Re-Think Your Workout


Fall is here, which means a few things for folks here in the Pacific Northwest: “Pumpkin” flavored everything (have you ever actually tasted Pumpkin?), Seattle Seahawks football, and thousands of cars fighting for a parking spot at LA Fitness.

Many people automatically associate getting fit with a pricey gym membership, going on a treadmill for hours, and trendy diets.  Here in the beautiful PNW, there are luckily some great options in order to spice up that boring weekly routine, save some money, and enjoy the natural splendor of our area.

  1. Sprint! Crunched for time after work? Stop off at a local turf field and run some sprints. You can accomplish more in 10 minutes here than during your low-intensity, knee pounding hour-long session on the treadmill.  Try this pyramid to get started and get yourself huffing and puffing:
    1. 30 yards down and back, 10 second rest. X 5
      1. Rest 2 minutes
    2. 60 yards down, 10 second rest, 60 yards back X 3
      1. Rest 2 minutes
    3. 30 yards down and back, 10 second rest. X 3
    4. Go Home!
  1. Hike – There are an endless supply of beautiful hikes at your disposal. For Washingtonians, check out to find that perfect hike. Read trip reports, see distance and elevation gains, and pick out your next incredible view. Another great resource is If you don’t have time for a long hike or are afraid of wildlife, find some local stairs or a nice big hill. Fresh air is good for you, cheap, and you may even get some Vitamin D if you head out on a sunny day. Yes, you may need to buy a trail pass for something around $30 per year. That’s about as expensive as one class at Orange Theory Fitness.  Besides, hiking is a great family activity (unless there’s whining involved). Ever heard of killing two birds with one stone?


  1. Swim – Ok, this one may require a gym. But there may also be a local high school or community center where you can cheaply swim. There’s a reason Michael Phelps must eat 20,000 calories per day while he’s training. It’s not because he goes on the elliptical for an hour three-times per week.  He swims! Swimming is a total body exercise that will burn fat, build muscle, and is really time efficient. Try some sprints, long distance, and change things up just as you would in a running workout.


  1. Body-weight exercises – Maybe hold off on the expensive gym membership until you have enough self-discipline to do 80 push-ups per day in your home. Mix in a minute-long plank three times per day, and you will begin to see results.  Seriously, try it! How many days in a row can you go without missing?  If you pair those two things with some YouTube some ab-exercises (thank you, Tony Horton’s Ab-Ripper X) and you have yourself a free, effective, convenient total body workout routine.

So, reconsider the expensive gym membership, use some creativity, and get to work! There are certainly some benefits to a gym membership if you’re looking to throw around lots of heavy weight, but it seems today it’s more important for people to be able to tell their friends, “I went to the gym” instead of being sore the next day after a great workout.  Granted, you may not be able to post as many gym-selfies, but your body, family, and wallet will thank you for the new routine.

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About David Bigelow 15 Articles
David grew up in Gig Harbor, WA before heading to Spokane to pitch for the Zags. Over four seasons he reached second on the Gonzaga all-time saves list. He was also the closer for the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast League, helping them claim their first ever WCL Championship in 2014. Now living in Kirkland, WA, David and his wife enjoy hiking in the Cascades, watching sports (Go Zags, M's, and Hawks), and exploring the coast. They have two cats, Rocco and Stu, who keep them busy and make for great entertainment. Aside from writing, other hobbies for David include coaching high school basketball and baseball, mountain biking, and counting down the days until the next Zags Baseball Alumni Weekend.