No Excuses — Free Workouts for Summer 2019

Want to hit the gym without taking a hit to your wallet? Check out our list of free, convenient weekly workouts to shape up without paying a cent.

Washington, DC

Georgetown
Georgetown waterfront businesses rotate to provide a free fitness class at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays through Aug. 28; participants include Down Dog Yoga, Lululemon, CorePower Yoga and more. Space is capped at 100, so registration in encouraged.

Downtown
November Project is a worldwide free fitness phenomenon professing “no sign-up forms, no BS.” Meet Mondays at 6:30 a.m. at Meridian Park, Wednesdays at 5:25 and 6:20 a.m. at the Lincoln Memorial steps, and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. at rotating locations listed on their blog.

Navy Yard
Work out on the riverfront with a rotating calendar of HIIT, yoga and more. Check out the ever-evolving calendar for a workout that suits you.

 Virginia

Crystal City
Mind Your Body Oasis holds glow yoga at the fountain every Sunday at 7 p.m. through August. Check their Facebook page for updates.

Fairfax County
What better place to foster a quiet, meditative mood than a library? Maybe you can even get a book on your way out! Check out a class at Herndon Fortnightly Library 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, or at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library 7:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays. Bring your own mat. See a full calendar of library events here.

Mosaic District
Spark Yoga hosts Yoga in the Park every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and Sundays 9-10 a.m. Bring your own mat. On Tuesdays, change it up with Barre and Circuit Training in the Park, also hosted by Spark. All cancellations due to weather will be announced via Spark’s Facebook page 60 minutes before class begins. Arrive about 15 minutes early to sign a waiver. Outdoor classes end Sept. 1.

Fairfax Corner
Come to Yoga on the Plaza 8:30-9:30 a.m. Saturdays. Ends Aug. 31.

Reston
Check out the classes at Athleta Fit Club at Reston Town Center. Courses rotate, including Plyoga, Tabata, Latin Dancing and more. View the full calendar here. If you’d rather be meditating with a peaceful lake as a backdrop, drop in for free yoga on Sunday mornings at 9:30 at Lake Anne Plaza. Finally, Restonians can head over to Reston Station, where Beloved Yoga hosts free yoga at Metro Station Plaza from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through September.

Maryland

Silver Spring
In Silver Spring, yogis can meet at the fountain downtown for a free class led by Grace Yoga 7-7:45 p.m. Wednesdays. Ends Sept. 25. If you work in Silver Spring and you want a relaxing way to wait for traffic to die down, try attending free community yoga at Potomac Massage Training Institute from 5:15-6:15 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

National Harbor

Try free Yoga on the Plaza presented by Gold’s Gym Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Various Locations

Planet Fitness
If you’re lucky enough to be between the ages of 15 and 18, you can work out for free at Planet Fitness this summer. See the details here.

 

 

 

 

B Double E Double R-U-N, Beer Run!

In the DC area, we like to work hard and play hard, so it’s no surprise that combining drinking beer with running has taken off. From casual weekly meetups to official races, you can find endless ways to sweat it out in pursuit of earning yourself a cold one.

Big Races

If you need a little extra motivation to get running, the Fit Foodie Festival & 5K in downtown Fairfax might be for you. At 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, runners will meander through a 5K course, stopping for gourmet bites along the way. At the end, they’ll be rewarded with celebratory drinks in a beer garden. Pre-registration is $45; $55 on day of event.

Pacers Beer Mile at 6 p.m. on Aug. 10 isn’t for the faint of heart. By definition, a beer mile is where a runner does four laps, chugging a beer between each lap. But don’t worry, if this sounds like too much beer (or too much running) runners can form a group to do it as a relay. Registration is $32-$40 per person or $44-$60 for a team.

Weekly Meetups

If you’re looking for something a little more informal, many breweries and bars hold weekly fun runs.

Port City, 3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, holds their Joggers and Lagers club Mondays from 7-9 p.m. Runners can pick a 1-, 3-, or 5-mile run out and back on a scenic paved path along Holmes Run.

Lake Anne Brew House, 11424 Washington Plaza W, Reston, has a Beer Run Club which meets every Saturday at 9:45 a.m. and the last Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. For those Wednesday runs, the taproom is open only for the running participants until 8:30 p.m. Talk about feeling like part of an exclusive club!

World of Beer teams up with Potomac River Running in One Loudoun to bring a weekly Thursday night Pub Run starting at 6:30 p.m. At the end of the event, participants can get $1 off beers.

Caboose Tavern, 520 Mill St. NE, Vienna, VA, holds Trails and Ales, a 3-5 mile run on the W&OD trail, every Monday at 6:30 p.m.

Finally, Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn has a biweekly Trottin’ Oxen club, running along the W&OD trail at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Hashing

Often described as a “drinking club with a running problem,” local hashing leagues look to connect those who love running and alcohol enough to want to do the two at the same time, literally. The rules are simple. A runner called a “hare” goes out ahead of the pack and blazes a crude trail with flour. The rest of the club follows suit, sometimes stopping at predetermined checkpoints where they must chug a beer. The run usually terminates at a pub or other drinking establishment. If you’re wondering why this isn’t already part of your workout regimen, check this comprehensive list of hashing leagues in the area to get started.

Yoga is Relaxing, but so is Wine

When you walk into Crystal City Sports Pub, you’re greeted by a three-level bar packed to the gills with sports memorabilia. A framed T-shirt gracing the stairway says: “Win or lose, hit the booze.” On the third floor, a signed Caps jersey hangs above a ticker running around the perimeter announcing March Madness scores in neon lights.

This is nothing like any yoga studio I’ve ever been to, but Erin Sonn, owner of Eat Yoga Drink, manages to transform it into a sacred space of mindfulness.

“I wanted to take yoga out of a traditional setting and make it more accessible,” said Sonn, who founded the organization in January 2016. “Everyone, no matter their life circumstances, can benefit from yoga.” She teaches at a diverse line-up of locations, including a variety of breweries and bars.

The atmosphere was laid back as I unfurled my yoga mat. People gave each other hugs and caught up with their friends, many of whom were strangers before they began attending Sonn’s classes.

Each week, Sonn picks a theme and reads meditations that apply to it. My class was all about being present for yourself.

Credit: eat.YOGA.drink

“I know that many of you are in helping professions,”  Sonn said in a calming voice as we began our opening sequence. “We need to focus on filling ourselves up first before we can be there for others.”

While encouraging mindfulness, Sonn still managed to keep the tone light-hearted and approachable. At one point, she joked that “gluteal cleft” was the scientific term for butt crack.

Sonn was not always a believer in the power of yoga. Her first love was running, and her trainer suggested yoga to help her with recovery and stretching. She was instinctively skeptical.

“I didn’t want to say ohm,” said Sonn. And as a runner, she was used to more intense, cardio-driven workouts. But she took her trainer’s advice and tried it, and it was more of a challenge than she expected.

Beyond that, it created some unforeseen improvements in her life. “I used to be so Type A,” said Sonn. “With yoga, I’ve learned to let things go.”

After class, we all received drink tickets and grabbed two long tables. Over Irish coffees, mimosas and impressively inexpensive brunch specials, I talked with the fellow yogis as if I’d known them forever. We discussed what drinks were best to order in New Orleans, which were our favorite concert venues in D.C. and much more. Sonn has created a community that is a friendly, easy-going and makes even the nonbelievers behold its power.

And what would she say to those who don’t think yoga is for them?

“Try it once. It’s a practice, not a performance.”