Motivating, highly trained staff and spacious facilities complement Charter Fitness's battalion of cardio machines and strength-training equipment. Huge flat-screen TVs motivate gym-goers as they lift weights, stationary bikes, and their reflections in large mirrors. Seasoned personal trainers who all hold certifications or four-year degrees in their specialty guide members through an initial personal-training session, introducing clients to the best equipment for their fitness goals. After workouts, private showers or public water fountains sluice away sweat.
River Heights Golf Course amalgamates traditional and links-style holes for a challenging, varied game enhanced by the Kishwaukee River’s scenic backdrop. Players hop into a cart and dart across the par 72 course, encountering shallow greens, long pars, water hazards, and river bridges built by visit-hungry grandmothers. Many holes are hugged by curvaceous river waters, lending cool breezes to the shady course. Players must take into account the strength of the wind, perilous bunker positions, and unsolicited advice from overeager golf clubs in order to deliver balls to their destination. After matches, golfers can relax at the clubhouse, whose wraparound porch and full bar beckon to players with promises of relaxation and refreshment.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
With its bare hands, Norris Recreation Center tears through the piecemeal membership and class fees that keep exercisers from traditional gyms, and flings open the doors to its modern facility. A gift from the St. Charles–native Norris family, the nonprofit establishment makes living healthier a viable option. Within its stone walls, five dedicated rooms bustle with the whir of cardio and weight-training equipment, and swimmers careen down the 12 lanes of the 50-meter pool during lessons, lap swims, and open pool time. The squeaks of pivoting sneakers peal off the racquetball court's walls, and twosomes, foursomes, and Billie Jean King's army of clones descend on the four tennis courts, which guests rent by the hour. Members can simmer in the center's saunas or whirlpool, or shuck off tension with a swedish, sport-injury, orthopedic, or deep-tissue massage before showering and retrieving their gym bags from complimentary lockers.
Trained instructors lead 13 free classes throughout the week, with diverse aerobic curricula that include cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. For individualized guidance, personal trainers coach clients out of workout plateaus. As parents work out, childcare professionals engage lads and lasses with interactive games, toys, and movies in the center's nursery, where kids build social skills and imagination while pretending to be heroic astronauts, firefighters, or accountants.
tri-city Fitness keeps locals in shape with a 15,000-square-foot facility named one of the Best Places for a Workout in 2011 by Suburban Life Publications. In addition to weight machines and group classes, the facility houses The Spa at TCF, which invites guests to recline atop a plush treatment bed as an aesthetician uses Bioelements products in massages and facials. Sconces illuminate treatment rooms' gold accents, while the mani-pedi area hosts visitors settling into dark pedi thrones and white porcelain basins.
In the gym, the gray floor supports rows of cardio machines, free weights, and strength-training equipment from such brands as Striders and KrankCycle. More than 20 group fitness classes a week keep figures chiseled through Zumba, Pilates, and spin sessions, and personal training and nutrition programs teach healthy lifestyle habits to clients of any age. tri-city Fitness also boasts highly sanitized locker rooms equipped with digital lockers and showerheads that provide backing vocals when they detect a singing voice.
Several times a day, students flock to the 105-degree studio of Bikram Hot Yoga in St. Charles and Palatine, striking confident poses under the direction of experienced instructors. Each 90-minute class helps students find inner peace and outer health as they sweat out toxins, lengthen muscles, and find respite from packs of predatory hockey players. The studio welcomes students of all abilities, as the balmy heat helps even the tightest of tendons sink into Bikram’s 26 postures and two breathing exercises.