Even if the weather outside is frightful, there are plenty of ways to stay fit this winter. Proven benefits of exercise include: stress reduction, better sleep, and something about holiday treats.
Join a Walking or Running Club
If you’re new to working out, walking or hiking is an easy way to start. Many local high schools have a jogging track where you can walk or run to your favorite music. Or, check out our Top 5 Fall Hikes in Clark County for scenic views and added variety.
Having a workout buddy or joining a workout group is great way to stay motivated. The Vancouver Run, Grub and Chug Club runs a weekly 5K in addition to organizing other running activities in Clark County. The group is open to runners of all skill levels and loves supporting local businesses with a post-run social hour.
“The Vancouver Run, Grub and Chug Club is all about fitness, friendships and fun,” explains group organizer, Jon Hokama. “We embrace runners of all ages and skill levels, and dogs are welcome too.”
“We understand how difficult it can be to step outside one’s comfort zone and join a bunch of strangers for a group run,” he continues. “This is why we make it a priority to welcome our new members like they are family. Winter is the time of year that run clubs matter the most. Our members have cultivated an amazing support system that keeps everybody motivated and inspired year round. That’s our niche in Clark County’s running community.”
You could also try the Why Not Fitness meetup is a women-only group with a variety of activities including: runs, walks, bike rides and yoga. Dogs and children in strollers are welcome at certain runs/walks approved by the meeting organizer.
Bring Your Dog Along
Dog owners with cabin fever can choose from several fido-friendly trails including:
- Lacamas Lake Heritage Trail (3.5 miles)
- Battle Ground Lake loop (2.8 miles)
- La Center Bottoms (2.2 miles)
- Frenchman’s Bar (2.5 miles)
A few things to note: there are numerous trails in La Center, but the Heritage Trail offers dog bag stations throughout. Also, after a heavy rain, consider the Burnt Bridge Creek trail (7.7 miles) or the Salmon Creek trail (3 miles) which are paved.
If outdoor workouts aren’t your idea of fun, try a popular indoor workout like weightlifting or yoga. A circuit training class is a great place to learn proper weight lifting form, and most yoga studios offer a fundamentals class for beginners. Those on a budget may choose to continue their fitness regime at home by following weight lifting workouts and yoga videos on YouTube.
Group exercise classes are also a great way to try different workouts under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Marshall Center and the Firstenburg Community Center offer group exercise classes for all ages and abilities including:
- Belly dancing
- Boot camp
- Circuit training
- Tai Chi
Additionally, Marshall Center has an indoor pool with adult lap swim times. Firstenburg Community Center has a pool and a climbing wall. Both facilities offer special activities for children and seniors and offer open gym time where adults can play basketball, volleyball or pickleball. Drop-in fees range from $5-$8 per day and $19-$42 for a monthly pass. Discounts are available for couple, families, teens and seniors.
If the call of the couch is a little too strong, or you’re not seeing the results you want from your current workout regimen, try something new.