Washingtonians take fitness seriously – all you have to do is wander through Rock Creek Park or on the National Mall to see how many walkers, joggers, cyclists and sunbathers use the city’s open spaces as their workout locations. But DC’s inhabitants don’t limit their activities to the great outdoors only. The fitness industry is alive and well in Washington; with well over a hundred different gym-related businesses in the metropolitan area, your choices are virtually unlimited. If you’re visiting DC and looking for a workout, check out the list below to get a taste of what’s on offer:
- Washington Sports Club. This East Coast franchise is slowly but surely expanding its reach in DC. WSC is your standard full-service gym, with acres of cardio and weights equipment, a spinning studio, Pilates and Yoga classes, and day care facilities. Some of the larger branches also include a swimming pool and a basketball court.
- Results The Gym. The flagship branch of this trendy gym is located in an old schoolhouse in Capitol Hill. It’s also home to several squash courts (and a full-on squash program, complete with leagues and professional coaches).
- The Sports Club/LA. This is your best bet if you’re willing to spend a little more for a swanky environment (and the chance to spot a visiting celeb or two). Located in Georgetown, Sports Club/LA is a stone’s throw from the Ritz-Carlton, and the Ritz’s guests have carte blanche to use its facilities during their stay. Of course, you may be more tempted to hang out and sip smoothies at the Sports Club’s Sidewalk Cafe (or something a little stronger at its Z Lounge) than to work out.
- Fitness First. On the other end of the swank spectrum is Fitness First. Don’t expect tons of bells and whistles here – it’s simple, low-key, and well priced. If your idea of a workout involves getting in, getting it done, and getting out, then Fitness First will more than suit your needs. Interesting classes like Boot Camp are on offer, too.
- Edge Yoga. DC is jam-packed with yoga studios, offering every style imaginable. If your preference tends toward Ashtanga or Integral Yoga, then check out Edge Yoga in Arlington. Edge’s owner, Mark, is also a personal trainer; as a result, classes are a perfect combination of mental and physical exercise. Classes are organized based on skill level required, but newbies are always made to feel welcome, and teachers spend a lot of time working with students individually to improve their posture and technique. Expect to leave feeling both relaxed and energized.