Well, hello, January! You’re looking at your treadmill over there in the corner, which serves as a better laundry rack than an exercise machine. Boredom over the same old workout routine is why many people lose motivation to stay fit, as a 2020 study revealed, finding that even elite athletes lose the momentum to exercise when faced with a repetitive workout.
Luckily, on the coast of Maine, we’re surrounded by a plethora of outdoor terrain, specialty gyms, and fitness spaces. Here are a few unique activities in the Midcoast to jolt you out of the Drone Zone.
The Great Outdoors
While the Omicron variant continues to trample through early 2022, many people are feeling antsy about working out in groups indoors. There are a few interesting ways to get the heart rate up while keeping plenty of open space and fresh air in between participants.
Equinox Guiding Service offers an “Intro To Ice Climbing” course (both full and half-day) in the Camden Hills State Park, Acadia National Park, and Grafton Notch as we reported on in a story several years ago.
“People have described ice climbing as this really extreme sport, but really, it’s actually almost meditative,” said Noah Kleiner, owner of Equinox Guiding Service. A half-day course is $185 while for two people it’s $130/pp. FMI: Details
Benefits: Climbing features such as frozen waterfalls and rock slabs covered in ice help build strength in your forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and quads. Your cardiovascular system gets a workout as you develop great core strength.
Oh yes, it’s back! Midcoast residents who loved the old tubing hill at Camden Snow Bowl will be overjoyed to hear that a new snow tube hill has been engineered between the double lift and Kuller Trailhead. It’ll be opening up this weekend.
“For several years, people have been asking for the tubing hill to come back, and, especially during Covid, we had even more demand from the public,” said Holly Anderson, assistant manager of the Camden Snow Bowl.
This year, people will have to lug their tubes up by foot, but the plan next year is to install the former Mighty Mite handle tow to assist riders up the hill. Tickets will be $10 per hour per person and include one snow tube. Cash or check at the tubing hill shed; credit cards in the lodge. Open Sat/Sun, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Benefits: Depending on how many times you walk up and down the hill, you can burn anywhere from 200-300 calories every 30 minutes.
Female Hiking Clubs —Statewide
The majority of outdoor hiking clubs in Maine that have popped up in recent years are designed for women who aren’t comfortable hiking alone or just want to make new friends as they join up and explore Maine’s backcountry in a group, from newbies to experienced hikers. Women Outdoor Lead is one such group PenBay Pilot covered last summer.
Born out of a collaboration between Women for Rural Healthy Living and Maine Outdoor School, OWL teaches outdoor and naturalist skills to girls and women to gain more confidence when spending time outdoors. There’s also a Maine chapter of Women Who Hike, which you have to join on Facebook, which is a great source for organized hikes or recommendations for hikes around the state.
Benefits: A study in the American Journal of Human Biology, showed that while winter hiking, women increased their muscle mass and burned more calories than they consumed.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com