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4 Ways To Work Out Outdoors In Chicago This Summer

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 28, 2016 4:08PM

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Boat Club.

We’ve already told you all the places you could take your yoga practice outdoors. Being a city on a lake though, Chicago has so many fitness options that can make it feel more like California than Chiberia, even if it’s just for a couple of months. Sure, there’s always running or biking on the lakefront trail or The 606, but here a few more alternative options to try. Take advantage of the weather and learn something new.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding:

There are many locations in the city that offer stand up paddle boarding (affectionately known as SUP) lessons and rentals. It’s an amazing core workout, but don’t be deterred by how difficult it looks. The board is large and steady, and it’s actually a nice, relaxing stroll along the water. Here’s a short list of places to try, from Leone Beach to 31st Street Harbor. Click to visit websites for prices.

Chicago Paddle Company: Kathy Osterman 'Hollywood' Beach

Chicago SUP: North Avenue Beach, Diversey Harbor

Loyola Beach SUP: Leone Beach

Chicago Paddle Rentals: 31st Street Harbor


Kayaking is a popular activity in Chicago with the river running all through the city. It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective, especially through downtown. Many different companies offer rentals and tours, from Chinatown to the Riverwalk to Avondale. For more information, click through to visit each location’s website.

Chicago Kayak: Chicago River, North Avenue Beach, Montrose Beach

Chicago Paddle Rentals: 31st Street Harbor

Urban Kayaks: Chicago Riverwalk, Chinatown

Wateriders: East Bank Club Riverwalk

Chicago River Canoe & Kayak: WMS Boathouse


You’ve likely seen people rowing in the Lincoln Park Lagoon as you drive by on Lake Shore Drive. The Lincoln Park Boat Club occupies the boat house there, offering classes in rowing, kayaking and paddling. They’re also home to several active rowing teams including sweep and sculling, competitive and recreational. For more information or to join a team, visit LPBC’s website.

Flying Trapeze:

Learn to fly at Trapeze School New York Chicago on Belmont Harbor. They teach classes in flying trapeze where you’ll jump off a 23 foot platform and swing from the bar by your hands or knees. Build strength endurance, flexibility and focus with beginner classes, and then advance to catching and intermediate classes. They also offer a discount with class card packages. To sign up and for more information, visit TSNY’s website.

Know of more outdoor fitness fun that we missed? Please let us know in the comments.