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By: Caitlin Brown

Nestled between two major eating holidays, the weeks spanning from Thanksgiving to Christmas serve as something of a rest and recuperation period. Like most, I spend Thanksgiving and Christmas breaking every health and fitness habit that I cultivated throughout the earlier months of the year. That leaves me feeling a little at a loss during this inbetween stage. Should I cut my losses and continue to eat an average of six slices of pie a day until the next holiday, or should I reign myself in?

Well, fortunately, Chicago isn’t the worst city to be in for the health-conscious. The city is home to a myriad of health and fitness centers, classes, and resources. Listed below are a few of my highest-recommended sites and activities, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll overcome this food coma and see you there:

For some fresh air:

Chicago is one of the best cities in the U.S. for outdoor exercise–just two years ago, Bicycling magazine ranked Chicago as the number one city for cycling. With the many different bike and running paths that stretch across the city, it’s not hard to understand why.

My recommendation? If you haven’t already, check out the Lakefront trail. In terms of Chicago trails, this one is a classic. The path stretches a total 19 miles from South Shore to Lakeview, giving you views of the lake, museum campus, and the downtown skyline.

Other popular running/cycling paths include:

  • The 606
  • The Riverwalk
  • Grant Park
  • Lincoln Park

For some healthy eats:

Chicago has some truly innovative restaurants that serve up incredible guilt-free foods.

LYFE Kitchen’s menu is crafted so that all listed meals come in under 600 calories. The motto of this restaurant is “modern comfort food,” so you can rest assured that, even in this time of healthier eating, you won’t stray too far from those traditional, homey holidays foods. With vegan and gluten-free alternatives and three locations throughout the city, you have every reason to visit LYFE for some guilt-free good food.

  • 413 N Clark St
  • 831 N State St
  • 270 E Ontario St

Chicago Raw Foods offers, well, raw foods. The uncooked, plant-based options are ideal for anyone interested in discovering the delicious potential of all-natural vegetarian options. Plus, you get the added bonus of sampling every famous Instagrammar’s favorite health foods, like coconut water, acai bowls, and green juice. Joking aside, Chicago Raw advertises some truly innovative adaptations of foods like burritos, empanadas, and falafel. Chicago Raw Foods has locations at 5 W Huron St and 131 N Clinton St.

Good luck and enjoy the holidays!


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