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Sproing
Tread softly and burn serious calories.

When we’ve needed to avoid a lakefront path fiasco like this, we’ve always turned to our old friend the treadmill. (Sigh.)

Then we stumbled into the Sproing Sport Studio and found a whole new way to get moving indoors.

The Sproing is a treadmill-esque cardio machine with a surface that’s soft, squishy and stationary (no moving belt). It’s like running on the beach: lots of muscle challenge and less impact on your joints, with a belt that holds you up and ensures you maintain proper form.

The machines are popping up in gyms nationwide, but the Old Town studio is the only place where you can take Sproing classes, which are designed for “maximum fat burning and muscle toning.” (If you make it through the 45 minutes, you’ll burn about 750 calories.)

How hard can it be? we thought as we strapped ourselves into the contraption.

We started out with a manageable warm-up of slower jogging, jumping and squatting. Then things got fun once the instructor started calling out a new move every 30 seconds--think sprints, kicks, upper cuts and push-ups, all done on the Sproing.

We emerged sweaty and sore--but, as promised, felt no pain in our normally achy joints. The Sproing may be soft, but the workout is seriously hard.

$25 per class, $119 for an unlimited month, first week free; Sproing, 1652 N. Wells St.; 312-266-2786 or sproingfitness.com

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