Alright fellow Chicagoans, the polar vortex has subsided... at least for now (hopefully). We all know Chicago has a great patio scene and that drinking ice cold beer in the summer sun is our favorite pastime. But what if you want to REALLY enjoy the weather, our gorgeous city, AND the lakefront, but still be healthy? I've got the answer, folks. I have been paddleboarding for the last 3 years and I swear it changed the way I look at fitness. Granted, we cannot do this all year round in Chicago, but while we can, I definitely take FULL advantage. It's a very useful skill to have, as it's become a popular sport the world over. (One of my best friends was paddleboarding in Cinque Terre, Italy last week). Not only is it fun, relaxing, and an amazing workout (core, arms, legs) but you can get a great tan while doing it!
I go, as often as I can, to Chicago SUP at North Ave Beach. They rent the boards for $30/hr, or you can buy a package that can save you some dough. They also offer private lessons (which I don't feel are very necessary, the 2 min tutorial should be enough). What's even more fun is they offer SUP YO! Classes...(stand up paddleboarding yoga). Click here for class schedule. Can you think of any better way to do yoga? With the backdrop of the most gorgeous city right behind you... and if you get too hot... ya just jump in the water!!
Lately, after I finish my paddle session, I head into the ground floor of Castaways. Now usually, when you think of beach food, you think of hot dogs and burgers and snow cones...so basically shit. Now you can complete your healthy day because the little stand in there makes green smoothies. My favorite is the Kale Ginger- made with Kale, Banana, Orange, Fresh Ginger, and Coconut Water. It's the perfect healthy hydration after your work out.
Go check it out! Trust me, you'll love it. Do NOT be scared to fall in, I guarantee you'll welcome a quick dip. It's the most tropical thing you could possibly do in our fair city, so take advantage of it while you can... then go do it around the world!