class, March 1 might just be the perfect time to give it a shot while inconspicuously blending into the crowd.
Ron "Dr. Sweat" Anderson will be leading the "Largest Family Fitness Class" at The Centre of Elgin to kick off the second annual "March Into Fitness" monthlong series of events in Elgin. Officials hope to break the current attendance record of 58 people in a class.
"March Into Health"A look at some of the 18 events of "March Into Health," hosted by Activate Elgin and local community partners. All events are free. The Gail Borden Public Library is at 270 N. Grove. Ave.
6:30 to 9 p.m. March 1, The Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way. Help Elgin set a record for the largest family fitness class. Open to those 8 and older.
Spotlight on local foods
7 to 8 p.m. March 7, Gail Borden Public Library. Learn how the local food landscape in is expanding, including gardens, restaurants, markets and a food co-op.
2 to 3 p.m. March 16, Gail Borden Public Library. Find out what Zumba is all about. Wear comfortable clothes and gym shoes.
"Weight of the Nation" documentary
7 to 9 p.m. March 18, Judson University Thompson Performing Arts Center, 1151 N. State St. This film shows how obesity in America has reached a catastrophic level and threatens every aspect of our lives.
Bike safety program
2 to 3 p.m. March 24, Gail Borden Public Library. Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain and Elgin Biking Ambassador Tom Armstrong share tips to make your ride safe and enjoyable.
1 to 4 p.m. March 30, Gail Borden Public Library. Author Christopher Sasha will give a presentation and sign his book, "Transforming Your Lifestyle One Belief at a Time." Members of the Chicago Soul Soccer team and SpringHill Gymnastics will give demonstrations.
The whole point of group fitness is to have fun and get healthy without even realizing it, said Anderson, who manages fitness programs at The Centre.
"When you're in better shape, your flexibility is better, your strength is better, your attitude is better -- and you're just leading a more purposeful, healthier life without even trying."
"March Into Fitness," presented by the Activate Elgin partnership coalition, promotes physical activity and healthy eating and features 18 free activities open to all residents.
"The events are split between active things and educational things," said Randy Reopelle, Elgin's parks and recreation director. "It's about an approach that has a combination of getting people more active and getting people to eat more healthy."
For example, a class March 2 at Sherman Hospital will talk about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, while another class March 19 will talk about smart shopping and healthy tips for the supermarkets. Both are at Sherman Hospital.
One of the key messages of "March Into Fitness" is that being healthy doesn't have to mean sweating and pumping iron at the gym, Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said. Kaptain took up walking 2 to 3 miles every day after he retired.
"I've lived here all my life and it's such an experience to see streets and people's homes so differently than when you drive by," he said.
People who participate in at least four activities get a chance to win several prizes, including an Xbox Kinect game system, a golf package for four at The Highlands of Elgin and more. Make sure to ask for a "passport" at the event's venue to mark your participation.
For a complete list of events, visit the Judson University website at judsonu.edu.