Cleveland, let’s get fit

by hhf3

Well, would ya take a look at this: Travel + Leisure Magazine ranked America’s fittest cities. 32 cities made the cut (that’s a lot, don’t you think?), and guess who is #25:

#25 Cleveland

This Lake Erie city’s new rep as a hot midwestern culinary destination might be to blame, but there’s room for improvement when it comes to Clevelanders’ less-than-active lifestyles.

Get Fit: Swim, golf, fish, even toboggan in the city’s “emerald necklace” of Metroparks —16 nature parks with more than 21,000 combined acres.

Yes, Cleveland, you have room for improvement. I think Travel + Leisure just called you all fat and lazy.

In my experience over the past 5.5 years spent in various insitutions of higher learning in Cleveland, I have realized that Clevelanders are really into sports… watching them, that is. The unconditional rabid fan support is, to me, a bit mind-boggling, but I’m not a native. I digress.

I’d like to echo Travel + Leisure’s recommendation to check out the Metroparks. First off, there’s probably one not too far from you. Being an East Sider, I’m a bit biased towards the ones east of me. I’ve cycled several times to the South Chagrin one, mostly because they have a water fountain at the polo fields. Last weekend, a friend and I went hiking in the North Chagrin one. You can get a great workout on some of the trails, and you can even check out a castle:

Squires Castle

The Furmanator contemplates the view from Squires Castle. Photo credit: RAN

And, if I may be so bold, I’d like to add another suggestion to Travel + Leisure’s Metroparks one. Those of us who live in the Heights area are lucky to be so close to a vertiable urban wilderness along Doan Brook. It includes the two Shaker Lakes, the Shaker Nature Center, paved paths and some seriously beautiful trails along the water. It’s great for mini-hikes, trail running, walking the dog, xc skiing or cycling. You can even go rock-climbing!

Doan Brook

Hard to believe this in a dense urban area. Photo credit: DMN

Cleveland, it’s time to get fit. It’s a New Year, so get outside and enjoy the free acitivities I mentioned above. Yeah: free. What’s your excuse now, huh?