Written by Madeline Ferland on December 20, 2023.
The winter months in New Hampshire are often characterized by colder temperatures and shorter days and can pose challenges to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. The onset of seasonal blues and the temptation to enter a “hibernation mode” are familiar struggles for many. However, the importance of prioritizing health and wellness during this time cannot be overstated. Engaging in regular physical activity not only helps combat the winter blues by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters, but it also contributes to improved mental well-being.
The Sugar River Region, with its array of fitness programs, dance studios, and community centers, is a great location for individuals seeking to break free from the sedentary tendencies that winter may bring. Whether through invigorating workouts, dance sessions that spark joy, or holistic wellness programs, embracing physical activity in the winter can be a powerful antidote to the seasonal doldrums.
By actively participating in community gatherings, fitness initiatives, and cultural activities, individuals not only safeguard their physical health but also cultivate a vibrant and resilient mindset to navigate the colder months with enthusiasm and vitality. In essence, the winter season in the Sugar River Region becomes an opportunity to not just survive but to thrive in holistic well-being.
The Claremont Community Center serves as a central resource for general wellness and health in Sullivan County, and is an especially great place to frequent in the winter. It is an inclusive facility that offers a diverse range of seasonal programs, classes, and many resources and amenities to cater to the needs of the community. From fitness and fun movement classes such as Cardio Blast and Beginner’s Line Dancing, to indoor sports leagues including Youth and Adult Basketball, to wellness workshops and certification courses and seminars, the Community Center encourages active lifestyles and provides a supportive environment for everyone. Additionally, the CCC provides opportunities for social engagement through events like group activities and community gatherings. It is often a meeting place for clubs and sometimes hosts special events, like the Claremont Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff in October of 2023.
Practical Progression is a premier one-on-one workout program in Claremont and is geared towards those who want to make and see changes in their health and lifestyles. Tailored to meet the specific fitness and lifestyle goals of every individual participant, the Practical Progression program offers dynamic workouts not only to keep individuals active but also serves as a means of combating the winter blues by promoting physical, and therefore mental, well-being. As a comprehensive fitness initiative, Practical Progression is an exceptional resource to maintain and enhance overall health. Winter time is as good a time as any season to begin, but Practical Progression will surely provide motivation to continue throughout the year for a sounder body and mind.
Real Steel Fitness is the one and only gym in Claremont that is open to members 24/7 (but open for day sessions and staffed from 11 am – 5pm Monday through Friday). It is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a diverse range of programs and amenities to cater to any and all fitness needs. The equipment is all updated and cutting-edge, including myriad machines for weight training and high-intensity training. The gym is committed to promoting not only physical health, but also holistic health and even offers programs such as yoga and after school athletics sessions. With experienced trainers, Real Steel also provides personalized fitness plans, ensuring that individuals of all fitness levels can achieve their goals. The welcoming atmosphere and judgment-free zone fostered at Real Steel make it an essential destination for those seeking to maintain their health and fitness during any season in the Sugar River Region.
Just like Real Steel, Newport Fitness and Spa is a gym that is also open to members and is the only one in Newport. It is a premier fitness facility offering an extensive variety of programs for all fitness levels and preferences. The uplifting atmosphere is fueled by energetic classes such as Zumba, providing a lively and dynamic workout experience that not only promotes physical fitness but also boosts morale during the winter months. Indoor Cycling classes offer a cardiovascular challenge in a climate-controlled environment, allowing for pedaling away stress and calories. For those seeking a personalized touch, Newport Fitness provides Kinesis personal exercises, utilizing leading equipment to tailor workouts to individual needs. With a commitment to all-encompassing health, this facility embodies the spirit of fitness no matter the season, ensuring the community stays active, engaged, and healthy even throughout the colder season in the Sugar River Region.
The Newport Tennis Club has the exclusive distinction of being the only facility in Sullivan County with indoor clay courts. The club offers a great way to stay active and social during the winter months. As a small and welcoming community, the Tennis Club fosters a friendly atmosphere where members can engage in organized round robin doubles play for both men and women. The club provides ample open court time and free access to a ball machine, enhancing players’ skills and fitness levels. With the convenience of 24/7 accessibility and online court reservations, tennis can be played at any time of any day during any season. The club also allows unlimited play for a single annual fee with no additional charges for court time. In the winter months, it stands as a centerpoint where individuals can not only hone their tennis skills but also prioritize their well-being in a supportive and engaging environment.
The Newport Ballroom and Dance Studio invites individuals of all ages and backgrounds to experience the joy and myriad health benefits of dance. Offering a range of dance lessons for singles, couples, and youth, the studio’s mantra, “Move Better. Feel Better. Look Better.,” encapsulates the transformative power of dance. From Ballroom, to Latin, to Salsa, and Swing, the Ballroom provides a welcoming space for individuals to embark on a journey of self-expression, exercise, and social interaction. The studio emphasizes the multifaceted advantages of dance, including increased muscular strength, improved balance, enhanced mental functionality, and a boost in self-confidence. Beyond the physical benefits, the Ballroom serves to foster connections and provide opportunities for fun on the dance floor. Whether you seek a spirited workout, the perfect first dance for your wedding, or simply a place to work through the seasonal blues with a new activity, the Newport Ballroom is a wonderful place to learn to dance your way to improved health and wellness during the winter months.
The Newport Recreation Department (NRD) stands as one of the most beloved community hubs for health and wellness activities in both the town itself and the Sugar River Region as a whole. Offering an array of programs, activities, events, and leagues, NRD engages individuals and families seeking fun and active pursuits year round. However, NRD plays an especially significant role in the winter months with the extensive list of kids, adult, and community programs. Just to name a few activities and events going on, there’s the after school program and basketball league for kids, volleyball and line dancing for adults, and the ‘Twas Just Before Christmas event and Winter Carnival. These seasonal gatherings foster a great sense of camaraderie and promote both physical activity and community spirit among residents, contributing to NRD’s positive community influence. Newport Recreation Department is a great place to engage in wintertime wellness and contribute to a healthy lifestyle so the seasonal blues can’t hit too hard!
Sustainable Movement is a multifaceted studio oriented for family and community wellness through biomechanics, natural movement, and functional training. The studio offers a multitude of courses, including kids’ classes, pre and postnatal training, personal training, group private training, workshops, and community classes. Empowering individuals to improve their bodily alignment and fostering a healthier, more mobile, and thriving lifestyle is what Sustainable Movement aims to do. In the winter time, going into hibernation mode is so easy and almost a fallback for many of us, whether we realize we’re actively doing so or not. But the cold of winter here in the Sugar River Region doesn’t have to mean a lack of movement and care for oneself, and especially with the studio’s feel-good wellness programs, anyone and everyone can embrace the season with enhanced body awareness and a livelier outlook to life.
The Library Arts Center isn’t simply a library or a place to see art exhibitions. It serves as a dynamic cultural center by offering a diverse range of creative programs and activities to foster artistic expression, community engagement, and holistic wellness. Through regular art exhibitions showcasing local and regional talent, art classes spanning various mediums like Outdoor Adventure Painting for All Seasons and Terrains, cultural events like poetry readings, community outreach initiatives, physical health classes such as Yoga in the Ballroom, and special events throughout the year, the center plays a pivotal role in enriching and supporting the cultural fabric of the Sugar River Region.
Mount Sunapee Resort is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly during the winter months. The resort is known for its ski and snowboard facilities, offering a range of trails suitable for various skill levels. Visitors can enjoy alpine skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing against the scenic backdrop of the Sugar River Region. Mount Sunapee typically offers a variety of programs and activities to cater to different interests and ages, including ski and snowboard lessons for beginners, developmental training for experienced enthusiasts, Women’s Workshops, After School Ski School, and the Six-O-Three terrain park for those looking for more challenging features. The resort often organizes events, competitions, and special programs throughout the winter season to enhance the overall experience for visitors. Some of the most notable recurring events include Live Music At Goosefeathers Pub and themed weekends such as Ugly Sweater and Retro Ski Themed Weekend.
Whaleback Mountain is a small-scale ski mountain that has been running (on and off) since 1955 and today is a phenomenal destination for outdoor recreation and winter wellness. Whaleback is a non-profit ski haven committed to providing affordable and accessible winter sports experiences for the entire Sugar River Region and community. Family-friendly and affordable skiing is a priority, as programs like the Afterschool Ski and Snowboard Program, Kids December Vacation Camp, GNARwhals Freestyle Learning Program for ages 11-14, Adult Early Rise Alpine Touring Program, Lil Skippers Learning Program for ages 4 and under, and the Women’s & Non-Binary Ski Learning Program are all offered. Whaleback’s success is not just a testament to its ski slopes but also to its role as a community asset, embodying the spirit of winter wellness through diverse and inclusive programs that cater to all ages and skill levels.
Beyond the programs and facilities that are great for wintertime or all season use, there are myriad other opportunities that may have specific program start dates. These locations nevertheless contribute to the community’s overall vitality and can be a wonderful resource in the cold of winter. Establishments like Rising Sun Martial Arts and the National Institute of Modern Martial Arts (NIMMA) provide martial arts training that extends beyond seasonal boundaries, offering continuous opportunities for physical fitness, discipline, and mental well-being. Moreover, there are a few dance and gymnastics programs designed for kids, such as Jenkins Dance & Gymnastics Center, Stardancer Studios, and Dance Arts Academy, fostering not only physical activity but also creativity and self-expression.
While these programs may not have specific winter initiations, they remain valuable year-round resources for those seeking to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. As pillars of holistic wellness, these activities underscore the Sugar River Region’s diverse and enduring avenues for community health.
Did you enjoy reading this holistic wintertime health and wellness blog? If you did, stay tuned for future blogs on more winter activities, such as skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling (pending we get some snow!), and much more! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook to keep up with our initiatives and to share your favorite way to beat the winter blues. Happy, healthy holidays!