Burn and be taught: The health coach from Maine mixes motion and historical past


By Steve Minich

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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) – A Maine fitness instructor blends movement and history to deliver one-of-a-kind workouts in Portland.

Leigh Rush Olson is well qualified to offer their historic workouts.

“I studied history at Brooklyn College in New York City,” said Olson. “I took a history class in Portland at the Maine Historical Society sponsored by Portland Landmarks, and that’s really how I got my foundation.”

Olson, a full-time certified fitness instructor, combines a two-hour workout with a narrative tour of Portland’s past.

“Each stop takes about a minute, but when I talk about the history of the ban it takes a little longer, so I do a lot of squats during that time and I have a click and I keep track of how” many squats and lunges we do throughout the tour, ”said Olson.

Participants said they love adding a little history to their training.

“It’s outside. It is so much fun. You will learn all about Portland, the great places, the history, it’s amazing, ”said participant Kathy Graham.

Olson records 50 historic Portland landmarks while working up a sweat.

“You kind of laugh at yourself for exercising in the middle of downtown Portland and people watching, but it’s fun at the same time. It’s the best history lesson, ”said participant Jordan Keeler.

By the end of the tour, Olson estimates the participants took about 10,000 steps and burned about 1,000 calories.

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