Developing and maintaining physical fitness is an integral facet of life at Ironwood Maine. The morning begins with thirty minutes of brisk exercise, six days a week. Residents follow a rotating schedule of running or hiking outside, calisthenics, strength training, and endurance exercises. In inclement weather, they work out indoors with exercise videos that introduce strength training among other techniques. Residents also participate in yoga and Tai Chi classes taught by certified instructors.
These exercises develop rhythm and coordination, balance, cardiovascular health, flexibility, strength, and endurance. Additional benefits are healthy weight maintenance and increased bone density. Fitness weaves itself into the fabric of the day as teens walk between activities, care for animals, stack firewood, build stone walls, forts, and other landscaping structures. In this way, they learn that health is more than attending an occasional class or checking off isolated exercises from a list. We integrate physical and emotional well-being through an active, responsible daily life and healthy relationships with the natural world and each other.