The fitness industry must be booming. There are six fitness facilities within a mile of my home–more if you include yoga, martial arts, and other specialty studios.
I’m glad that people care about their health and well being, but I don’t relate to going to the gym for a workout. Why spend time indoors spinning on a stationary bike when I can be outdoors exploring roads like this one?
I’ll share my 5 reasons to #optoutside:
- Variety. I can change up the scenery, terrain and duration simply by varying my travel route. My ride can be at dawn, at night, or anytime in between. I can ride rain or shine, on streets or trails, or in urban or rural environments. I can do all of this walking on my two feet as well.
- Time. The beauty of biking and walking is that it’s active living. I don’t have to carve out special time to do these things. Walking the dog, biking to work, jogging to do errands are examples of active living–daily tasks that incorporate physical activity. I am free to allocate my time to other pursuits rather than going to the gym.
- Money. Joining a gym or signing up for a fitness program costs money–sometimes a lot of money. I’d rather spend my extra dollars on travel, a night out with friends, or adding to my yarn stash.
- Accessibility. Almost everyone can walk or bike. Most of us can do it from our door step and it’s affordable. Neighborhood sidewalks and streets that take you to local parks, shops and libraries are enough to get you started.
- Nature. There’s a growing body of evidence that spending time outdoors is good for our health. That walk in the park or bike ride on a trail reduces my stress and mental fatigue, among other benefits.
Ok, now it’s your turn. Do you #optoutside? What are your reasons for doing so?
We live in a society that values productivity and achieving goals. Work hard, play hard. Worthy attainments, yes. But sometimes overrated in my opinion.
My idea of a full and productive life includes ample amounts of unplanned time. This free time allows me to be spontaneous in joining friends at the last minute for an activity, or it’s a time to chill, or it can be used to wander and wonder.
I frequently opt to wander and wonder. These aimless rambles are on foot or by bike, and are often in my neighborhood or an easy bus ride away. They typically involve exploring streets, paths and alleys in search of the interesting, unusual, odd or beautiful gem. And they always include a pause to take in my surroundings, reflect, and wonder.
I went on an aimless bike ride on Sunday, rolling down the hill to a waterfront park. To my surprise, it was low tide–reason enough to pause, sit, and take in the Puget Sound views. Continue reading
Metro Seattle has an amazing network of trails. On a sunny spring day, some of these trails become clogged with people recreating, commuting, and enjoying the outdoors. It makes for great people watching.
But today I didn’t want to watch and dodge other trail users. I wanted to take a quiet bike ride and embrace spring. It was time to ride the trail less traveled, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.
At 31 miles, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail is the longest trail in King County’s regional trail system. It meanders through scenic Snoqualmie Valley, passing through the towns of Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend, before terminating at Rattlesnake Lake and the start of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. Continue reading
JH holds the letterbox that we found in a Seattle cemetery.
Our quest was over. After a few twists and a wrong turn, we found John McGraw, Washington’s second governor, gently tucked away in an evergreen bush on a Seattle hilltop neighborhood. In a cemetery. Inside a letterbox.
My friend JH had just introduced me to a hide-and-seek activity known as letterboxing. Armed with a set of clues provided by the individual who planted the box, we arrived at the cemetery ready to search for John McGraw. We located some grave markers mentioned in the clues then followed a hedgerow until we spotted the bush. Continue reading