Saturday, October 13, 2012

How to Stay Active in Winter in Seattle

AKA How to not go stir crazy during the gloomy months. I thought I would post this now that the rain has arrived here.

Since starting my meetup group and because I'm a Seattle native, I get lots of questions from transplants. "Does it really rain as much as they say?" "Why does everyone refer to Mt. Rainier as 'The Mountain'?" And my personal favorite: "How do you keep from going stir crazy during fall and winter?"

It's fairly easy to stay active during the fall and winter months if you are an active person in the first place. I mean, there are tons of things to do here! If you go up to the mountains, there's skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing, which are all tons of fun!

I do understand that most people won't want to go to the mountains nearly as often as I do, so here's a stay busy (and active) plan for those who like to stay at lower elevations.

1. Take a walk on one of the many rail trails around the Puget Sound. The Burke-Gilman is one of the more popular routes, but if you are willing to venture further out, the Soos Creek Trail in Kent is secluded and isn't as busy. The White River Trail in Auburn is a short trail, but it's very peaceful and quiet.

2. Take a walk around a park. Seattle offers many green spaces to go walking. My personal favorites are Discovery Park and Magnuson Park. Gas Works Park is also a nice place to visit, but it can get rather crowded if it's a sunny day.

3. Take up a new hobby. Last winter, even though I'm stayed busy by staying active, I made time to learn how to make beaded jewelry. It kept me occupied on those days where the weather would not cooperate and it's better to stay inside. Knitting, baking, cooking, paper crafts. Take your pick.

4. Go out to eat. Yes, you will have to eat inside, but Seattle offers a great variety of restaurants. Almost any cuisine you can think of will be within walking or driving distance.

5. Explore a new part of the city or venture to a new area outside the city. Even if it's raining, you can spend most of your time ducking in and out of shops, so you can stay fairly dry. Wallingford and the U-district are my favorite places to go explore in Seattle. Pike Place is always a fascinating place to explore, too.

6. Go ice skating! The Kent Valley Ice Centre has public skating sessions almost everyday if you are willing to make the drive. They play a variety of music and it can be a blast! Bring a group of friends if you are so inclined.

7. Don't be afraid of the rain. Yes, it does get chilly in the winter months, but you either will learn to love the rain or will go crazy from staying inside all the time. I love the rain now and don't mind being out in it.

Hope you can have a delightfully active winter here in Seattle!

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