11 Reasons Every City Should be Jealous of DC’s Health & Fitness Scene

11 Reasons Every City Should be Jealous of DC’s Health & Fitness Scene

Washington, DC might be known for its politics, but it’s also known for over 100 miles of bike lanes and trails, an overwhelming amount of yoga studios, and running trails that take you from national parks to national monuments within minutes. It’s no surprise it was voted the fittest city in America in 2016 — for the third year in a row. Check out why the DMV should still be #1 on that list.

  • Our marathons are bucket list items

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    DC is home to the Marine Corps Marathon. Known as the “People’s Marathon”, this race attracts 30,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 50 countries. No other race can make you feel more patriotic, especially when a US Marine is waiting to put a medal around your neck after you’ve just run 26.2 miles through our nation’s capital. Not a marathon runner? No sweat. If you live in DC and own a pair running shoes, it’s expected you throw your name in the hat for the competitive Cherry Blossom 10-mile Race lottery. Each year, elite runners, such as Meb Keflezighi and Joan Benoit Samuelson join the list of finishers. And we don’t blame them given the healthy mix of prestige and sights to see.

  • We yoga at the symphony

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    Washingtonians downward dog in the grand foyer of The Kennedy Center every Saturday from January through August. And that’s not even the best part. The all-levels Vinyasa yoga class is free, which means you can order post-savasana bottomless mimosas at brunch. Speaking of brunch…

  • Brunch is a verb, not a noun

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    In this city, brunching is your Saturday and Sunday activity. Reservations aren’t always required, but if you’re looking to try one of these healthy joints, they’re recommended. For a waterfront experience, we’ve got Farmers Fishers Bakers’ farm-to-table buffet in Georgetown or Whaley’s fresh seafood-centric menu in Navy Yard.

  • Our summers are spent on the water

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    When it’s hot in the District, you’ll find Washingtonians near the waterfront. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are popular activities in these beautiful locations. If you’re more of a night owl, there’s always this moonlight SUP tour. Lulled to sleep by the calm Potomac? Kayaking experts can take their whitewater skills northwest 45 minutes to Great Falls (note: this really is expert territory!).

  • Lincoln is our running mascot

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    Oh, you think we’re kidding? Every Wednesday at 6:20am, dozens of District residents run the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for November Project DC. This 35-minute free workout is the friendliest of its kind. Start the day with goofy group chanting and end it with a new PR. With Lincoln cheering you on, you’ll watch the sun come up behind the Washington Monument for the most epic (and sweaty) sunrise of the week.

  • When we’re not running, we’re biking

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    While the city’s bike traffic has exploded in recent years, it’s a treat to visit one of our unrivaled local studios, which offer the convenience of a stationary bike and guarantee a killer workout. Thankfully, there are dozens of cycling studios to choose from in DC, including the popular SoulCycle, award-winning Off Road, and locally-owned Ascend Cycle. These high-tech rides allow you to compete with other riders, track your progress, and jam out to the latest beats all within the comfort of a stylish studio.

  • Smoothies: Ice, Ice Baby

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    We like our drinks cold and fruity. Between South Block, Fruitive, and Jrink, we enjoy plant-based juices and acai bowls year round in DC. These casual eateries also offer trendy turmeric lattes and avo toast — you know, that fancy toast we can’t stop talking about.

  • We’re 20 minutes from great hiking

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    DC isn’t your typical city. It’s not all skyscrapers and taxi cabs — in fact, we don’t have a single skyscraper, which means you can see blue skies and sunshine for days. When you want more of a nature fix, drive 25 minutes to the Billy Goat Trail at at Great Falls National Park for rock scrambling and scenic views of the Potomac River. For longer trips, check out Harpers Ferry and Shenandoah just a little over two hours outside of the city.

  • Summertime outdoor yoga is a real thing

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    If you want to take your yoga game outdoors, look no further than DC in the summer. We’ve got yoga on the mall, near the waterfront, and outside of National Historic Places. Seriously. Last summer’s yoga series guide should have you covered, but expect an updated list for 2018.

  • Fitness studios are our jam

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    From yoga to CrossFit to “playground” performance training, no two DC fitness studios are the same. You can try them all too — most gyms and studios offer a free first class. We’re constantly breaking a sweat! FYI, Barry’s Bootcamp is the newest fitness studio to open its doors in the District. Check ’em out.

  • We’re real life groupies

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    Running or biking in DC? The good news is that you’ll never travel solo in this city. We’ve got dozens of run clubs and organized group rides for all levels. Whether you want to hit the pavement or the dirt, DC has got you covered with these urban paths and woodsy trails.