Back to the Adventure Journal

6 sneaky ways to exercise in Bend

Bend Farmers Market

Does anyone else dread exercising?

That’s tough to admit in a fitness-friendly town like Bend where everyone’s constantly out running and mountain climbing on some of the world’s most spectacular trails.

For me, the one thing worse than exercising is cramming myself into a bikini after a long winter of too many burgers and beer along the Bend Ale Trail. That means there’s no getting around the exercise thing.

Or is there?

Here are six Bend activities that burn surprisingly awesome calories but don’t feel like exercise at all.

Take a hike

Ever notice how “hiking” sounds like exercise, but “walking” sounds like how you get to the television when you can’t find the remote?

Regardless of what you call it, the act of putting one foot in front of the other can lead you to some of Bend’s most stunning viewpoints. Choose a flat, paved path along the river through the Old Mill District, or trudge a rockier trail to some scenic vista like Tumalo Falls.

Using this handy-dandy calculator and some randomly chosen details (30-year-old female, 5’4”, 130 pounds), a thirty-minute hike will burn about 174 calories.

Plug in different stats (53-year-old male, 5’9”, 170 pounds) and you get 229 calories for that same 30-minute hike.

And the calorie burn goes up if you pick up the pace or add an incline like you’ll find at Pilot Butte State Park.

Check out our hiking page to find the trail that’s right for you.

Push your kid around

No, I’m not advocating child abuse.

Old Mill District Shopping

Pushing a stroller is surprisingly good exercise!

I’m pointing out that tucking your tot into a stroller and wheeling that little cherub around Downtown Bend for some shopping is a surprisingly good form of exercise.

Again with the random stats (but please feel free to plug in your own!) a 40-year-old female who stands 5’6” and weighs 150 pounds will burn 90 calories in just 30 minutes of stroller pushing. A 29-year-old male who stands 6’2” and weighs 210 will burn 125 calories for the same activity (so unfair, amirite ladies?!)

The longer you shop, the more calories you burn. Win!

Get teed off

Golf gets billed as a leisure activity, and if it helps you to think of it like that instead of as a form of fitness, rock on with your club-toting self.

But playing one of the two-dozen golf courses around Central Oregon has a surprising upside: You can get some pretty solid calorie burn.

A 34-year-old male who is 5’7” and 160 pounds can golf for one hour (using a pull cart to haul clubs) and burn a whopping 326 calories.

Change the stats and change the calorie burn, but the fact remains the same—golfing in Bend can be good for your waistline!

Paddle it out

My personal favorite among the exercise-that-doesn’t-feel-like-exercise activities is standup paddleboarding.

Few things are more soothing than gliding over the water with the sun on my shoulders while otters twirl and bob along the shore.

If you’ve never tried it and think it looks tough, know that my sixty-something parents tried it for the first time eight years ago and managed this photo-worthy smooch (see accompanying pic) after just 30 minutes of practice.

Um, practice paddling. They’ve had about 50 years to practice smooching (yep, they met in middle school).

Anyway, a 60-year-old female who stands 5’7” and weighs 160 pounds will burn 230 calories in 30 minutes of SUPing. If you’re new to the sport, consider booking a first-timer lesson to get your form down correctly for optimum ab benefits!

Take the stairs

Looking for little ways to boost your calorie burn without going nuts?

Take the stairs instead of the elevator at Best Western Premier Peppertree.

Take the stairs. Yep, that little activity has a surprising potential for calorie burn. A 50-year-old male who stands 6’ and weighs 200 pounds will burn 24 calories in 2 minutes of taking the stairs.

I haven’t timed it, but I’m betting that’s the equivalent of hoofing it up a few short flights in some of Bend’s taller properties like Oxford Hotel, Springhill Suites, or Best Western Premier Peppertree Inn.

For more ideas on Bend hotels and vacation rentals with stairs just begging to be climbed, check out our Bend lodging page.

A bicycle built for…four?

The thought of grinding through gears on a dusty mountain bike trail is not my cup of tea (though if it’s yours, you’ll find lots of great info here).

Blogger Tawna and her family on a bike surrey from Wheel Fun Rentals.

There are plenty of ways you can add a little pedal power to your Bend vacation without investing too much sweat in the endeavor.

A one-hour surrey rental from Wheel Fun Rentals gives you and the family a chance to cruise along the Deschutes River and scope out the shops and restaurants (Bonus: You can decide where to grab lunch).

A 25-year-old male who is 5’11” and weighs 175 pounds will burn a whopping 519 calories in 45-minutes of biking at 12-14 mph (that’s assuming you spend 15 minutes of your one-hour rental stopping to take in the sights).

Even if you slow things down or secretly pedal a little less intensely than your significant other, you’re still getting some decent calorie burn from an activity that’s basically just sightseeing on wheels.

Best of all, you just earned extra cheese on your burger. Go, you!

The Bend Adventure Journal

The Latest Happenings in Bend