Adventure Fitness: Unusual Chicago Workouts

Want a little adventure with your fitness? Try pole dancing. (Photo: Deposit Photos/Glow Images)

Looking to burn off that extra slice of deep-dish pizza? When it comes to working up a sweat and having fun, these workouts promise a good time in the Windy City, whether on the water or in the gym.

Paddle Past the Sights

Work it off on the water with a sunset or nighttime kayaking tour on the Chicago River, or escape the city and take a two-hour adventurous “skyline paddle” on Lake Michigan for incredible views of the city. Meet and beat your fitness goals at the daily Kayfit class, where participants do kayak sprints, core and cardio workouts on the water. Stand Up Paddle Boarders will enjoy the shoreline SUP tours on the lake or the more social Friday evening sunset paddles.

The details: Two-hour tours are $60. Private lessons are $100 per hour; semi-private tours are $80 per hour for a minimum of two hours for two people. Kayfit is $50 per session.

Work Out and Get Your Sexy Back

Feeling flirty but want to burn off calories? Try a pole dancing class at Flirty Girl Fitness, the only U.S. location of the Toronto-based company catering to women. Pole dancing is fun, empowering and an excellent workout, since it takes a lot of strength to lift and swing effortlessly. With 14 poles, this chic and stylish spot is one of the biggest pole dancing studios in the country. Plus, it’s in the heart of the upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood’s shopping district. There’s even a bar for a post-workout cocktail; try the Pom Pom Flirtini, with Skyye Dragon Fruit infused vodka, pomegranate juice and pineapple juice.

The details: Drop-in rate is $25 per class; private classes are $100 per hour for up to two people, and $25 for each additional girl up to six.

Climb Your Way to Fitness

Chicago’s entrepreneurial community comes together at the brand new, 25,000-square-foot Brooklyn Boulders Chicago facility in the happening West Loop neighborhood for a range of climbing and fitness experiences. An offshoot of Brooklyn Boulders, BKB Chicago is the first outpost in the Midwest. Here you’ll find progressive climbing and fitness with the philosophy that physicality stimulates innovation and creativity. For the vertigo-prone, there’s yoga, a weight room, cardio and fitness equipment.

The details: Day passes are $25, and include access to yoga classes and the gym. Full climbing gear rental gear is $11.