Expert Opinion | Great Outdoor Exercise Options

This a new monthly column from Snoqualmie resident, Kelly Saunders, who is a certified group and personal trainer at Anytime Fitness on Snoqualmie Ridge.  About 10 years ago Kelly took her passion for fitness and made it a full-time career – and I can personally say, she can get you into shape. Read on…

Spring is in the air. Birds are chirping in the morning. Frogs are singing at night. Days are getting longer. Bears are getting into things. Now if we could get all the rain of late to stay away permanently, Valley life would be good.

I love to be outside. I really love to exercise outside. I consider myself to be fairly “hearty” and own enough all-weather gear that I’ll run in the rain. I may batten down and run in the wind as well. But I draw the line at sideways rain. Sorry, Snoqualmie Valley, but you win on that one.

With the nicer weather descending upon us I thought I’d give you a couple of my favorite outdoor exercise options in case you like to get outside like me. We have oodles of trails/hikes at our beck and call- and many are very well-known or have been covered before. So, I’m leaving the hikes out. We have trails, they are amazing, get out and hike them

1) Issaquah Stairs

My first outdoor option that leaves me gasping for air, and thoroughly spent is the Issaquah Stairs. AKA-Killer Stairs. They are directly behind Dicks Sporting Goods in the Issaquah Highlands. There is ample street parking behind the building. Sometimes you have these bad boys all to yourself, sometimes you have to share. I’ve always found that people bring their manners and everything runs smoothly regardless of the number of bodies. You can walk the stairs, run the stairs, take them two at a time. You can head up and then run a small loop that goes out to the left and loops backs around so you can do it again. You could add pushups or crunches to the top of a set, too. The possibilities are endless. Get creative.  One word of advice from one who has been hobbled (humbled??) before-put your heels down on each step. Going tippy toe the whole time will hurt tomorrow!

2) Conquer Snoqualmie Parkway

My next love is closer than Issaquah and I really, really like it. I’ve lived here for 18 years and have always ran UP Snoqualmie Parkway. I head towards 90 and run back down. It’s a good one, and you get the worst over right away. But, a few weeks ago a girlfriend introduced me to running DOWN the parkway to the railroad tracks at SR 202 and speed walking back up. This was AWESOME! I wore my HR monitor and my HR stayed elevated the whole way back up even though I was walking. It took about an hour from the Starbucks parking lot. It’s a beautiful, scenic route and all on sidewalks. I’m one of those people who has to touch the tracks to mark my “official” at the bottom.

3)  Find any Field

And my last take it outside workout can be done on any field. We have lots of them in the Valley, so take your pick.  I first run the perimeter of the field. Then I drop and do 20 push ups (if the fields are still water-logged I do not stick my hands in the mud-I am not that hearty). Then I go around the perimeter, but I am facing in, stance low and athletic and side stepping it this time. Same 20 push ups follow.  The final round is walking lunges around the perimeter. Your booty will feel ten years younger after this lap!

We live in such a beautiful place. Take advantage of the weather, the beauty, the fresh air here in the foothills and get outside! If you see me out there with you-say hi!!  #youneverregretworkingout


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