5 Ways Fitness Fanatics Can Celebrate the Fourth of July

Crack open a beverage, fire up the grill, maybe take in a parade and some fireworks.

For many folks, that’s about the extent of their Fourth of July festivities — and their activity for the day.

But for anyone looking to stay active and healthy on Independence Day, there are plenty of options. Here are five active ideas for painting the town red, white and blue this Fourth of July.

Running Start

From shamrock runs to turkey trots, holidays are popular for organized fun runs — and the Fourth of July is no exception. A few to consider in Washington: Everett’s Yankee Doodle Dash, Bellevue’s Four on the 4th Dog Jog and Walk and the Run for the Pies 5K in Carnation.

In Oregon, there’s Hood River’s Kollas-Cranmer Memorial Run & Walk and Eugene’s annual Butte to Butte. And the big daddy of them all? The Foot Traffic Flat, a 5K, half and full marathon on Sauvie Island, which is just 15 minutes north of Portland.

Join the Parade

A classic Fourth of July often centers on fireworks and a traditional, small-town parade. Communities from Lake Oswego, Ore., just south of Portland, to Bainbridge Island, which is just outside of Seattle, and beyond stage parades fit for a Normal Rockwell painting. Rather than sitting on the sidelines to watch, walk the parade route for a little exercise while you celebrate the day.

Pedal Power

You don’t have to drape your spokes with red, white and blue streamers to saddle up and head out for an Independence Day ride. And getting in a few miles before breakfast to avoid the heat will make you feel better about an afternoon of bratwursts and brews.

Water Works

Both Portland and Seattle shoot off big-time fireworks from the water to cap off the holiday. If you’re in Portland, make an evening paddle out of it by kayaking or canoeing on the Willamette River around Ross Island or the Eastbank Esplanade. In Seattle, the fireworks blast off from Union Lake. Grab a kayak or a paddleboard and make your way onto the calm lake water for a courtside view.

Head Out

If big crowds and thunderous booms aren’t your thing, make like a roman candle and shoot out of town for a refreshing day hike like Mt. Si or Twin Falls outside of Seattle. The Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge also has some great hikes near Portland, like Angel’s Rest or Eagle Creek to name a few. These hikes are close enough to town that if you want to get back in time for the fireworks, you can.

Tell us… what ideas do you have for staying active this Independence Day?