We can work out for free anywhere. We can curl jugs of laundry detergent in our basements or sprint the stairs at our 12-story office building during lunch hour. But even when we’re on a budget, it’s still awesome to work out with a group, in an actual class or with instruction from smart teachers who’ll tell us when our detergent-curling form isn’t quite right.
Here are some free ways to work out and be active in Maine, from running, hiking and cross-country skiing to upcoming events that don’t cost a dime. Because a lack of cash shouldn’t keep us from gettin’ ripped! (Or at least sweating heavily around other people.)
Free upcoming events
Come on out and join the Runaways Run Club for a free, all levels 3.5 mile group run around the Back Cove Trail in Portland every Tuesday. This is an informal and fun group run, go at whatever pace you’d like, for first placers to first timers! We’re meeting at Payson Park at the parking lot nearest to the trail / Baxter Blvd and we’ll be taking off on the run no later than 6:05am, just FYI. See you there!
Yoga and Cancer classes are different from regular yoga classes you would typically find at your local studio. They are even different from classes that are called “gentle” or “restorative.” Yoga and Cancer was specifically designed to provide therapeutic benefits to cancer patients and survivors in a relaxed and supportive environment. Specific movements and postures along with mindful breathing and meditation techniques help manage stress and support the immune system. Yoga and Cancer will help you build strength, improve flexibility and range of motion and support the health of the cardiac and lymphatic systems.
Midcoast Conservancy will offer a full moon hike (or snowshoe) at Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson. Enjoy a crisp evening illuminated by the glow of the moon and discover a new way of being in the woods. At night, sounds become more pronounced; listen for owls and the rustling of nighttime foragers along the trail.
Meet at the gate at HVNC at 6:50 pm. Dress warmly, wear shoes with good grips and a hiking stick if desired, snack, drink and flashlight or headlamp. Your guide will lead the hike to shore of Little Dyer Pond, to watch the moon rise over the water. The hike will be about 40 minutes each way, and of moderate ease. Snowshoes are available by reservation, or bring your own, if we have snow.
No dogs, please.
Portland SWEAT Project
FREE OUTDOOR WORKOUT
there is no better way to wake up and say good morning than with a group of strangers who all happen to be in one place because of an early morning workout
WHO? Good People. [age, athletic ability, social status, ethnicity – not applicable] In other words, this is for EVERYONE.
WHAT? FREE outdoor sweat session. Workouts are scalable and FUN. The sweat session will challenge you, the atmosphere will change you.
WHERE? Various locations in Portland (Baxter Boulevard/Back Cove Trail, Eastern Prom, City Hall.). See www.facebook.com/PortlandSweatProject/ for each week’s location
WHEN? Wednesdays at 6:29 AM – Rain or Shine
WHY? Because sometimes we need a reminder to wake up and get moving. It’s your accountability, motivation and reason to get in shape.
All you have to do is lace up your shoes and show up.
See you there.
Join the crew at the OA Performance Center each Friday for a FREE workout. You will be put through a warm up and then get to choose from 5 different workouts while working with the knowledgeable coaching staff. Trying to start a new routine? Looking for a new and exciting place to train? Try the OA Performance Center for FREE from 3 pm – 6 pm every Friday!
Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an “off-trail” excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Participants should plan on bringing snowshoes, skis, or ice grippers and should be comfortable travelling off trail in winter conditions.
Free ways to get active & work out
Free run groups in Portland
For runners who appreciate the camaraderie of a run group, there are a few options in Portland. Check out Old Port Pub Run‘s group runs on Thursday nights, which start and end at Liquid Riot Bottling Co. Thick Quad Squad leads group runs on Sundays and trail runs on some Tuesdays, and The Runaways leads group runs a few times a week.
Fleet Feet’s Run Club consists of two run groups that depart from both of the Fleet Feet locations in Maine: Marginal Way in Portland and Maine Street in Brunswick. It’s free to participate in this all-levels, year-round run group, which includes coaching, support, and access to Pub Runs, Scavenger Hunts, and more.
Lift and learn: Free community class Saturdays at The Distance Project, Freeport
Trainer David Bidler isn’t simply there to lead us through a string of burpees and deadlifts and lunges (although he’ll do that, too), he wants us to really understand the mechanics behind what we’re doing.
Saturday Community Class at CrossFit
If you’ve been wanting to give CrossFit a whirl, most CrossFit gyms around the state make it easy by offering free community classes on Saturday mornings. No CrossFit experience is necessary, all levels of fitness are welcome, and you can attend once or every week (read: This isn’t a first-class-free thing. The class is free. Always). And don’t worry that you’ll be asked to squat 200 pounds or lift heavy weights over your head. The community classes aren’t like that. I checked out a community class at CrossFit Beacon last summer and we did things like planks, box jumps (or step ups), medicine ball tosses and, of course, running! Most CrossFits offer the free Saturday class, this is just a sampling:
9:30 a.m. Saturdays, CrossFit BEACON, 341 Marginal Way, Portland
FMI: crossfitbeacon.com or 207-619-2322
10 a.m. Saturdays, CrossFit Casco Bay, 1000 Congress Street, Portland
FMI: www.crossfitcascobay.com or 207-699-4080
10 a.m. Saturdays, CrossFit Rising Tide, 778 Portland Road, Saco
FMI: www.crossfitrisingtide.com or 207-494-8890
9:3 a.m. Saturdays, Iron EagleCrossFit, 1 Ch, andler Drive, Suite DBath
FMI: ironeaglecrossfit.com or 207-504-4504
Trail Dames of Portland, Maine: A hiking group for curvy women
It’s a welcoming, no-hiker-left-behind group, where the goal is to enjoy the outdoors, not race to the summit.
Monday Night Dirt: Into the woods with Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine Monday Night Dirt happens every Monday night all year long. It’s free and open to all levels. TRoMM also meets for regular runs on Wednesday mornings and sporadic groups runs, which are posted in the Facebook group.
Ski & snowshoe (borrow gear for free) at Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway
There are 7.5 miles of trails winding through the woods, which are perfect for trail runners and beginner mountain bikers in the summer and cross-country skiers and snowshoers in the winter. And you can borrow cross-country skiing and snowshoeing equipment out of the warming hut for free.
Wake-up SUP! Free Wednesday-morning group SUP paddle on Casco Bay
Weekly early morning SUP paddles started this week and will continue all summer, from 7-8:30 am. every Wednesday. Portland Paddle SUP instructor Matt Palmariello will lead the group, but it’s worth noting that this isn’t a guided trip, so everyone is responsible for their own safety.
Find the perfect Maine bike ride with Explore Maine’s searchable bike tours
The site – sponsored by the Maine DOT – features a searchable database of rides all over the state – from easy-going rides along Maine’s southern coast to a challenging 50-mile “Potato Blossoms” route in Aroostook County.
Mountain biking with Single Track Sisters: Beginner-friendly Monday Night Rides
Single Track Sisters is a group of women riders from greater Portland (and beyond!) who meet a couple times a week. The Wednesday night rides are perfect for experienced riders looking for a cool group of women to ride with every week. And for us beginners, there’s the Monday night ride (lovingly called MNR).
Learn tennis (get started for free!) with Tennis 1-2-3 at Maine Pines in Brunswick
Maine Pines Racket and Fitness in Brunswick offers a Tennis 1-2-3 program every month that includes three weekly clinics plus weekend court time, access to fitness and yoga classes for the month, and a social tennis mixer.
Meet the MissFits of Maine in Kennebunk: Group runs, weekend fun & happy hour
The MissFits started as a running group. but since then, they’ve expanded their horizons. They hike mountains and go ziplining. They paddleboard and kayak, ride bikes, ice skate, and float on tubes on the Saco River. And they happy hour (because all that activity is worth it)!
Portland Sweat Project: Free Wednesday morning workouts worth waking up early for
Free fitness every Wednesday at 6:29 a.m., all year long – even in the winter, come snow or cold! The location changes weekly (Back Cove, Eastern Prom, Deering Oaks) and each week’s location is posted on Portland Sweat Project’s Facebook page and Instagram.
Hike it Baby! A hiking group for parents and babies in Cumberland County
Hike it Baby is a national effort to encourage parents to get outside with their babies – and there’s a local chapter in Cumberland County. The hikes are free and anyone is welcome to lead.
Volleyball for All in Portland: It’s free & open to anyone who just wants to play some volleyball
The Volleyball for All group meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Canco Road in Portland. It’s as informal as informal can be – just show up in comfortable clothes and you’ll be welcomed with open volleyball arms.
And let’s not forget things like kayaking and paddleboarding and hiking, which are often free, and Facebook and Meetup groups, which are generally free AND are great ways to meet other people who like doing the things you like doing.