Tips on using the Ravenel Bridge in your fitness plan

Ravenel Bridge (File)

It is not all or nothing!

The Ravenel Bridge connecting Mount Pleasant and Charleston is one of the staple features in the Charleston area. The bridge was completed in 2005 and now has about 80,000 cars passing over it daily. The water below is the Cooper River which is a waterway for many freights to access the local ports. The cable-stayed bridge was built specifically for the ability of the passing freights.

That information is written and printed hundreds even thousands of times. What I’m going to focus on today is using the bridge as a form of fitness! There is a pedestrian and bike section on the Ravenel Bridge which makes for amazing views of the surrounding areas while getting your exercise!

Many people are intimidated by the 5-mile trek over and back. For the people that can do it, more power to you. To everyone else, we are going to work up to it together.

I’m here today to break it down, show you different distances on the bridge so you can make your own goals. The distance/points I have measured out are not marked on the bridge, they are just great noticeable marks to push to or turn around at. Start with a smaller distance, and as you’re able, you can push yourself to the next measured distance.

Push yourself as far as you can but remember you have to make the trek back as well! And don’t forget stay in your own lane!!

We will be starting on the Mount Pleasant side of the bridge, where there is plenty of free parking and a public bathroom. The address for the Waterfront Park is 99 Harry M. Hallman Blvd. You will find the parking lot for the bridge walk on the other side of the road.

You will walk from the parking lot up the paved path to where you will see the water fountain and benches at the foot of the bridge. This is our starting point -- Mile 0.

As we climb the bridge, the first measured point is going to be the first sign on the overpass. This mileage is .25 (.50 miles round trip).

As you climb further you will come to the large white cables that connect down into the bike path. The distance from the bottom of the bridge to this point is .65 miles (1.3 miles round trip). There are two sections of the bridge that jut out with a few benches. You have reached the first one. This is .78 miles from the bottom of the bridge (1.56 miles round trip).

You have reached the second jut out, and this is the last place to rest until you get to the end of the bridge. The distance we have gone so far is 1.08 miles (2.16 Miles round trip).

Where the end of the cables are is the last distance I have measured before the end of the bridge. If you can make it this far, you have got this! We have gone 1.22 miles so far (2.44 Miles round trip).

You have made it to the end! The mileage here is 2.46 miles. Grab some water, rest your feet and prepare for the hike back, unless you have parked an additional car on the Charleston side of the bridge.

The hike back always seems to go quicker for me, and maybe it will for you too. Enjoy the scenery. Usually there is a nice breeze, so even on scorching days it feels a bit cooler.

When you get back, if you have gone all of the way to the end (Charleston side) and back, you have completed the “Mount Pleasant Hill." Like I said before, the bridge is approximately five miles.

If you walk down the pathway back to the parking lot, you will see a series of tall and shorter bars/benches. These can be used for a workout. Pull ups, inclined pushups, step ups -- your options are limitless.

#KellysCharlestonChallenge -- MORE INFO

Each week at the end of the blog I will always post a challenge. Grab your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and let’s get active together! Head over to the Ravenel Bridge and let’s get started!

1. At the base of the bridge (Mile 0) preform:

20 Jumping Jacks

20 Lunges

20 Squats

20 Jumping Jacks

2. At the first jut out (Mile .78) preform:

10 Incline pushups (hands on the bench feet on the ground)

20 Alternating step ups (left leg steps up on bench and back off, right leg follows)

30 Squat Jumps (sit back in the squat position and explode into the air landing back in a squat position)

Complete these exercises 2x

3. Extra Challenge - Run back to the base of the bridge (Mile 0) preform:

Lunge from the benches/water fountain all of the way past the parking lot to Harry M. Hallman Blvd (the street you drove in on).

Post your pictures online and tag #Kellyscharlestonchallenge!

See you all next week for your next #KellysCharlestonChallenge

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