Not that there’s anything wrong with spending your entire winter sitting as close to the fire as you can, reading books, or binge-watching your favorite shows. But if, at some point this winter, you decide you would like to take a different tack to surviving this longest of New England seasons, you’re in luck.
There is always something to do in the Upper Valley, and a lot of what’s out there can be good for both body and soul.
We’ve selected five healthy activities for your consideration this winter. We hope you find one to your liking!
- Belly Dancing. Your first thought might be that this isn’t for everyone, but it is! At recreation centers throughout the Upper Valley and at the Raq-On Dance studio in White River Junction, Vermont, the emphasis is on creating a dance experience for all ages, body types, genders, and abilities—no body shaming allowed. So why not give it a try? Keep your eye on community calendars in the area, and you should be able to find an introductory class for free, either at a recreation center or at Raq-On on a First Friday in downtown White River Junction.
- Drum and Dance. You can move your body and free your mind with drumming and dance on a Sunday evening at Barrett Memorial Hall in South Strafford, Vermont. You can bring a drum or another percussion instrument, or you can just bring yourself. Admission is by donation to cover the cost of renting Barrett Hall. Check community calendars for upcoming sessions.
- Skiing and snowboarding are not sports that one takes up without laying out a considerable amount of cash—skis, boots, poles, the costs add up. In addition, some of us are just beyond an age where navigating down the side of a mountain is a sensible idea. But most of us could settle our butts inside an inflated tube and slide down the side of a hill. Tubing might not find us at our most graceful, but it can be great fun. Give it a try this winter at Arrowhead Recreation Center in Claremont, New Hampshire, and Ascutney Outdoors in Brownsville, Vermont.
- Yoga has been with us since 3000 BCE, and its physical and mental health benefits remain just as relevant today as they did centuries ago. You will find a variety of yoga classes offered at the CCBA recreation center in Lebanon, New Hampshire; Woodstock Recreation Center in Woodstock, Vermont; Black Recreation Center in Hanover, New Hampshire; and the Community Center in Claremont, New Hampshire.
- Does your mind feel muddled after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Are dark, dreary days lending an air of gloom to your internal dialogues? Meditation, like yoga, has been around for thousands of years, and it can help. Just allowing yourself an hour or two each week to sit in silence can be an incredible boost to your mental health. What would you lose by giving meditation a try? Check community calendars for meditation sessions. You’ll find them scattered throughout the Upper Valley at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Norwich, Vermont; the Friends Meeting House in Hanover, New Hampshire; Saint Francis Catholic Church in Norwich, Vermont; Unitarian Universalist Church in Woodstock, Vermont; the Barn in Lebanon, New Hampshire; and the Shambhala Center in White River Junction, Vermont.