No one does fitness like DC. With free events coming at you at every park and traffic circle, thousands of people sweating together on the National Mall, and hundred of miles of trails for you to hike, run, or bike — you’re just not gonna not work out.
Even with all the debates and high blood pressure in this city, we’re still ranked as THE healthiest city in America, and we have a reputation to uphold. Don’t take fitness in this city for granted—take this list and check the box next to each and every one.
And now, may we present, the official DC Fitness Bucket List.
What better place to WOD than on the Mall? Flex on the Mall is an annual event gathering CrossFitters (and other beasts) around the city in one place. Get ready to sweat and flex between the Capitol and the Washington monument. Grab your team, set your training schedule, and go HAM in our nation’s capital.
It’s not uncommon for Washingtonians to use the C&O Canal to commute to Bethesda and back (because traffic in this city is SO lovely). But do you know just how far the C&O Canal actually goes? You and your friends can bike all the way through West Virginia and into Pittsburgh, PA—a trip that extends roughly 330 miles. Hey, you could even stop and visit Fitt HQ when you arrive!
Sprint up the steps at Meridian Hill, and you’re sure to find a crew of workout buddies waiting for you. Meridian Hill is where many now-famous DC trainers got their start. Troll suggested events on Facebook and you’re sure to find personal trainers offering free classes Saturday and Sunday mornings.
For everyone who’s gone paddleboarding, you know it’s surprisingly (dare we say, embarrassingly) hard. Trust us—don’t do this after SoulCycle or leg day. However, paddleboarding in the Tidal Basin is something every DCer should do once. Fitt tip: If you go during Cherry Blossom season, know the line could easily extend two hours long—so try going during the week [or head over to Key Bridge in Georgetown for SUP instead!).
…Because hello, it’s the most DC thing ever. You’re guaranteed to take a lot of steps.
No run through the monuments is complete without a few sprints up the Watergate Steps. And since know one knows they’re actually called the Watergate Steps, we’re referring to the steps between Lincoln and the Memorial Bridge. Yep, those steps—the ones you sprint twice a week already.
It’s a double-digit distance run with thousands of other competitors, and you need to make sure you’re one of them. At least once. Find out when bibs go on sale, and sign up the MOMENT registration opens. Notice the all-caps here, people, because we’re not messing around—this race has a crazy waiting list, so make sure you’re on it!
Many individuals live in DC for years and never make the trek out to Great Falls—don’t be most people. It’s an absolutely gorgeous park, and it’s right in our backyard. Plus, you’ve been searching for a hobby outside happy hour anyway. Hike the 7-plus-mile loop on the trail then end with a scenic view of the waterfalls.
Imagine DC without traffic, honking, or cars in general. We know, what a magical place it would be. Once a year, for one day only, we are blessed with just that. DC Bike Ride consists of 20 miles, one purpose, and zero cars. Bond with fellow bikers, enjoy uninterrupted views of DC along the route, and party at the festival afterward.
Students at Georgetown are all-too-familiar with the daily burn of climbing the Exorcist steps. Back when the Exorcist was filmed, students charged viewers five bucks a pop to view the scene from their rooftops. Now, it remains one of Georgetown’s many claims to fame, and an even better workout.
Each year, every Type A Washingtonian gets an honest dose of zen at Yoga on the Mall (aka Yoga Week). Flow into downward yoga right at the base of the Washington monument. It’s a great experience, it’s free, and it’s the most at-peace you’ll ever see this city. Over fifty studios across the DMV gather together for this event, so make sure you’re there.
Training for a marathon is on your bucket list, right? Well why not train for one right here, in your hometown? Going into its 42nd year, the Marine Corps Marathon has earned its place as one of the best marathons for beginners—and one of the largest in the country! The route weaves through Virginia and DC, offering a scenic route for you, and great vantage points for your friends to cheer you on.
Yeah, yeah, we know—you’ve run Rock Creek park roughly one billion times before. But chances are you’ve run the exact same route each and every time. Rock Creek extends over 2,000 acres—do you have any idea how many hidden gems are found in that amount of space? Go horseback riding at the Rock Creek Horse Center, hike near Pierce Mill, attend an outdoor tennis match at Carter Barron Amphitheater, or stand where Lincoln stood at Fort Stevens during the Civil War.
If you haven’t done it, you have to try it (even if you’ve heard horror stories). Scratch that—especially if you’ve heard horror stories. If you’re looking for a place to get shredded abs, you have to try [solidcore]. Plus, it was founded in DC! We have to represent, right?
As a runner, living here will never, ever, EVER get old. Being able to glance at Lincoln, Washington, and the Capitol in a single 5k is something we will never take for granted. But if you’ve never seen the monuments lit up at night, you’re really missing out. Grab a buddy (because, you know, safety first) and take a midnight stroll—er, run—through the best sights this city as to offer.
Don’t get us wrong—we love Flywheel and SoulCycle as much as the next person. But Zengo was born and raised in this city, so it carries a special place in our hearts. Get the beats and heart pumping in this energizing class. There are five studios spread across the DMV, so sign-up at your neighborhood spot (your first class is on the house).
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