Chicago offers plenty of activities to keep you active during the summer months. Since the local weather seems to be favorable for outside activities, Access Community Health Network would like to call your attention to great options for natural exercise. Let’s take a look at a few.
(Re)Discover your local parks
Heading to the park is a great way to get outside and enjoy time with friends and family. Rediscover your local park with a pick-up soccer or football game or play an old classic like tag or red rover with the little ones. Did you know that the City of Chicago has 570 parks? The Chicago Park District maintains more than 30 beaches, and more than 80 pools, 90 playgrounds, 90 gardens and 66 fitness centers throughout the city. The Park District also hosts sports leagues and open gyms throughout the summer. Sports leagues offer a fun workout, quality competition and a sense of community that is not normally found with individual exercise. Reach out to your local Chicago Park District location for more information.
Take a trip to Millennium Park and/or the lakefront
Chicago’s lakefront, one of the most beautiful areas of the city, offers several ways to exercise. Options include biking, jogging, walking or going for a swim. Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park is always a family favorite. If you are looking for something more structured, free yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes are offered at Millennium Park on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Maggie Daley Park is the newest addition to the area with a variety of fun activities including a climbing wall, mini golf and a play garden.
Host or organize a healthy barbeque or picnic
When we normally think of a summer barbeque, burgers and hot dogs are the first things that come to mind. But healthy foods can be just as fun and much tastier. Challenge yourself to make a healthier version of your favorite recipe and invite friends and family to try it out. Take a standard picnic food like potato salad and make a zesty cauliflower salad instead. Let attendees vote on their favorite dish, because everyone loves a good taste test! Give this grilled cajun chicken salad recipe a try.
Join a community garden
It is never too early to teach your child the importance of healthy eating, so why not teach them to grow their own vegetables? Community gardens are located throughout the city and often offer classes to teach children about gardening. Plots of lands are assigned, so your kids can grow their own fruits and vegetables. These can be used in lunches and dinners throughout the week. Not only does your child learn a valuable life skill, but a day digging dirt and weeding can be quite the workout!
Enjoy the city
The best advice about exercise is picking something you enjoy to do and will do every day. The best advice for any Chicagoan is to enjoy the weather while you can and avoid spending your summer inside. Take the long walk home from work. Go for that run through the neighborhood. Rent a bike and enjoy a new neighborhood. You will have plenty of time to sit inside during the winter, so don’t let the summer get away from you!
These activities are good for most age levels. If you would like to begin a more strenuous exercise routine, it is best to consult with your physician first. If you are looking for a primary health care provider, why not make ACCESS your primary health care home: Make an appointment today.