Monday, May 9, 2011

Chicago's Best Spring Workout

Excuse 1: You spent the last 24 hours awake and the only thing keeping you from a usual Saturday workout is sleep--all day. Excuse 2: You're not going to be in Chicago on May 21. Excuse 3: You have a wedding, or wedding-related event, to attend and the plans can't be changed until another day or moved to outside the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Unless you're sleeping in on a Saturday, and really dragging your feet on leaving the house, you want to make your way to Grant Park and SELF's Workout in the Park.

You won't want to miss the 2011 rendition of this event, which only seems to grow bigger and better year after year. The new and unique workouts that can give you that change in the routine to rev your metabolism. Moving from Lincoln Park to a larger space at Butler Field in Grant Park. Bringing A-list--or maybe I should title it Fit-list--celebrities like Maria Menounos and Jillian Michaels. And now this year, Chicago is matching that with Ali Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser and author of The Mommy Diet, making a special guest appearance. Biggest Loser fans can rejoice now and get excited for Sweeney to share her eating tips and how she makes exercise fun.

Chicago is the last stop on the 2011 Workout in the Park tour and it hosts the event on Saturday, May 21. If you've ever wanted to see what it's like to have the pages of SELF magazine unfold before your eyes in live-action form, now's your chance.

The health, wellness and fitness festival lands at Butler Field, 300 East Monroe if you need an address, in Grant Park, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. I know what you might be thinking: four hours is a long time to be working out especially if I don't have an Ironman, half Ironman or marathon on the docket. But honestly, this four hours is so jam-packed, you'll wish you had more time to cruise the beauty booths, snag some samples, break a sweat at the fitness classes, or rejuvenate body and mind in the quiet zone.

Even if I trip over my own two feet when I try choreographed group fitness classes, Workout in the Park's highlights are its fitness classes. With 17 to choose from running throughout the day and featuring top-notch instruction from Crunch trainers, it's hard to want to sit them out--even the ones that were so popular in the past that they're back on the schedule like Retro-Robics, Masala Bhangra and Beach Body. Among the class offerings and experiences, here are four to check out:
  • LaBlast. Do your best Dancing with the Stars moves at this cardio fat-burning dance class that involves ballroom dance genres. Its combination of body movements and creative routines will make you sweat!
  • Glee. Who knew that a sing-and-dance TV show could be transformed into exercise? Not me. But in this class where you're the star, you'll learn songs and dances from the show.
  • Kama Strength. Strengthen now, prep for later? This class also takes on another meaning: Kama sutra fitness. Externally it'll strengthen the muscles, and internally it'll boost your libido.
  • Reebok Toning Zone. If you've wanted to know how toning shoes, one of today's biggest fitness trends, compare to your usual sneaks, you can witness it first-hand here where you'll perform unique total-body exercises inspired by Reebok's EasyTone shoes from core tightening to strengthening.
Good news in Chicago is you can plan ahead or make it a spur-of-the-moment decision to attend. The $20 per-person tickets include a subscription to SELF as well as the events for the day and you can score them by purchasing in advance online or pay cash at the door. But don't bring a suitcase for all the samples you can take home with you or you won't be allowed in. Who's ready to work out?

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