February 26, 2024

10 Healthy Things to Do in River North

By Fit Results Team
10 Healthy Things to Do in River North

If you're excited to explore a city, finding the most happening places is key. But, what happens if those activities don't fit with your health goals? 

For instance, there might be a really famous fast-food restaurant, but if you're aiming to lose weight and are careful about what you eat every day, you won't be able to enjoy anything there without feeling guilty. 

What if there were places and activities that do align with your health and gym goals?

That’s why, in this article, we'll share our favorite 10 fun and healthy things you can do in River North, Chicago. 

We'll divide the activities into three sections: healthy foods, physical activities, and leisure and entertainment. So, let's start with the food-related activities first.

Culinary Experiences in River North

1. Breakfast at Beatrix

Location: 519 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

This is a perfect place to fuel up before you set out on your River North adventures. While Beatrix caters to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's their breakfast menu for which they are well known along with their coffee!

Here is what you can expect to find for breakfast at Beatrix:

If you are looking for a breakfast place in River North, be sure to give Beatrix a try.

2. Refuel at The Protein Bar

Location: 352 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

After a morning full of exploring the sights in River North you could stop by The Protein Bar for a delicious and healthy lunch. The best part about this restaurant is that every meal is created for the “healthy eating” audience, meaning YOU!

Here's a snapshot of what you can enjoy at the Protein Bar:

  • Bowls with Riced Cauliflower: These include a variety of bowls such as the Black Bean Bowl, Buffalo Bowl, Spinach & Pesto Bowl, Carnitas Bowl, Mexicali Bowl, and Japanese BBQ Salmon Bowl, all served with riced cauliflower as a low-carb option.

  • Biggies: For larger appetites, their "Biggie" bowls offer double portions of protein-packed ingredients like roasted chicken, braised pork, and salmon, mixed with a variety of flavors and sauces. (This is our in-gym favorite).

  • Blended Drinks: A selection of smoothies and shakes designed for various dietary preferences, including keto-friendly options, protein boosts, and refreshing fruit blends.

  • Bar-ritos, Salads, and Wraps: These are protein-rich meals with a variety of flavors, ranging from vegan options to hearty meat-filled choices, all aiming to cater to different tastes and nutritional needs.

  • Coffee and Kids Menu: Specialized coffee options with health-boosting additions like MCT oil and collagen, alongside a kids' menu that ensures even the younger guests have tasty, nutritious meal choices.

  • Chilis & Soups: For comfort food with a healthy twist, they offer tomato soup and quinoa chicken chili, which are both hearty and high in protein.

You can surely put your mind at ease when you are at the protein bar since the majority of their dishes offered are not only nutritious but made with healthy ingredients.

3. Dinner at India House

Location: 59 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

After a tiring day of exploring in Chicago, you can go to India House to experience one of the most diverse, flavorful, and intricately prepared Indian dishes in River North. Their menu is long and exhaustive, so to save you some time:

Here are some of the most healthy options at India House that you can order:

  • Lentil Soup: A hearty and nutritious choice, lentil soup is a great starter packed with protein and fiber.
  • House Garden Salad: A fresh and light option, perfect for adding greens to your meal.
  • Tandoori Items: Tandoori cooking uses a clay oven and less oil, making dishes like Chicken Tikka or Tandoori Vegetables a healthier choice.
  • Grilled Seafood: Options like Tandoori Salmon offer lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Vegetarian Mains: Dishes like Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato) and Chana Masala (chickpeas) are flavorful yet low in calories.
  • Dal Makhani or Dal Banjara: Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and are heart-healthy.
  • Raita: A yogurt-based condiment that can aid digestion.
  • Bread: Choose Tandoori Roti made from whole wheat over naan for a healthier, fiber-rich option.

These items tend to be lower in calories and saturated fat while providing good nutrition and ensuring that you can enjoy the flavors of Indian cuisine without compromising on your health goals.

Outdoor and Physical Activities in River North

4. Riverwalk Adventures: Jog, Walk, and Bike

Location: 22 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601

The Chicago Riverwalk is one of the best spots in the world to get outdoors and move around in a beautiful setting. 

This public space stretches along the south side of the Chicago River's main branch, from Lake Michigan westward to Lake Street. 

It's a great place to take in the sights of the city and the river, the outdoor art and architecture, and the natural beauty of the Riverwalk.

You can jog, take a leisurely walk, or bike through these areas, enjoying the 1.25-mile path. 

For those who love to jog or bike, the Riverwalk has plenty of facilities, including bike rental kiosks, artwork to enjoy, and places to rest. 

You can pick up a bike at a Divvy station on Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, or LaSalle Street, and take a ride down the Riverwalk or through the bike paths nearby. 

The Riverwalk is also dotted with art, like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza and the Riverbank mural, and places to sit and relax amidst fountains and gardens.

All in all, the Riverwalk is a fantastic way to experience the outdoors and stay active in Chicago, whether you're jogging, walking, or cycling. There's always something interesting to see or do here.

5. Yoga and Relaxing Massages at Yoga Now

Location: 742 N La Salle Dr #200, Chicago, IL 60654

If you are in the mood to get some exercise but don’t want to run, bike, or lift weights then Yoga Now is the place for you! 

It is a center that specializes in yoga classes and therapeutic massage in an eco-friendly studio. 

You can choose from a variety of yoga styles, such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yoga Basics, PreNatal yoga, etc led by some of the best instructors in the city.

If you are in the city for one day, one week, or for months, they offer a variety of packages that'll cater to your needs.

Here is how much you can expect to pay for yoga classes at Yoga Now

  • Drop-in Class: $26
  • 5-class pass: $100
  • 10-class pass: $180
  • 20 class pass: $300

If you are not into yoga and want to have a relaxing massage, you can find massage services, such as Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, and aromatherapy with the following prices: 

  • 1 Swedish Massage for $75
  • 1 Deep Tissue Massage for $90
  • 5 Swedish Massages for $349
  • 5 Deep Tissue Massages for $409
  • 10 Swedish Massages for $659
  • 10 Deep Tissue Massage for $789

If you are interested to learn more about their services check out their official website here

6. Work Out and Chill at Life Time

Location: 15 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

Life Time River North Chicago is a luxury fitness club that offers a variety of services and amenities for your health and wellness. Here is what you can do there:

  • Work out on the expansive workout floor, equipped with state-of-the-art machines, free weights, and functional training zones.
  • Swim, relax, or dine at the rooftop pool and beach club, featuring a heated pool, cabanas, fire pits, and a poolside cafe.
  • Join a group class, such as cycling, Pilates, strength training, cardio, barre, or dance, led by expert instructors and suitable for all levels.
  • Get a personalized training program, a nutrition plan, or a recovery session from a certified coach, who can help you reach your goals and track your progress.
  • Play basketball, pickleball, or other sports at the basketball bar, which features a full-size court, a lounge, and a bar.
  • Have fun with your kids at the Kids Academy, which offers classes, camps, events, and swim lessons for children of all ages

So Life Time is a place where you can have fun, stay fit, and enjoy the urban lifestyle of Chicago. ️

If you have a specific fitness goal you’ve haven’t quite been able to accomplish, then check out Fit Results, we might be that second chance your body’s been looking for! 

7. The SkyDeck Experience

Location: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606

The SkyDeck is on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world. 

It gives you a wide view of Chicago and beyond, up to four states and 50 miles away on a clear day. 

Going to the SkyDeck can make you feel refreshed and inspired. It lets you see the world in a new way and enjoy the beauty and variety of the landscape. 

It also gives you a moment to think about how small we are compared to the big sky and earth. 

Research shows that seeing big, open spaces can be good for your mental health and happiness. 

Looking at wide views can make you think about bigger things than your daily life and help you feel connected to something larger than yourself. 

Also, seeing more of the world around you can help you come up with new ideas and be more creative when solving problems. 

Being in nature, or even just looking at it from high up, can relax your body and any anxieties you may be carrying at the moment.

So, the SkyDeck is not just a fun and educational place to visit, but it can also be good for your mental health.

Shopping and Entertainment in River North

8. Shopping Spree At Magnificent Mile

Location: North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

The Magnificent Mile is one of the premier shopping destinations in Chicago. You can expect to find more than 460 stores, restaurants, museums, and hotels. 

Since it is such a huge area, this also makes Magnificent Mile a good place to get some exercise. 

When you walk from one shop to another, checking out over 460 stores in three big shopping areas, you end up walking a lot. 

This helps you reach or even go past the number of steps you should walk each day to stay healthy.

Here is a shopping itinerary for you to try at the magnificent mile:

  • Start at 900 North Michigan Shops. Begin your day at this upscale shopping center, which houses more than 70 luxury retailers. It's a great spot to find high-end activewear and fashion pieces. The building's architecture is also a treat, offering a blend of shopping with aesthetic pleasure.

  • Next, make your way to Water Tower Place. Just a short walk from 900 North Michigan, Water Tower Place offers a diverse range of stores, including several boutiques and designer brands. It's an excellent place for finding unique clothing and accessories that stand out.

  • After Water Tower Place, head towards The Shops at North Bridge. This shopping center boasts a collection of stores that offer stylish and sustainable options, perfect for the eco-conscious shopper. Look out for specialty shops that focus on unique designs and sustainable practices.

  • Detour to the Museum of Contemporary Art's Gift Shop. A slight detour from Michigan Avenue, the MCA's gift shop is a hidden gem for finding one-of-a-kind jewelry, books, and art pieces that can add an artistic flair to any outfit or home. You can also check out the latest and greatest in Contemporary Art.

  • Return to Michigan Avenue and visit Nike Chicago. For those interested in activewear, Nike Chicago on the Magnificent Mile is a must-visit. The store offers a wide range of athletic wear and sneakers, with options for customization to perfectly match your style and needs.

So all in all, it's more than just a shopping trip; it's a chance to see and experience the area, encouraging you to walk more. If you're looking for shopping experiences in other neighborhoods, take a look at our guides for shopping in South Loop and Logan Square. You'll find lots of amazing stores and local spots to check out!

9. Indoor Golfing Fun at Five Iron Golf

Location: 609 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654

At Five Iron Golf you'll find a variety of services and activities for golf enthusiasts and beginners. You can do the following things at Five Iron Golf Chicago:

  • Play or practice on one of the many golf simulators. The simulators are equipped with state-of-the-art Trackman technology and high-speed cameras, and allow you to choose from hundreds of courses, games, and modes.

  • Work with a pro and improve your swing, technique, and strategy. You can book a lesson with one of the PGA teaching professionals, who will analyze your swing, provide feedback, and customize a training plan for you. You can also join a group lesson or a golf clinic.

  • Join a league and compete with other golfers in a fun and social environment. You can sign up for one of the seasonal or year-round leagues, which are open to all skill levels and formats.

  • Host an event and make it a party. You can rent one or more simulators, or the entire venue, for your birthday, bachelor(ette) party, corporate event, or any other occasion. 

The great thing about indoor golfing is that it lets you swing your shot no matter the weather outside. This is particularly beneficial in winter for maintaining a winter workout routine when the motivation to go to the gym or for a run might be lower than usual.

10. Go Reading at After-Words Books

Location: 23 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611

After-Words Books is a bookstore in downtown Chicago that offers a hand-curated collection of new and used books, especially in the genres of fiction, literature, poetry, and local history. 

You can browse the shelves and find rare and original editions, or order books online through their website. 

You can also attend special events, such as book signings, readings, and lectures, that feature local authors and experts.

It is a place where you can discover new and old books, and connect with other book lovers. 

So If you are someone who doesn't like crowded places and prefers calm and relaxing places, exploring the diverse collection of after-words can help you offer solace and a sense of tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago.

A Made for You itinerary

If you're unsure about which options to pick from the ones we've listed, here's a sample itinerary you might consider. Remember, this is just a suggestion, and you're free to exchange any of the activities to suit your personal tastes and preferences.


8:00 AM - Breakfast at Beatrix

  • Start your exploration with a healthy breakfast at Beatrix. 

9:30 AM - Shopping and Exploring the Magnificent Mile

  • Head to the Magnificent Mile for a morning of shopping and sightseeing.


12:30 PM - Lunch at The Protein Bar

  • After exploring the Magnificent Mile, enjoy a nutritious lunch at The Protein Bar. Their health-focused menu is perfect for refueling before continuing your day's adventures.


2:00 PM - Indoor Golfing Fun at Five Iron Golf

  • Spend your afternoon at Five Iron Golf.

Late Afternoon

5:00 PM - The SkyDeck Experience

  • As the day starts to wind down, make your way to the Willis Tower to experience the SkyDeck.This time is really special because you get to see the sunset. The whole city lights up in orange and pink colors, and it looks incredible. It's also the perfect time to see Chicago from above and get some beautiful pictures.


7:00 PM - Dinner at India House

  • Enjoy a flavorful dinner at India House, where you can indulge in some of the best Indian cuisine River North has to offer. Opt for healthy options like tandoori dishes or vegetarian mains for a satisfying meal.

9:00 PM - Relaxing Massage at Yoga Now

  • Conclude your day with a relaxing massage at Yoga Now. Choose from their variety of massage services to unwind and reflect on your day's experiences. It's the perfect way to soothe your muscles after a day full of activities.


There you have it, by indulging in the activities listed in this article, you can make sure that you are getting the most out of River North while also making sure that you are not compromising on any of your health goals.

Speaking of fitness goals, has yours become elusive? We may be able to help! Our team of personal trainers and fitness experts specialize in weight loss, muscle gain, or overall body transformations. The best part is that we build a program specific for you; whether you’re looking for personal training, group classes, or smaller group training sessions, we have a flat rate weekly package that includes nutrition and accountability designed for you. 

If you’re on the fence, you can stop by to get a free consultation and a full-service 7-day trial for FREE! There’s a reason we’re called Fit Results! 

By Fit Results Team

We're a group of fitness enthusiasts who believe everyone deserves a second chance in life and fitness. We pride ourselves on our community of experienced coaches, our incredibly supportive members, and all the people that we've helped and will help.