Free Ways to Get Exercise in the Chicago Area This Winter

November 20, 2018

When the weather gets cold during the harsh winter months, it can feel easier to sit on the couch than get the exercise our bodies need. Fortunately, the Chicago area offers some great ways to stay active outdoors during the winter months. Below are a few ideas for staying active as the temperature drops:

Plan a game at the park
The annual “Turkey Bowl” football game with family doesn’t have to be just on Thanksgiving. You can play soccer, football and other field sports during winter months – just bundle up and be ready for snow! Call your family, friends and neighbors and find a park district field to compete and have a little fun outside. This is a great way to stay active in your own community and spend time with loved ones. 

Go for a run or a long walk
Even as it gets colder in Chicago, you can still find days to get in a run or walk when the weather isn’t freezing. If you have access, using a treadmill, elliptical or Stairmaster machine is a great way to stay in shape during the winter months until you are ready to hit the trails outdoors once again. Many communities host holiday and themed runs and walks around the holidays into the New Year. Look for an event near you. 

Enjoy a bike riding event
Even throughout the winter months, bicycle groups get together for free community rides. On December 1 at the Dan Ryan Woods, the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Chicago will be holding its Annual Major Taylor Birthday Ride. The event is free and the group’s mission is to promote good health by supporting recreational and social cycling activities in the community.

Skate at Millennium Park or your local rink
For the 18th year in a row, the Millennium Park ice rink downtown will be free and open to the public. If you haven’t skated before or just want a refresher, there are free skating lessons on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, one hour before the rink opens. This is a great way to enjoy the city scenery and get some exercise along the way. If you do not have skates, they can be rented at the rink for a fee. Visit here for more details.

Access Community Health Network
At ACCESS, we encourage everyone to make time for exercise during the winter months. If you have any questions about what level of activity is safe and healthy for you, schedule an appointment with our care team today.