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Posts Tagged ‘forest preserves’

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

This past weekend, we decided to get out of the big city and spend some time in nature!  We went to Raccoon Grove in Monee, IL, and saw our first strong signs of Spring.

Raccoon Grove, Monee, IL

Raccoon Grove, Monee, IL

Green buds poking out of the brown dead leaves was a god sign that Spring really is approaching.

Spring peeking through the Fall leaves

Spring peeking through the Fall leaves

I also took a minute to record the soothing sounds of a bubbling brook. Listening to water rushing over stones, like listening to a small waterfall, can be peaceful and relaxing.  Enjoy the video and make a plan to visit a nearby Forest Preserve soon yourself!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

From time to time, clients tell me they wish there was someplace they could go to get away from the dirt and noise of the city. Transplants from California and the East Coast miss the more hilly and mountainous terrains. I say, check out the Chicago areas Forest Preserves! We don’t have mountains but we do have forests, ponds, lakes and meadows. And even in the Winter, a brisk outdoor hike can make you feel great!

The air was cold but clear and fresh. The sunlight in Palos casts it's own warm glow through the trees. Image by Sue Shekut

The air was cold but clear and fresh. The sunlight in Palos casts its own warm glow through the trees. Image by Sue Shekut

For info on the Forest preserves of Cook County, click here.

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By Sue Shekut, Licensed Massage Therapist, ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

Some people go to the gym to workout, which is great. These days, between working many hours and long commutes, it’s tough to find time to workout and relax and still spend time with your loved ones. Why not combine your fitness routine with a little nature, add your family and or friends and explore the peace and fresh air afforded you by spending time in the forest.

In the Chicago area, there are approximately 50-60 different forest preserve trails within an hour or so of the downtown area. Many people enjoy the lakefront, but that’s the problem–many people. If you want a quieter bike ride, hike or even a horseback ride, the Forest Preserves are less crowded, much more wooded and often actually quiet!

Biking in the Forest Preserves
Biking in the Forest Preserves can be a great workout and a nice way to relax, enjoy the company of family and friends and see something other than buildings, concrete and cars. Speed training or racing is not permitted so you are less likely to get run over by a fast-paced bike racer!

Biking in the Forest Preserves

Families with small children can take their little ones along on bike rides with a bike trailer such as the Childrens bike trailers shown here.

On one our of forest preserve bike rides, we came across a family that brought along the bikes for mom and dad and the eldest daughter, then packed up their two little girls in the bike trailer for the dad to pull. In this way, the whole family got to ride together and dad got a super workout (especially up hills!)

Family fun on bikes in the Forest

Info on bike carrier safety for children here.

Cook County Forest Preserves
Cook County Forest Preserves provides 100 miles of paved bicycle trails and over 200 miles of multi-use trails in the Forest Preserve for bikers, joggers, walkers (and in winter, snow shoe-ers and cross country skiers!) to enjoy. Cook County Trail System Maps here.

And did you know that in Cook County, there are 27 lakes, ponds, quarries, reservoirs and sloughs to enjoy! Check out the listing of water sources in Cook County here.

View of Lake from biking trail

DuPage Forest Preserves
DuPage Forest Preserves offer over 145 miles of on-foot explorations from seldom-traveled footpaths to wide limestone trails.

DuPage Forest Preserves trail listing and hiking maps here.

DuPage County Forest Preserve Locator Map here.

Lake County Forest Preserves
Lake County Forest Preserves offers Forest Fitness sessions which are “Fast-paced group fitness hikes feature a different preserve each week.” For more info click here.

Lake County Forest Preserves Map here.

Will County Forest Preserves

Will Country Forest Preserves trail system list.

Will County trail Systems Map here.

Where ever you live, there are likely forest preserves and national parks in your area. Take advantage of this free (no membership needed!) natural gym for you and your family. And get your fitness in the forest!

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