Google Places with Hotpot blog

Getting Fit With Hotpot

Saturday, January 29, 2011 | 1:26 PM


Editor’s Note: While we’re in Portland over the next few weeks, we wanted to bring some local flavor to the blog by asking writers living in the area to contribute Hotpot-style city guides: recommendations on where to eat, where to shop, where to hang. Below, locally based writer Audrey Van Buskirk shares how Hotpot helped her map out where to get fit in the new year. 

While about half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, research indicates that only about 12 percent keep their goals. Like many people, I put getting into better shape on the top of my goal list. So this past month, rather than approach it the same old way—making a whole new habit of something can be half the battle—I chose to use Hotpot to help me find new places to workout. Here’s what I found.

Earlier this month, when it was one of Portland’s rare dry winter days, I decided to first search for “outdoor gear” (just riding my bike to the coffee shop counts as exercise, right?). The store REI was recommended to me at the top of my search:

I soon found it was a great place to get suited up for any new workout regime. But I can’t say I wasn’t tempted during these first searches to head on over to Voodoo Doughnut, a spot that’s been recommended to me several times on Hotpot because of my love for another Portland staple, Powell’s Books:

Delicious as they are, I couldn’t get distracted by maple bars topped with bacon. So I started with just a basic search for “gym” and found CrossFit, an intriguing concept on Northeast Russell that offers intense crosstraining. A great indoor option, but since we intrepid Portlanders like to get outside even during the drippy winter months, I also searched “outdoors” and was recommended Hoyt Arboretum because I had rated another popular Portland spot, Pioneer Square:

As a long time Portlander, I knew about the tree-filled Hoyt Arboretum, of course, but it reminded of all the great in-city hikes I could be taking more advantage of. I rated a few spots I had hiked before to see what Hotpot would recommend to me and bingo: the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is just across the Columbia in Ridgefield, Wash. Its Place page says someone even rated it one of their Best Evers:

Finally, because I still need to eat—especially after all this exercise—I searched for healthy restaurant recommendations and found several suggestions, including Papa G’s Vegan Organic Deli, right in my neighborhood:

I’m feeling more like Gwyneth Paltrow already!

How are you using Hotpot to stick to your New Year’s resolutions?

Posted by Audrey Van Buskirk. Audrey has written for dozens of local and national publications including Willamette Week, Portland Monthly, Northwest Palate, The Stranger, Nickelodeon and Everyday with Rachael Ray. She manages three boys from Southeast Portland.