Local kids scale walls, shoot hoops as cold weather sets in

by Angela Gagnon

There are plenty of nearby options to help kids stay active as winter approaches.

Lakeshore Sports and Fitness (LSF), 211 N. Stetson Ave., is offering new children’s programming for members and nonmembers. Youth basketball classes, including group and private lessons, are available for kids aged 4 and up. Kids nine months and up can learn to swim, and older kids can hone their skills in the water with swimming lessons in the pool. LSF also has a seven-story indoor climbing wall with climbing lessons for kids aged 6 and up. 

“We want to get everyone excited about working out and being healthy,” said LSF General Manager Jarrett Brown. “We also want to build a sense of community for kids and families in the neighborhood and bring healthy habits home.” 

Besides organized classes, LSF also has a new kids playroom available to all members and their little ones during club hours. According to Brown, the play area provides a safe space for kids to run around and enjoy open play with others. Parents and caregivers are required to stay and supervise their children but it’s a good opportunity to socialize.

For more information on programming and offerings at LSF, contact Jarrett Brown at JarrettB@lakeshoresf.com or call (312) 856-1111. Information is also available at lakeshoresf.com/illinois-center/

To keep kids’ climbing skills sharp during the winter months, there are two indoor climbing wall facilities in Chicago that offer youth programs. 

First Ascent, 108 N. State St., is on the fourth floor of Block 37 and offers age-based progressive programs for kids of all abilities. Their teachings provide a structured approach to help kids become skilled and confident climbers. firstascentclimbing.com/block-37/ 

Brooklyn Boulders, 100 S. Morgan St. in the West Loop, offers kids climbing classes, private youth coaching, climbing teams and Adventure Days on select school holidays. They seek to instill a strong sense of self-confidence, teach problem-solving skills and improve concentration, movement and spatial awareness. brooklynboulders.com/chicago/ 

For those who don’t mind a little chill in the air, Maggie Daley Park’s ice skating ribbon will open mid-November. Kids can have fun exercising while skating on the unique and festive winding ice ribbon. Admission is free, and skate rental is available for a fee in the field house. 

“Parents can model healthy behavior at home,” Brown said. “Encourage kids to be active. Walk through the pedways together, dance, move around, do any type of sporting activity.” 

Or bundle up and head to Lakeshore East Park to run around in the field or enjoy the new playground equipment.

High rise gardens can offer healthy benefits

By Angela Gagnon, Staff Writer

Starting a garden in a high-rise building might seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t take much to enjoy the fruits of the labor, literally or aesthetically. Plants are also a natural air purifier, adding the benefit of cleaner air inside your home. 

Even a very small space can be outfitted with vertical or stacking planters, or small pots can be placed on windowsills or out on the balcony. Plants essentially need sunlight and water, so that is a good place to start. 

“First, figure out what type of lighting you have and which direction your windows face,” said Juan Quezada, co-owner of Plant Shop Chicago. For most plants, you’ll want to choose the sunniest, best windowsill in the house, ideally with southern or eastern exposure. 

“Plants are living things that require care and commitment, so you’ll also want to consider your schedule when building your garden,” Quezada said. 

If you often travel or don’t spend much time at home, you’ll want to choose plants that can survive without daily watering. Cacti and succulents are beginner-friendly plants that don’t require much water and are a great choice for a low maintenance garden. They also take up very little space. 

According to Quezada, ferns are easy to care for because they don’t need direct sunlight but need to be watered frequently. Snake plants do well in the sunlight, but are drought tolerant and don’t require much water.

For edible plants, an herb garden can also do well indoors and provide a useful nutritional component for anyone with a penchant for cooking. Choose a long planter and add herbs such as chives, thyme, mint or lemon verbena, which do well in the sunlight. 

Seek out a local garden center or nursery to help getting started. Christy Webber Farm and Garden offers in-home consultations with designers who come to your home for a fee and help with the process. They encourage residents to bring in photos of the windowsill area so in-store consultants can help create the perfect garden.

BYODog to Yoga helps rescue animals

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

Most yoga classes offer a somewhat zen experience with calming music, dim lighting and deep concentration, but a recent class held by Chicago based Rescue in Style
had a very different atmosphere. While holding the downward dog pose, yogis may have looked down to find an actual dog staring back at them.

Rescue in Style partnered with Joriki clothing and ALIVE Rescue to host a BYODog to Yoga class on Dec. 14, inviting yogis to bring their beloved pups along to the studio. As the humans stretched and twisted in an all–levels yoga practice, a group of furry friends ran excitedly around the studio.

BYODog to Yoga class brings pups to the mat. By Taylor Hartz.

As dogs barked and growled over the instructor and zen music, laughter erupted throughout the class as pups popped up all over. Animal lover Dannie Levine attended
the class with Zoe, her Beagle, and Tonks, her Beagle and Boxer mix. Levine adopted Zoe and Tonks, after she started volunteering at Paws in Lincoln Park.

“I love to bring the happiness of dogs and the love of animals to other people,” said Levine, who added that Zoe is an emotional support pet that helps her with anxiety and depression. Another help for anxiety and depression, said Levine, is practicing yoga.

Despite the chaos of the dog filled studio, Levine was able to stay focused and balanced—most of the time. “I mostly practice yoga at home so I’m used to having dogs around,” Levine said. “This is a fun way to bring that out of my home and into a new space.”

The class was held in a studio in Humboldt Park, at 2950 West Chicago Ave. Rescue in Style donated all proceeds from the class, which cost $20 per human and dog duo, to ALIVE Rescue, a no-kill non-profit shelter in Roscoe Village.

The mission at ALIVE Rescue is to save animals from Chicago shelters that have high euthanasia rates and may otherwise not be adopted.

“We follow through on our commitment that every animal deserves a full life by choosing to take in animals that other adoption organizations may overlook, including seniors, unpopular breeds, and pets with special needs,” said the organization, which opened in March 2008.

The rescue mission said events like this are a great way to raise awareness about the
pets awaiting adoption in their shelter. Christine Nendick, founder of Rescue in
Style, has volunteered in shelters around Chicago for years. She lives in the city with
her two adopted cats, Roni and Cheese. Christine founded Rescue in Style as a
way to combine fashion and adoption, and hopes the organization serves as a resource
for anyone hoping to adopt.

All proceeds from the BYODog to Yoga class went directly to the shelter. The partnership with Joriki clothes offered yogis a chance to shop for new athletic gear, with a portion of all proceeds also going to the shelter.

Christine said raising awareness for local shelters is also a main goal when hosting a
class like this. “I’ve partnered with many shelters in Chicago and truly admire all the work
ALIVE Rescue does for the animals in our city,” Nendick said. “I try to raise money
and awareness for rescue organizations across the city in hopes of showcasing all
the amazing work they are doing on behalf of our adoptable friends.”

On top of all the good this class will do for local animals in need, Nendick said she hopes it was also an active, enjoyable experience for yogis and their pups.

“It may not be the most serious yoga class, but I can guarantee it will be the most fun,” she said.

A new year, a new lifestyle

Take your New Year’s resolution to the next level with Lakeshore Sport & Fitness

What will you be resolving in 2018?

If you are like most people, your New Year’s resolution might include a health and wellness goal. Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, nestled in the heart of New Eastside at the corner of Lake and Stetson, 211 N. Stetson Ave., has some key tips to sticking to your
resolutions and achieving those goals.

New Year, new you!

Behavior based goals are easier to achieve and monitor. Instead of simply resolving to lose 10 pounds in one month, resolve to work out three times a week for four weeks, 30
minutes each time and limit meals after 6 p.m. “Failure happens when you aren’t able to monitor the behaviors that it will take to achieve your goal,” said Lakeshore Sport & Fitness General Manager, Stacey Coleman.

Keep it interesting
Boredom can also lead to failure. Now that you have your goal of working out three times a week for 30 minutes, how many dates with the treadmill can you go on and still stay

Lakeshore Sport & Fitness is one of the most robust and interactive health clubs in Chicago. With 120,000 square feet of sport, fitness and social space, the club never gets boring. Lakeshore Sport & Fitness makes mixing it up easy. Stop by for a heart pounding cycle class, scale the country’s tallest indoor rock wall, run on the indoor track, swim laps or relax during a candlelight yoga class. There is no need to have multiple memberships to get all of your needs. Lakeshore Sport & Fitness has it all under one roof.

Connect with like minded people
Relationships and community play a large role in living the lifestyle you want. Whether you want to play squash, golf, join a basketball league, or simply enjoy a nice dinner and drinks with friends, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness can connect you with a community of other
likeminded people.

Offering 100 weekly group fitness classes ranging from yoga and Pilates, to cycling, kickboxing, dance and HIIT, being around people that share similar interests helps
keep you excited and on track with your work out. Social Programming Director, Luis Davila, organizes club events and mixers that connect you with new and old friends, as well as team training groups that compete in races. “Being a part of a community really  helps motivate and encourage people to stay on their path,” Davila said. Make 2018 your year! Lakeshore Sport & Fitness is here to help.

Lakeshore Sport & Fitness
211. N Stetson Ave.
(312) 856-1111 / www.lakeshoresf.com

Get fit and make friends in 2018 with Simply Social Sports

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

When the clock finally strikes 5 p.m. after a long workday, how do you choose
between happy hour and the gym? Well, what if you didn’t have to? That’s exactly
the idea at Simply Social Sports (S3) Sports Leagues.

With eight new leagues starting up in February, S3 Sports Leagues aims to combine sports and socialization. The co-ed leagues for this winter include bowling, whirly ball, dodgeball, indoor kickball, singles skeeball and volleyball.

“You’re there to be social, physical, active, get in shape and get out there,” said founder Ben Shimon, “We have a pretty unique concept we’ve got going that kind of hits on a whole bunch of potential new year’s resolutions.”

Chicago resident Eric Larson, who moved to the city just a few years ago, said S3 Sports has been the best way to make friends. “I would estimate about half the members are Chicago transplants, so it’s a great way to find a community,” Larson said.

Larson also enjoys attending the after parties that often include food and drink specials and karaoke. He also said players will also host house parties for their team, adding more social events to the calendar.

Once the leagues sell out—which they do each season—Shimon makes up teams
of half men and half women who are all in the same age range. Teams meet once
a week to face off in their game of choice, before all heading out for drinks sponsored by a different bar each week.

“Some people come out of it with a couple friends or with a couple dates or a boyfriend or girlfriend,” said Shimon, who added that he has seen S3 Sports spark a lot of relationships.

Registration is now open for winter leagues, with more information available on S3Leagues.com

Local fitness expert keeps residents in shape

By Shanti Nagarkatti for New Chicago Fitness

With 14 years of fitness industry experience and more than a decade as a Certified Personal Trainer, Anita Reyna, owner and founder of New Chicago Fitness, is helping
the residents of New Eastside keep fit.

Anita Reina (bottom left) and the New Chicago Fitness team. Photo courtesy of New Chicago

“I’m great at helping everyone,” Reyna said. “From athletes, to those recovering from in-
juries, to weight loss or muscle gain, any age group or health setback, you name it.”

Exercise has always been important to Reyna, who trained friends during college
and held summer jobs at fitness facilities.

After graduation, she decided to pursue opportunities in the fitness industry, work-
ing in Chicago gyms. In 2009, coinciding with her move to the Aqua building,
Reyna started her own personal training business, New Chicago Fitness.

NCF’s team consists of professional
personal trainers, massage therapists, and
boxing instructors operating out of New Eastside. “We all know each other and
treat each other like family and friends,” Reyna said.

In addition to personal training, NCF offers boot camp classes, like boxing and workout classes. On Saturdays, she leads a half-hour Abs Class from 10:00–10:30 a.m.
at the Aqua gym.

“We offer nutritional advice and get into the details to develop a well-rounded
approach. We help you create new and better routines that actually fit your life,”
said Reyna.

Reyna recommends clients come to Aqua’s 80,000-square-foot fitness facility within the Radisson Blu Hotel, 225 N. Columbus Dr., for an initial consultation.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit www.newchicagofitness.
com or call (312) 841-1377