A mountain of self-help books couldn’t have prepared us for life on lockdown. But if you’re looking for some tips on living your best life from home, you’ve come to the right place.
From self-care to streaming workouts and the scoop on who’s delivering healthy eats, this guide is for you.
Everyone is taking their workouts online, but these studios are nailing it.
Crosstown Fitness is providing its HIIT and strength programming to the public with daily challenges, prescribed workouts, and live classes on Instagram every day at noon. Homegrown HIIT concept Shred415 is on the same page, streaming an entire schedule of 15-minute workouts, with an additional daily #ShredTheCurve challenge you can do anytime.
Brooklyn Boulders is bringing us indoor adventures on IG Live. Tune in for yoga, a class we’re loving called Bag It Up (grab your backpack), and wilderness Q&As with experienced mountaineers. It’s not the outdoors, but it’s close.
Studio Three is going beyond its three-level offering with #LiveWithS3 HIIT and yoga classes (synced with Spotify playlists), plus special wellness offerings like a painting class with “Bob Ross”. We’re here for it. And Chicago newcomer Y7 Studio has new hip-hop yoga sessions every Wednesday and Saturday. Must do: Y7’s first Wednesday class set to a “Women of Hip Hop” soundtrack.
If you’re tired of looking at the small-screen, here are a couple you can get on your TV: CorePower Yoga’s digital library is massive, and they’ve made a number of videos free. On a smaller scale, SALT Fitness launched Connect, granting access to a ton of barre, cycling, and stretching classes.
And get excited because luxury health club Equinox has started leaking full workouts from its new digital platform, Variis, on Instagram. ICYDK: Equinox owns SoulCycle, and this joint service delivers signature classes from both. Here’s a taste: Firestarter, Best Abs Ever, and HeadStrong guided meditations.
Speaking of meditations, here are some studios looking out for your mental health. The Space Between has a full virtual schedule — book a meditation or yoga nidra class when you need to chill or nap. And a special thanks to CH/LL Meditation, who has been with us through it all.
With the closure of Chicago gyms and studios, many of our trainers have gone freelance. Most of the workouts are free, but consider a Venmo or PayPal donation if you can.
lululemon’s Lincoln Park community has been incredibly active during social distancing, scheduling its ambassadors and Chicago’s top trainers for slots on IG Live. That includes Studio Three’s Dustin Hogue, who has been teaching everything from full-body conditioning to Animal Flow.
Nike Master Trainer and certified badass Em Hutchins answered the call in a big way. She has kept the virtual workouts going for On Your Mark Studios and also has a full personal feed of quickie workouts. Fair warning: this lower-body burner is the real deal.
If you’re in need of some yoga, a smile, or some Cubs fangirling, catch Katy Hanlon live from her apartment. When you want to get physical like Dua Lipa, do it like Bobby O’Brien and Erin Schirack, who have kept the MVFitness dance party alive on Instagram. And to put your workouts on shuffle, join P.volve and Equinox trainer Kimmie for a little bit of everything.
Still gotta eat, right? Might as well make it healthy.
Goddess and Grocer has healthy delivery dinner deals, including beer and wine, plus row after row in their cooler for pick-up.
The Friday Chef’s Dinner selection from Baker Miller changes frequently but never disappoints, and it’s launching its own app to make it easier to order. (If you pick up curbside, bring your dog to be featured on PUPS of Baker Miller).
Summer House Santa Monica has farm-fresh, family-style meals for delivery and also launched Summer House Market with all the essentials for pick-up… like Cali-inspired cocktail kits.
Functional food apothecary Ingrained, a favorite for plant-based and gluten-free snacks and sweets, has been in high gear since essential businesses closed (impressive considering it’s just owner Sydney Verwilst and her partner in the kitchen). When you arrive for pick-up, Syd says “knock hard” so she can step away from whatever she’s whipping up to hand over the goods.
If all you grabbed at the store was wine and TP, Real Good Stuff Co. has launched an organic and local produce delivery service on top of its fresh juices and a superfood snack menu. Once you have all the fresh food, food hall staple FARE has something for you — the founders are doing follow-along recipes on Instagram. Try this: FARE’s vegetable soup. You’ll get a few days of good meals out of it.
It’s everyone’s worry at this point: what if I run out of coffee? You won’t if you play it smart. Dark Matter has canned cold brew six-packs to go. And Colectivo has free shipping on five-pound bags of beans, whole-bean or ground.
If you or someone you know is a restaurant worker affected by layoffs or pay cuts, send them to West Town Bakery. The bakery is now a relief center, packing hundreds of to-go dinners per night, plus emergency essentials. They’ll keep it going for as long as they’re financially capable, so if you want to help, donate here.
Award-winning Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant Fat Rice is also doing its part to help. Its Community Relief Kitchen shipped 400-plus pay-what-you-can, reheat-and-eat meals in an effort to flatten the curve during the early days of social distancing. You can get on the waitlist here.
Even more proof that Chicago is banding together in this fight: Protein Bar announced that meals are 50% off for restaurant and fitness workers, convenience store and cafe Foxtrot Market announced it’s donating 10% of sales from all delivery orders to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and Sweetgreen has been delivering free salads to local nurses, doctors, and hospital staff.
Need something to drink for your Zoom happy hour? Wicker Park’s Handlebar has all sorts of cocktail supplies to go.
Spotted in Andersonville: this Little Free Library is now a Little Free Pantry.
Cooped up, but make it cultured. You can recreate the gallery scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by taking a virtual tour of the Art Institute of Chicago on Google. Also cool: a Street View “walk” by a T-Rex at The Field Museum. And even though you can’t see all the animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo or Shedd Aquarium, at least penguins Edward and Annie did.
Get the latest news on Chicago’s fitness scene.