Contributing writer: Lucy Wyndham
With summer just around the corner, many Seattleites are still desperately trying to shed the extra pounds they have accumulated during the annual winter gorge.
Seattle is not an obese city per se – according to the data released by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for 2012 and 2013, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranked as the 10th lowest among the 52 metro areas with an obesity rate of 22.8%. The stats do not mean that its inhabitants are not looking for sure-fire and inexpensive ways to lose some weight, in fact, people are now more interested in adapting to a healthy lifestyle than ever before.
There is generally no shortage of gyms, personal trainers, wellness boutiques and health-food outlets in the most lively and sought-after cities of the world such as Seattle, fuelled by a consumer market seeking long, happy and healthy lives. While many people are quite happy to fork out their hard-earned cash to pay for these products and services, the more thrifty among us would prefer to pay as little as possible, or not at all. Luckily for us, it is perfectly possible to lose weight in Seattle without having to spend a cent. Here’s how to do it:
Head for the hills
There’s no denying that Seattle has hills for days – which is great news for anyone looking for a severe cardio workout. The gentle (and not so gentle) slopes of the Emerald City will provide you with ample opportunity to burn off some extra fat while enjoying the beautiful scenery the city so proudly displays. Two of the most popular hills in Seattle are Capitol Hill and East Galer Street. The former stretches from downtown to the top of Capitol Hill which is one of the city’s trendiest ‘hoods.
It is a very long way up but the stoplights along the way may help you catch your breath from time to time. Galer Street is known as one of the toughest parts of the Seattle Marathon and it’s not hard to see why. Walking or jogging up one of these (or any of the other) hills in the city on a regular basis will have you swimsuit ready before summer is in full swing.
Climb some stairs
Apart from having a lot of hills, Seattle has a lot of stairs as well and we all know what a good workout climbing stairs is. Finding stairs to climb is actually a lot easier than you may have thought with numerous high-rise public buildings being scattered around the city. If you are brave enough to face almost 400 stairs, you should consider climbing the Howe Street Stairs which climb from I-5 up to the top of Capitol Hill. You are bound to feel the burn in your legs and buttocks as you make your way up and down the 391 steps but like the age-old saying goes: “no pain, no gain”.
Dance with strangers
We know that few things burn more calories, and is more fun than dancing, or dance-related workouts such as Zumba. Seattleites are big Zumba fans and it is easy to see why – free classes everywhere! If you are looking for a welcome break from hill-jogging and stair-climbing head to one of the venues in the city that offer free Zumba classes. The Seattle Center offers year-round free fitness programs while Westlake Park hosts Zumba, Mixxed Fit, and cross-training yoga classes thanks to a collaboration between Downtown Seattle and the Urban Parks Activation Partnership.
There you have it – three ways to lose weight in the city of Seattle without having to reach into your pocket and pay anything. You can of course, if you really want, join a gym or hire a personal trainer (who will more than likely charge you $250 a month just to tell you to jog, climb stairs and do Zumba) but it is definitely not required. All you need to lose weight before summer is a bit of creativity and the desire to look and feel better than you ever have before!