Change of scenery to rejuvenate your fitness routine

Yesterday was one of my “rest” days from my 5k program so I decided to jump in my car and take a drive up the coast to York, Maine for the day with my sister. We have been going to York since we were children and wanted to get near the ocean for a change of scenery. Although technically I was supposed to rest, my sister and I decided to go on a brisk walk on the “Fisherman’s Walk,” which runs along York Harbor. The trail isn’t very long but crosses Rt. 103 and connects to a small island by what we’ve always called “the Wiggly Bridge.” The small island in the harbor also has trails consisting of some wooded terrain.

It was nice to get outside and exercise on such a beautiful day because getting fresh air and exposure to the sun is always a nice change for any fitness routine. Maine recently made an appearance on Women’s Health magazine’s top 10 list for healthiest cities for women. Portland, Maine came in at number eight, boasting a low obesity rate of 26.8 percent and life expectancy of 76.35 for women. Portland also 73 percent more gyms than the average city. But in general, Maine has a lot to offer in terms of living an active lifestyle. What’s important is that you get outside and get fit!

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It’s warm, do some trail running!

Map of the Robert Frost Trail (Courtesy Amherst Conservation Department)

I have always joked that spring time in New England is comparable to Fantasia – everyone comes out of the woodwork and is rejuvenated, happy and ready to be outdoors. At least that’s how I feel! I am lucky to live in western Massachusetts, rich with hiking trails and home of the Berkshires. Today was a beautiful weather, a ripe 72 degrees, which is rare for the beginning of March in New England, so I decided to take advantage. I grabbed a friend, filled my water bottle and hit a trail located less than a mile from my apartment.

I discovered the trail a few days ago on my ride home from the gym. I had noticed cars parked near a clearing at the side of the rode before but never stopped to check it out. Turns out the entrance near my apartment is part of the Robert Frost Trail, a 47 mile long trek that spans from the Holyoke Grange in South Hadley, Mass. to Wendell State Forest. The trail has a ton of scenic spots including the Holyoke Range, Mount Orient, Puffer’s Pond and Mount Toby. Overall the trail’s terrain is relatively easy with some steep inclines and rugged areas.

This trail is great for running because although there are inclines at some of the more mountainous spots, there are opportunities for loop-hikes and it has offshoots of shorter trails. Also, the terrain is pretty clear and flat, making for an easier run. The trail is considered a “literary trail” and named after the famed poet, Robert Frost, who lived and taught in the Amherst area from 1916 to 1938. The Robert Frost Trail is among several other literary trails in the Amherst area and they are aimed to connect the area’s literary tradition with it’s rich landscape. The Amherst Conservation Department has a full listing and map on their website of other literary trails.

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