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2017 Summer Guide

Your Guide to Chicago’s Outdoor Workouts

Five options to heat up your exercise routine this summer

Fitness class at Exhale   Photo: Brain Lee

If there were ever a reason to ditch the gym, a beautiful summer morning is it. But there’s no need to skip exercising entirely (we’re not letting you off that easy). Just take the workout outside instead at any of these five locations around the city.

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Type of workout: Strength training, running, yoga
Cost: Free

The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (12 S. Michigan Ave.) is teaming up with On Your Mark Coaching + Training for a series of summer workouts. Best news: You don’t have to be a hotel guest to sweat it out. But you do need to be an early riser. Start times for the classes—OYM-trainer-led 5K runs along the lakefront (July 1, August 12, September 23), yoga on Cindy’s rooftop (June 17, July 28, September 9), and bodyweight strength workouts in Grant Park (June 3, July 15, August 26)—are 5:45 a.m., 6 a.m., and 7 a.m., respectively. Sign up here.

Millennium Park

Type of workout: Pilates, yoga, strength, Zumba
Cost: Free

The Great Lawn at Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) turns into an open-air workout studio on Saturday mornings from June 3 until September 2. And since admiring the skyline through Pritzker Pavilion’s steel trellis beats staring at a treadmill dashboard, you’ll want to make it part of your routine. The 45-minute classes start on the hour, beginning at 7 a.m. with Pilates, followed by yoga, strength training, and Zumba. Yoga is also offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 6 to August 31 at 7:30 a.m. if you’re able to swing a before-work flow. Visit the City of Chicago’s website for more details, including information on which instructors are leading the week’s workouts and whether there’s a theme (June 3 is gospel).

Hotel Palomar

Type of workout: Barre and cardio
Cost: $25

Whether you’re a regular at Exhale in the Gold Coast or a complete newbie, the best place to experience the studio’s signature barre+cardio classes is 17 floors up on the terrace of Hotel Palomar in River North (505 N. State St.). Classes are offered every Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. (weather permitting) until the end of September. The workouts are free for hotel guests and $25 for everyone else. Reserve your spot on Exhale’s website.  

The Field Museum

Type of workout: Yoga, barre, baby/mommy or family workout, BollyX, Zumba, boot camp
Cost: Free

Fitness at the Field taps two neighborhood favorites—the South Loop locations of Fitness Formula Club and The Bar Method—to help elevate your heartrate at the Field Museum (1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.). The one-hour classes kick off at 8 a.m. on Sundays from July 9 until August 20. Meet at the museum’s Northeast Terrace, which will be covered if it looks like rain. For the full schedule, visit the museum’s website.  

Revival Food Hall

Type of workout: Boot camp, yoga, HIIT, meditation, strength training
Cost: Free

This one’s for the Loop crowd: Revival Food Hall (125 S. Clark St.) is bringing Equinox trainers to its sixth-floor terrace for a series of 6:30 to 8 a.m. workouts. Classes start June 8 and run every other Thursday (skipping the week of July 4) for six weeks. Expect a new workout each week—hip hop yoga and a meditation and mindful movement class are among the highlights. All are best followed up with a stop at Revival to refuel with an acai bowl from Graze Kitchenette. If you can resist HotChocolate Bakery’s donuts, that is.

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