Located less than 90 minutes from Chicago amidst Illinois's largest concentration of natural lakes, the Chain O' Lakes State Park Riding Stable sits on a 2,793-acre park neighbored by a 3,230-acre conservation area. There, horseback trail rides explore undulating hills and thick forest populated by deer, eagles, and the much-sought-after Keebler elf. Horse-drawn wagon rides—led by seasoned drivers along wooded trails—furnish especially colorful views in autumn, and the stable staff can curate optional cookouts at wooded picnic sites.
The gym owners at Snap Fitness understand that the motivation to train might strike at any time: early morning, late at night, or immediately after having just barely escaped a bear. That’s why they keep their gyms open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a convenient and affordable experience close to home. These four Facilities outside of Chicago feature woodway treadmills, strength training equipment, ellipticals, stairmasters, free weights, and power racks. Certain gyms have individual showering rooms and rowing machines. No matter which gym clients choose, certified personal trainers will conduct a one-on-one fitness consultation to get clients familiar with the equipment and started on a workout plan.
Zip Fitness's staff strives to keep intimidation from creeping in to each of the five gyms. To welcome all exercisers—even those who have never had gym memberships before—Gym Geniuses stroll through each location donning bright-red shirts that signal their availability to help guests operate the various machines and guide them in drafting fitness goals and coming up with routines for the day. They've stocked each location with strength equipment from brands such as Precor and Life Fitness, and a guided strength circuit's 30-minute full-body workout takes the guesswork out of toning physiques. Rows of cardio equipment include treadmills, ellipticals, and upright and recumbent bikes, along with rowing machines and StairMaster step mills. For stretching and ab work, bands, balls, and body bars abound, and free weights include dumbbells, barbells, and tamed school bells.
Gold memberships unlock additional perks, such as unlimited access to Hex II tanning booths and the ActivTrax online fitness and nutrition coach, which plots out workouts and offers nutrition tools tailored to each user's goals, from slimming down to having the flexibility to comb your hair with your feet.
Fitzone For Women boasts all the amenities of any modern gym, including row upon row of sleek workout equipment, 24 different kinds of fitness classes, and nutritional seminars. The gym’s staff tailors each service specifically to women’s needs. One-on-one instructors teach the tips and tricks needed to build long, lean muscle, while nutritionists suggest regimens designed to keep the female form healthy. Large screen televisions line the cardiovascular room, providing mental escape into another world while bodies work on burning calories.