Lake County Family YMCA urges households toward healthier living with a supportive staff, fitness classes, and a treasure trove of gym and poolside amenities. Hearts and legs get pumping aboard ellipticals and stationary bikes while limbs and cores sprout muscle with the help of free or machine weights. Active Mature Adult classes hone balance, strength, and flexibility with a light to moderate workout that eschews the games of medicine-ball dodgeball found in more intense exercise classes. Alternately, Zumba classes motor hips into calorie-torching dance moves set to Latin music, and yoga courses pose physiques into fluid Vinyasa sequences. After sweat-inducing workouts, members can relax, letting the whirlpool's jets power wash stress from bodies or the dry-heat sauna's warmth melt pounds and tense muscles. The Vernon Hills location fosters watery fun with a children's aquatic play area and water slide, and the Waukegan complex lets joggers peer down onto the gymnasium below from an overhead running track. Both sites welcome whippersnappers into their drop-in babysitting service, where staffers entertain youngsters for up to two hours or however long it takes parents to stage one-person renditions of Logan's Run on the treadmills.
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.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Borrowing its name from an ancient meditative chant, Forever Om Yoga turns up the heat on classic Vinyasa flows for calorie-burning, mind-clearing workouts. Aside from warming the studio to between 78 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit, a high-tech heating system cleans and recirculates air with an infrared light, facilitating easier, deeper breaths. In each 75-minute class, Yoga Alliance- and Baptiste-certified instructors lead groups through either gentle, 78-degree Vinyasa flows or hotter, high-energy flows inspired by Baptiste power yoga. The basic yoga class features the essential Vinyasa poses, and a class focused on athletic recovery incorporates therapeutic stretching and twists to help repair sore or strained muscles and prevent future injury during all-night Twister marathons.
• For $30, you get a three one-day guest passes (a $60 value). • For $90, you get a 30-day guest pass (a $180 value). The guest pass must be activated by September 15, 2011. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital's fitness centers host a parade of more than 100 group fitness classes through the beautiful Lake Forest campus as well as the arcadian Lindenhurst location. Both exercise hubs house indoor tracks and pools, as well as healthy stables of fitness equipment accessible to both three- and 30-day guests. Workers-out can also find their fitness calling in morning and evening group sessions such as The Barre class—in which toes twinkle in high-energy, low-impact exuberance—or several heart-thumping, pedal-pushing versions of the spin class. During Piloxing, the pumped manifest platonic physiques through a fusion of boxing, Pilates, and Socratic interrogation, honing power, speed, and agility while carving ripped bods. Aqua classes at both Lake Forest and Lindenhurst are suitable for adults, children, seniors, and Atlantean tourists.