Setback inspires Highland Park instructor
Dana Pieper, developer of the Every Body Fitness program, leads a conditioning class at the Highland Park Recreation Center. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
NAME: Dana Pieper, mother of triplets
OCCUPATION: Highland Park conditioning and kickboxing instructor
NEW VENTURE: Developer of the Every Body Fitness programs, now on DVD
Updated: October 26, 2012 3:32PM
HIGHLAND PARK — Dana Pieper of Highland Park understands the challenge of getting back into shape after falling off the exercise wagon, though no one ever would guess she’s ever been anything but toned and buff.
When Pieper was expectant with triplets nearly eight years ago, she was ordered to spend the last trimester of her pregnancy in a hospital bed after she went into pre-term labor at 21 weeks.
Once her triplets were born, those months of bedrest were followed by a hectic and exhausting schedule of feeding, diapering and maternal bonding — times three — leaving little time or energy for workouts.
“I knew my muscles had atrophied sitting around in the hospital bed,” said Pieper, 41, of Highland Park, a trained dancer and exercise instructor who’d always been in top physical form. Pieper’s experience getting herself back into shape led her to develop the Every Body Fitness program, a combination of low- and high-impact exercises, weightlifting, cardio segments and kickboxing moves.
The workout regimen is available on DVD in two one-hour programs: Total Body Conditioning and Kickbox Challenge. The self-produced DVDs were recorded at the Joy of the Game basketball courts in Deerfield.
“I wanted to combine everything in one solid, sweaty and effective hour,” she said.
Pieper, living in California at the time, returned to work as a conditioning and kickboxing instructor about four months after her children were born. “This was the longest time I had been so inert,” said Pieper, who teaches Total Body Conditioning classes at the Highland Park Recreation Center and a Kickboxing class at the Equinox. “We don’t strap on gloves or use heavy bags, or spar with an actual opponent,” she said, of the shadow boxing format. “It’s a good way for people to get in their own little zone and get out their aggression, while getting their workout at the same time.”
Her son, Casey, and daughters Haley and Abby are enrolled in the second grade at Highland Park’s Sherwood School.
Pieper initially decided to put her class routines on DVD because her students wanted the extra motivation to keep up the routine when traveling.
The DVDs are $20 each and available at www.every-body-fitness.com as well as through Amazon and other websites.