Bucket list your way to fitness

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It is 2017 and you have not started a bucket list — and if you have, it needs to be dusted off and shaken up. Many people really want to get healthier and a fun way to get started on this is to take a bucket list approach.

Put your New Year’s resolution aside, it’s mid-February so most people are going to stop and fail those resolutions anyway. So let’s start a bucket list of healthy activities that you can get done over the course of the next 10 months. A bigger, longer-term bucket list of travel Europe, bike Vietnam and climb K2 can wait while we build a more timely and realistic list of activities for the near term.

OK, so I am going to give you a few ideas that can be minimally invasive with just a scant amount of daily exercise to be prepared to take this new bucket list on. It is important to stay within your means and physical fitness level and at the same time, push the boundary just a bit.

My list starts easy and works deeper into more difficult levels of effort:

1. Run, Jog or Walk the Spring Dash in Coeur d’Alene or do Bloomsday in Spokane. The Spring Dash is an easy 5 mile walk or run and Bloomsday is 7.46 miles walk or run with lots of distractions to keep you going.

2. Walk 3 miles a-day for 32 days in a row, then on the 33rd day walk 4 miles. Walking 100 miles is a great bucket list goal you can do in only 33 days. Once you hit your goal, you will be surprised how easy it will be to keep going then change it up and shoot for 1,000 miles by Dec. 31. Get momentum and push forward!

3. Sign up with a Certified Personal Trainer for one month and learn the proper way to lift weights and perform exercise. Once you have a great understanding of form, posture and muscle groups to work, then start a fitness regimen that you can do for 30 minutes at a time 15 days a month. Continue for the balance of 2017. Just make sure you hit your minimum of 30 minutes at least 15 times a month. Easy!

4. Take up a new physically active recreational activity. Think biking, skateboarding, Geocaching, paddle boarding, running, rock climbing, hiking and so on. Do something new and different and when the weather gets snowy again don’t stop, choose snow shoeing, cross country skiing and snow boarding for example. Just find something new and take it on to replace watching TV or sitting around doing little to nothing.

5. Do the trifecta of hiking and this will take a little conditioning to pull this one off. Hike these three trails in our area within the spring through fall season. Mineral Ridge Trail 2.5 miles 695-foot vertical warm-up east of Coeur d’Alene just off State Route 97 South, Liberty Lake Trail 8.5 miles with a 1,482-foot vertical located in Liberty Lake, Wash., then Scotchman Peak 5.7 miles 3,812-foot vertical located outside Clark Fork. From easy to difficult, doing these hikes as a bucket list is a great way to get the hiking bug.

6. Bike the Hiawatha Trail. This activity is an easy bike adventure and you can make it either a 30-mile round trip with 2,000 feet of elevation or 17 miles of near level grade with a loss of 1,000-foot elevation. Either way, you’re getting great exercise and great North Idaho scenery.

7. Do the North Idaho/Eastern Washington Waterfall workout. This is another group of trail hikes, some short, some long, that can be done over the course of spring through fall. Turn this bucket adventure into a family thing and get everyone outside and moving. Start at the Liberty Lake Trail head. This time stay to the left of the trail and head a few miles to the falls. Next head South to Palouse Falls Trail an easy 1.1-mile hike. Simple to find just south of La Crosse, Wash., check your maps app to get there. Now you can get a two for one by heading North to Nordman and about 11 miles on the Idaho-Washington border you will find Granite Falls with an easy trailhead at Stagger Inn Camp, then just a bit farther up you will find LaSota Falls. Since you’re already up North head to Priest River, take Scenic Route 57 about 9 miles to Torrelle Falls, then continue north to find Mission Falls along the upper West Branch of Priest River the one may take a bit to find then a roughly 2-mile walk in.

8. Paddle board from Heyburn State Park on Lake Coeur d’Alene to Harrison and back. Stop and have lunch in Harrison and make it a full day of exercise on one of the most beautiful parts of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

9. Do your first triathlon. Sign up for Race the River July 22, which is one of the best organized short course triathlons in the Pacific Northwest. You will swim down the Spokane River .50 miles, then bike roughly 15 miles, then back to transition for a quick 3.1-mile run on Centennial Trail. This bucket lister is a great centerpiece for your shift to fitness and not everyone can say they have done a TRI!

10. Finally here is a bucket list addition not for the weak and sedentary, so you will need to start training. Trail run the State Park Series. You can choose from a 50K. 25K or 10K distance for your trail runs. The first event is May 20 SPS No. 1 Farragut State Park, then June 17 SPS No. 2 Heyburn State Park, rest up and head to SPS No. 3 Mount Spokane State Park on July 22. Once you have gotten through the summer events, into early September you are back at it with the SPS No. 4 Riverside State Park — Bowl & Pitcher area on Sept. 9 and then finish off your trail season Oct. 28 with the SPS No. 5 Halloween at Hell’s Gate State Park south near Lewiston. In case you are not sure how far 10K is, 6.2 miles, an easy jog/walk for your health and wellness.

None of these bucket list activities are epic in nature and all can be done with a lot of fun, easy approach and some basic exercise and preparation. Do these activities with friends and family and make 2017 a year of health and fitness!

• • •

Judd Jones is a director for The Hagadone Corporation in Coeur d’Alene.

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