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December 11, 2023 26 mins
Alex Witt and Heather McCarthy from Shred 415 in Hinsdale join us to discuss how to keep your health, fitness goals and motivation going during the busy holiday season. Leila Schmidt discusses German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest and their holiday event Christkindlmarket.
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Episode Transcript

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Hello, and welcome to the weeklyshow here on iHeartRadio on ninety three nine
LIGHTFM, one All three five KidsFM, and Rock ninety five to five.
Every week, we are here todiscuss a variety of topics that matter
to Chicago Land, from health,education, to finances, and so much
more. Today on the show,Mick Lee speaks with Alex Witt, finness
instructor and manager of Shred four fifteenHinsdale, and Heather McCarthy, fitness instructor

at Shred four fifteen and personal trainer. They'll be chatting about how to keep
your health and fitness goals and motivationgoing during this busy holiday season. And
I'll be chatting with our friends atthe Chris Kindle Market talking all about their
two locations and all of the holidayfestivities happening here in the Chicago Land area.
And I'll also be chatting with ourfriend Jamal Cole from My Block,

my Hood, my City, andwe'll be talking all about there be a
part of the Lights program and otherways you can get involved with them as
well. Here to kick off theshow as Mick Lee. All right,
thank you, Paulina, And nextup, we're here to talk health and
fitness as we finish up the theyear and head into twenty twenty four.
I've got some special guests with me. We have Alex Witz, studio manager
and fitness instructor of Shred for fifteenin Hinsdale, and Heather McCarthy, Shred

fitness instructor and personal trainer. Ladies, thank you for joining us today.
Thank you so much for having us. I'm so excited. So Alex,
tell us a little bit about yourselfand your expertise and health and fitness and
how you got into it. So. I actually grew up in a military
family. My dad has been inthe service since I've been born, and
fitness was always a huge part ofour lifestyle. I did a lot of

sports growing up and it just kindof followed me throughout my life. After
college, I ended up in thecity and I met the owners of Shard
four fifteen, Bonnie and Tracy downtown, and from there I just I started
working behind the desk and kids room, and I loved the atmosphere of the
studio and the workout so much thatI decided to leave the corporate world and

being running the studio. I've beenin this position for the last six years.
Yeah, kind of grew up here. Love it great and Heather,
what about you? So I startedworking in fitness about nine years ago.
I I've always been a runner.I was, you know, a high
school athlete, I ran in collegea little bit, and then I've always

really loved running. And then,like most of us, as I got
older, I realized that I neededto compliment that running with kind of resistance
training, get more core strength andkind of pull up against the running a
little bit and to work with it. And when Shred four fifteen opened,
my friend told me I had totry it. It was still just in
the city at that time, andso I made the truck down to the

city, took it, and Iwas hooked because I was doing everything within
an hour. It was such agreat, well rounded workout. So that
got me started. And I justlove the focus too that we have on
the cardio and the resistance training.So that kind of also gave me a
segue in a personal training which Ido now. I'm actually a client of
Shred for fifteen in Hinsdale too.My wife started taking the classes a few

years ago and she's like, youshould try it, come on, come
on, and I'm like, Idon't want that sounds too hard for me,
and it is hard. You know, it's a workout the first few
weeks, but the more you getinto it and you push yourself, the
easier it gets. I guess ifit's easy. It's never easy, but
you feel so good after you're done. And that's why I wanted to bring
both of you on, because I'vetaken your classes before and I love them,

and I wanted to get the messageout, especially this time of year
where once Halloween hits, it's alldownhill from there as far as like you
got Halloween candy, and then you'vegot your Thanksgiving meals and all the holiday
parties and the drinking, and thenChristmas, so it's just like one big
celebration after another, and plus thecold weather coming into Chicago. So I
just for me in years past,it's usually by like mid October when all

of my motivation kind of dwindles untilafter the new year when it kicks back
up. And so, what aresome of the common challenges that people face,
like I just said, trying tomaintain that healthy lifestyle during the holiday
season. What have you both found? Yeah, I agree with you.
We kind of consume ourselves with theto do list of everything that we need
to do in the next couple months. But I think it's so important to

take the time for yourself. Ithink people over committing. That's where you
find the issue. So setting realisticgoals for yourself, even if it's not
exactly what you want, but you'relike, okay, one time, just
one time this week, I'm goingto get a quick workout, and it
doesn't matter if it's fifteen minutes,it doesn't matter if it's an hour.
But if you set those realistic goalsfor yourself, you're not going to finish

the week disappointed because you previously overcommitted. I think that's really important.
I think looking at all of ourevents and what those events might provide,
and then you set those realistic expectations, well I'm not going to eat this
or I'm not going to eat that. I think it's better to say,
well, I'm going to have alittle bit of something and a little bit

of that, Because the moment youleave a party and you're like, well,
I shouldn't of eate that piece ofpie. You shouldn't have that mindset,
right, You should be like Ihad a little bit of everything and
feel okay with that. Yeah,and that's so true. With the busy
holiday schedule, sometimes your health andfitness kind of gets put on the back
burner. But it doesn't need tobe, especially like you said, if
you're not, if you're setting realisticgoals for yourself, just find one time

a week to get in. It'sbetter than nothing at all. We're talking
with Alex Witch, he's the studiomanager in Fitness Instructure of Shred four fifteen
Hinsdale, and Heather McCarthy, shredfitness instructor and personal trainer in Hinsdale.
What we have been talking about withthe busy holiday schedules, finding time for
workouts can be challenging. Heather,what are some efficient and effective workout strategies

for those with limited time during theholidays. Yeah, you know, I
think that with limited scheduling, youset yourself up again with giving you know,
set your day ahead of time,right, so when you if it's
whether you know, for busy momsand dads especially right, waking up maybe
twenty thirty minutes ahead of schedule beforeyour kids are up, getting some movement

in again doesn't have to be overwhelming. We're not saying you have to do
fifty berpies or something, but justgetting your movement in some clarity, a
little bit of a heart rate,you know, maybe lifting some weights,
whatever it is, even if it'stwenty minutes, you're going to set yourself
up for success so much better overthe day. Your mind's going to get
in a good place. You giveyourself that little bandwidth so you're not just

struggling and feel guilty the entire day. It takes a little planning, It
takes, you know, taking thatone step back, you know. And
for some people they have that windowin midday, right around lunchtime they can
get a good break from work orthe kids are busy or whatever, and
whatever that time is, it isso important to take care of yourself as
you're trying to do everything for everybodyelse. You know, we have so

many different responsibilities. But I believe, I truly believe that you set yourself
up to be a better person themore you take care of yourself for all
those around you. So it's worthit. And we were talking about this
a few minutes ago. When itcomes to the holidays, it doesn't have
to be like all in or allout. What are some what can we
do to find healthier food choices duringthe holidays without feeling deprived? So I

love this question because I love thenutrition piece as to set yourself up to
make your body feel good and youfeel good, mainly thinking about energy and
just showing up as your best self. Again. One of the things you
can do is, you know,if you're going to a party, if
you're going to something that you knowthat there's going to be a lot of
food choices at or even maybe notso great food's at. Maybe you tell

yourself at the beginning, like,Hey, I'm going to allow myself your
favorite thing, whatever that may be. You fill in the blank, right,
like if it's going to be pizza, if it's going to be a
drink, you know, whatever thosethings are. You set yourself up.
You set yourself up for one ortwo whatever you say it in your mind's
eye. And also it's important towalk away than from that table, right
You're not just standing over the tablehaving a conversation because I know I'll speak

for myself. If you put mein front of block and chips, I'm
in trouble, right because I willjust sit there and talk to your face
off as I hate this, butif I walk away, I have much
better chance of success. I alsosometimes also don't go into that event starving,
right, So if that means havinga protein bar, protein shake,
having a snack that you feel thatyou love and enjoy before the party,

that will again set you in sucha better mindset than when you get there
and you're starving and you feel tired, and then your decision making is a
little off. So I think thoseare important things to think about. I
love that I never considered, Okay, you're going to a party where there's
going to be a lot of junkfood, but maybe have a healthy snack
beforehand so you're not as hungry whenyou walk in the door. You can
then you can just kind of pickat some of the better tasting on maybe

unhealthy snacks, but your your stomachisn't completely empty at the start. Yes,
exactly, it's a smart one.Okay, maybe you can get uh,
maybe you can get a visit tothe gym once a week because you're
so busy during the holidays, Butwhat are some other creative ways people can
stay active, maybe because they can'tstick to their regular exercise routine during the
holidays. Are going to the gymas often. I think it's super important,

Like we might be surrounded by morefamily members. I think it could
be a fun way to involve yourfamily and create those traditions during the holidays
and maybe we go out for ourwalk before our dinner or even afterwards.
What I personally like to do iseither in the morning or the night,
I say, all right, I'mgonna give myself five minutes. I can
do a quick one minute plank,a couple crunches here or there, and

then I can finish my night.And it's only five minutes of my day.
But I know I can go tobat or wake up knowing that I
completed that. Those are just somefun ways, like even like incorporating your
kids, right, like I lovedoing my kids are I'm sure like most
people's kids are wackos, right,So then like taking them apart to the
park and do an obstacle course,just getting them out, getting some of

that energy out as much as youcan involve them. Or it's like my
if you know my parents are oversomething, going for a walk after dinner
or something like that, bundling upand just taking that time and making a
family affair, so it's not like, you know, you feel like you
don't have time. It just worksnaturally with what you're already doing. Yeah,
and Heather, you mentioned this earlierabout how I've always been a runner.

I've been running since I was ateenager, but the other exercises we
were limited for me, and upuntil a year ago, I always woke
up in the morning and I waslike, oh, my back really hurts
like ah. And since I've beendoing more resistance training at Shred four fifteen,
I don't wake up with a badback anymore because I'm working other muscles

in my body besides just my runninglegs. I love it. So I've
obviously seen a big difference. Butyou're both the experts in physical activity.
Tell me how this kind of workoutthat you both focus on at tread is
different than all the other many optionsout there. So Shred four fifteen,
even though it's a group fitness class, everybody's coming in to do the same
workout, it is completely customizable toyou. So you can come in feeling

amazing and you're you know, you'refeeling great on the treadmill. You might
lift heavier weights that day, butyou also might come in a day or
two days later and be like,I'm just not feeling it, but I
just I want to be here.You can be walking on the treadmill,
you can lift lighter weights on thefloor and still be involved with the same
workout that everybody else is. Soyou take it as you need it.

You modify what you want and whatyou need for that day, and you
can leave feeling great and proud ofyourself that you just move. That's what
we're here for, That's what weencourage you to do. As long as
you leave that room knowing that youdid everything that you can and wanted to
for the day, We're proud ofyou. You should be proud of yourself.
And I just complimenting what Alex justsaid. You know, we our

clients are literally from eighteen to likeseventy years old maybe plus right, I
don't ask them once they're seventy,I don't ask ages anymore. But regardless
of that, some of my favoritepeople are those that approaching that seventy years
of age because you see them havingso much success in class, because they
take it on their own time,they modify moves, they still are able

to get that strengthen that they reallywant as their foundation. So when they're
walking, when they're outside doing whateverthey really want to do, they are
stronger. And so there's a placethat shread for every single level, beginning
level. And I also love whenmoms or dads bring their college kids and
then they kick their college kids' buttsfunny. I also have a little special
love for that. But it issuch a beautiful thing that you can see

everybody's level. You don't have tojump, you don't have to pick up
a weight if it's not your day. No one is going to press buttons
or pick up a weight for you. It is all for you. But
the energy is going to be thereto kind of motivate you on for sure.
Yeah, And I mean the wholeworkout is positive energy. There's no
negative You don't feel bad about yourself. Everybody's rooting you on, and you're
kind of just competing with yourself everyday you come in and you just want

to push yourself a little bit furtherthan you did the day before. And
that's a big win. Yeah,it's one hundred percent. Yeah. Okay,
so people are super busy right now, but after the holidays, many
people are going to want to getback on track. What advice do you
have for health the post holiday recovery. You don't want to just dive right
in immediately, you know, goingfrom no workedouts to five a week?

What are some some things that peoplecan get into with their news resolutions or
both physically and mentally preparing for asuccessful year of fitness. So, Mick,
I love how you just set upthat question, because that is I
think a huge mistake that people do, because I and I've done it myself
right where that New Year hits andI'm like, well, I'm gonna I'm
doing six workouts a week, I'mgonna eat clean, I'm gonna you know,

I'm never gonna look at a carbagain, et cetera. And it's
just going to be completely unrealistic.Yeah, it's all we're committing. I
almost like I am starting to shuneven like the New Year's resolution. But
I do like the idea of thereset, right, Like I almost sometimes
like to think about it as addinggood habits and instead of like eliminating things
out, so adding in, likeyou know, where what can you do

instead? Right? So you addin maybe more protein, you add in
some movement, that's going to feelgood. And you make some goals for
yourself that are going to be realistic, and you build on those, right,
start smaller than you think even andbuild on those because the success is
going to motivate you to try more. Right, So I think those are
all really good things. And bekind to yourself, right, I mean

life is never linear, right,We're all going to fall back, you
know. Like I always like tosay, I got news. I'm not
gonna be perfect. You aren't either. That is what life is, and
that's okay. And not beat yourselfup too much about it. Take that
time to reset and refocus, takethat time to make a plan for yourself,
and it will make such a difference. Agreed. All right? Well,
Alex Wit, studio manager and fitnessinstructor of Shred four fifteen Hinsdale,

and Nathan McCarthy, Shred fitness instructorand personal trainer in Hinsdale as well.
Thank you both for chatting with usa little bit about this. Twenty twenty
four is gonna be a good yearof health and fitness. Now, there
are multiple Shred locations, but you'reat the Hinsdale one, So if you're
near there and you want to gocheck out a class. Where can people

learn? To sign up? Yes, please visit us at shread for fifteen
dotor to reach us directly. Hinsdaleat tread four fifteen dot com is our
direct email. We have a lotof great new client specials. We have
multiple class formats as well, soit doesn't have to be our traditional hour
long class. We offer formats forevery type of person looking for a workout

and they just you know, theywant some companionships. So we're here for
you. Nick, I thought too, you could use that Hinsdale shut fourteen
address if they want to email us. If they want you to do some
more burpies, like when Mick comesto the class, how do we need
to torture him better? They coulduse the email for that too. If
they'd like you, you can cometo the class and compete with me.
It's positive energy, but we'll doa little competition. Yes, exactly,

exactly, And like I said,there's locations all over the place. This
is the one in Hinsdale, butthere's locations in the city and more so,
if Heinsdale's little too far for youlistening right now and you want to
another location, you can find themon the website as well. Thank you
so much for having us today.Thank you so much. It's Paulina here
with iHeartRadio Chicago for our Community Affairsshow, and I am chatting today with

Lelah Schmidt, senior manager for Marketingand into Cultural Communication for of course we
are talking for the German American eventsand you are also event planner right for
the Chris Kindle market. Correct,Yes, we are the event organized as
well the Chris Kinder markets in Chicago, Ridleyville and Aura beautiful. So nice
to have you on the show today, and of course we're gonna chat all

about the upcoming events. It isofficially winter slash Christmas time slash holiday season
here in Chicago the Chicagoland area,so this is really exciting to have you
on today. Can you give mea little bit of background about yourself and
your current role. Yeah, absolutely, so. I have actually been part
of the team that organizes the marketsince twenty eighteen. I started out as

a trainee and then became assist managermanager and no senior manager. So I've
really explored a lot of different thingswith the team. That's the funnest part
of the job. All ye alongwe organized this market, right, so
we already started planning the new marketsin February. And my role here is
the focus of marketing and communication,so of course making sure everything runs smoothly

on the website, our social mediachannels, working with journalists, pr people,
influencers, content creators, and yeah, coming up with different strategies and
campaigns to promote the different locations andeverything that's new at the markets. And
of course are wonderful vendors, absolutely, And can you give us a little
bit of like of a brief historyfor those who maybe aren't as familiar or

want to kind of learn more rightabout the markets, can you kind of
talk about how that came to be, what year you guys are in all
that good stuff. Yeah, Sothe first market took place at Pioneer Court
back then in nineteen ninety six,and the original purpose was to for that
transcendental trade between the US and Germany. So back then the markets dited with
only thirteen vendors, and since thenwe've grown tremendously. So at this point

we have more than fifty vendors atDaily Plaza, which has become our home.
In nineteen ninety seven and ever sincewe've been there every single year for
the holidays, besides twenty twenty whenwe were only able to host the virtual
market, of course, and thenwe've been able to expand to several locations.
So we are celebrating our second locationat River Edge Park out in Aurora

in the suburbs. And we arein our fifth season at Ridleyville at Gallighaway
where we are part of the WinterLand. Yes, and I've seen you
guys here too. I want tosay it was a downtown area, so
I'm thinking it is probably that onethat I've attended. Be forward. It's
a really cool experience. Can youtalk about what you know, guess,
and you know people who want tostop by any of the locations, what

we can expect sort of what kindof a day you know? Would we
plan for all that good stuff?Yeah, so all markets are at mission
free. We are open daily atDaily Plaza and in Riddleyville and I always
like to say it's like escape intoa little magical holiday village. So when
you stroll around the market, youget to see our red and white striped

wooden booth that are implotted from Europe, and you can talk to the vendors,
shop get your really beautiful, uniqueholiday gifts that are authentic, and
try all kinds of international foods.So for example, we have German classics
like Bradworst or Schnitzel, but thenyou can also try out local things for
example a ra klet sandwich from ourvendor, bake cheese, and of course

if you have a sweet tooth,we have a variety there as well,
for example the Sweet Castle that hasbecome a staple where you can get all
kinds of German goodies. So itreally there's something for everyone. There's usually
life entertainment, holiday music playing,so it's it's a really fun experience for
the whole family, for the wholefor everyone. Absolutely. I love that

it is like a family kind ofevent, which makes it so much more
fun as well. So what daysare you operating and running for all three
locations? Yeah, so we areopen until December twenty fourth at Daily Plaza
downtown and then also until December twentyfourth in Aura at Revetch Park, but
that one is only open Thursdays throughSundays. The market downtown and the one

in Riggivill are open daily, andthe one in Riggivill is actually open one
additional week so that one closes onDecember thirty first, and then all for
information like the extra hour special hours, all that can be found on chryscaler
market dot com. We have alocation tab where one can click on the
different locations and the information about parking, hotel deals, our entertainment calendar,

and also of course the vendor mapsright and a special that's happening right now
actually is our at vendor calendar.From December first till December twenty fourth,
we have a vendor of the day, so people get to open a little
door on the website or go toour Instagram where they see the real of
the day and then find a vendorspecial for one location a day. That's
wonderful. So one last time forthose who would love to check it out

or like I said, make afamily day out of it, maybe a
date night. I mean, there'sso many possibilities, just so cute and
so awesome here right here in thecity of Chicago and our surrounding suburbs.
What is the website or like asocial media handle we can follow. Yeah,
the website is Christkindle Market dot comand the handle on Instagram is at
the Chris kindle market. Awesome.Thank you so much for being here with

us today. We appreciate it andwe cannot wait to see you there.
Thank you so much. Happy holidays. Hi, it's Paulina here with Iheard
Media Chicago for the Weekly show,and I am speaking with our friend Jamal
Cole. My block, my hood, my city. How are you today?
Hey, I'm doing better to someworst, but mister Holiday, I'm
complaining. I'm a lot will askinghow you doing? I am doing so

good and I love that we getto catch up with you. Obviously a
friend of the show, a friendof the station, and a friend of
the city. Of course, youknow my block, myhood, my city.
Can you give us a little bitof a brief description for those who
may not be as familiar or thosewho maybe are tuning in for the first
time, a little bit about myblock, my hood, my city.
Yeah, we are like the RedCross for the hood. Our mission is

to take care of people no matterwhat. So if it's a snowstorm,
you'll see us showing up shoveling snowfor seniors. If it's a heat wave,
we're gonna show up pass out watersand box stand of seniors. If
it's a media that hits Chicago.Tomorrow, You're gonna see my block,
my hood, my city hoodies outthere doing something about it. We take
care of people no matter what.We're my block, behood, my city

absolutely, and we've you know,followed you and your path for so many
years. So I think it's amazingto see just the growth behind you as
a leader, and then obviously thegrowth of my block, myhood, my
city all over Chicago. I seelike the sweatshirts whenever I'll be in like
Kilfin or I live by Midway Airport, and I'm just like, I see

you like you're everywhere. So Ilove it. So, Jamo, today
we are talking about one of yourannual initiatives, right it's to be a
part of the Lights. So canyou talk about that and kind of what
that is of course, how wecan get involved all that good stuff.
Yeah, So what we do withbe a part of the light is we
hang holiday lights on King Drive.Right now, if you go on King

Drive, you see helicopter lights andpolice car lights. That's traumatic. We
interrupt all that trauma by hanging holidaylights. We decorate five hundred homes for
free. That's the goal. Everyhome is gonna shine as magnificent as the
Magnificent Mile. We're gonna put ribbons, bows, reefs, trees, lights,
everything and make it magnificent on thesouth side and we depend on our
volunteers to come help us do it. On December second, we call it

be a part of the Light.But really, when you come out on
King Drive, you are the light. You're the light coming to the community
and shine and bright, and weneed your help on December second to hang
lights on King Drives. Absolutely so. Can you talk about the experiences that
you've had before, you know,with be a part of the Light?
I mean, what is the mostfulfilling part of that for you? What

makes you like the most happiest.Well, yeah, what makes me happy
is you know a lot of kidshave never seen Christmas trees their whole life.
You know, they go trip ortreating in a suburbs, they got
the big houses there, right.But suddenly on December second, we light
up King Drive. We put garlandon the poles, we put lights on
the poles, and we look.It looks like Edgewater, it looks like
Greek Town. When you come throughthe South side of Chicago on King Drive.

So right now on King Drive.You know, there's a gas station
in Washington Park. Everybody call itthe Unlucky gas station is there's so many
robberies, there's so many shootings.We put holiday lights in that gas station
to light it up right, andso it really interrupts the trauma that's there
and it inspires hope by just doingsomething as simple as hanging lights. Absolutely,
I yeah, I couldn't agree more. And I love It's one of

my favorite parts of what you doduring the holidays, and I think it's
so special for the community as well. So for those who want to be
involved, whether it's donating their timeresources, where can we do that?
Thank you, by the way,But you can do it at our website
for my block dot org. That'sfor my block dot org. It's right
on the home page. You cansponsor a home or light up a home.

That costs two hundred and fifty dollars. You can light up four homes
or light up the block. We'retrying to line up the whole south Side
and we cannot do it without yoursupport. So go to our website formoblog
dot org and you can line upa home or line up the whole block,
but it's gonna be magnificent. Isdowntown on the south side beautiful.
Thank you so much for being herewith us today and for sharing this with
our listeners. Hey, thank youpolin in you the truth. I appreciate

you guys for amplifying our message andyou'd be safe, so always be safe.
Thank you so much. Thank youso much for tuning in today to
the weekly show. We appreciate yoursupport at ninety three nine Light FM,
one on three reve Kiss FM,and Rock ninety five to five. We
do this every single week. Soif you know somebody who should be interviewed
on our weekly show, please contactme at Paulina at iHeartMedia dot com and

I'm gonna try my best to setup an interview to get them on the
show. We love talking with allthe movers and shakers right here in our
city who are just making our cityand suburbs a much better place to live.
As always, we place this showon these episodes on our podcast page.
You can just download our free iHeartapp and search for the weekly show.
Thank you so much for tuning intoday. Thank you for all of

those who are a part of theshow, and of course stay safe,
Chicago. We will talk to youagain next weekend.
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