Light treadmill work, stretching exercises, protein shakes, and maybe a quick massage. They’re all go-to assistants at arguably the most important checkpoint of a vigorous workout routine – the cooldown or “recovery phase.”

Kristen Mains needed something different one day last fall, a little more gusto to help her body recalibrate after a particularly demanding session at Vaughan Athletic Center.

So, she drove home and made a bagel with cream cheese topped with a handful of Cheetos.

“I was so nauseous!” says Kristen, who’s had the equivalent of a doctor’s note since that first ultrasound last October. It hangs on the fridge, not far from the cream cheese.

Kristen and husband Mark are expecting their first child this summer, a boy due in July, around the same time Kristen’s Fox Fitness membership turns 2. The young couple married in 2021 “and right after that is when I made coming to the gym a habit,” says Kristen, 28.

In pursuit of getting more toned, Kristen took progress photos along the way “and that was the most motivating thing,” she says. “The scale didn’t really change much, but my body composition did.

“I’m definitely the strongest I’ve ever been.”

For 18 months – before those progress pics began revealing a baby bump – Kristen dedicated five days a week to strength-based training, including once a week with personal trainer Tim Johnson who she relies on for guidance and accountability.

“I’ve modified things throughout her pregnancy to keep her strong and healthy, keeping doctor suggestions and recommendations in mind,” Johnson says. “She’s a hard worker and enjoys being pushed to her limits.”

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, research indicates several benefits of continued exercise during pregnancy, including avoidance of rapid or excessive weight gain; reduced risks of gestational diabetes; and less frequency of lower back pain sometimes associated with pregnancy.

Kristen has scaled workouts to twice a week and completes sets of squats, deadlifts, and dumbbells in moderation, though the stair-master still works as her trusty cooldown. “My favorite thing here,” says Kristen. “I get the most out of it and can watch my shows. Real Housewives is my guilty pleasure.”

Beyond the physical benefits for both her and her unborn son, Kristen uses Fox Fitness to recharge her mental battery, for her profession as an in-home hospice nurse makes every stop along the emotional spectrum.

The young mom-to-be pulls double responsibility 24/7 – carrying and nourishing one for the beginning of life’s journey while creating an environment of compassion and grace for the end of others.

“Seeing family members become accepting and no longer scared is a transitional moment, it’s powerful,” Kristen says. “I build relationships with patients and their loved ones and help them through such an important time.

“I cry a lot, but it’s so rewarding, and I want to do it forever. But sometimes I just need to come to the gym and run off some steam.”

For more information on Fox Fitness, visit or call 630-897-0516. We’re happy to provide tours at any of our four Fox Fitness locations – Vaughan Athletic Center, Prisco and Eola community centers, and Copley Boxing and Training Center.