These Programs Offer Free Yoga, Biking, and More in the Heart of D.C.
Washington, D.C. is one of the most expensive cities in the country to live in, and it’s not just the rent that will drain your bank account —everything from cocktails to transportation to Sunday brunch costs more here than in most other American cities.
Getting fit in the District is no exception, especially considering the hefty price tag that comes with a gym or yoga membership. To help you save some cash, I’ve rounded up several free workout classes and events to help you break a sweat without breaking the bank.
Yoga by No Excuse Workout
Saturdays at 10 a.m.
It’s hard to beat the location of Yoga by No Excuse, which is right on the water in the heart of National Harbor. Shanon Lee, a resident of Northern Virginia, tries to make every class. “I find the free classes a nice addition to my schedule,” she says. “I keep returning because there is nothing like the view and practicing yoga while feeling the breeze off the water.”
Sunset Fitness in the Park
Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
This series runs until August 30 and includes hour-long workout sessions in Georgetown Waterfront Park. Lauren Boston, Communications Director for the Georgetown BID, says “…with the Potomac River, Kennedy Center and Key Bridge providing one of the most picturesque backdrops in the city, all of our classes are free and taught by Georgetown yoga, barre and Pilates studios, offering a unique and accessible way to celebrate the summer and stay fit.”
Kennedy Center Yoga
Select Saturdays at 10:15 a.m.
Every other Saturday in the Grand Foyer, the Kennedy Center holds a vinyasa yoga class led by an instructor from a local studio. The large windows and unique light fixtures make this an idyllic spot, and there’s plenty of space to stretch out and make the most of your savasana.
lululemon Run Club
Mondays at 6:30 p.m.
With a different route every month to change things up and events like group happy hours and socials, the lululemon run club is perfect if you want to expand your social circle while staying fit. Meet at the Clarendon Boulevard lululemon store and head off on a four to six mile run around Arlington.
Pacers Social Running Group
Dates vary by location
With five Pacers locations in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia (14th Street, Navy Yard, Alexandria, Clarendon and Fairfax), you have plenty of options to get in a run and meet some new friends.
DC Capital Striders
Times vary by location
Capital Striders hosts a run to fit just about any schedule, with meetups nearly every day of the week and at varying times. There are also both long and short runs to accommodate different skill levels. It’s always free to join a run, but you can also sign up for a $25 yearly membership and benefit from discounts on local races, fitness products and supplies.
BicycleSPACE Group Rides
Times vary by activity
BicycleSPACE offers many different rides, classes, and events all around DC. For example, the Nice-N-Easy Ride is perfect for beginners, while the cyclists taking part in the Cupcake Ramble enjoy a treat at a local bakery halfway through their ride.
The Bike Rack Group Rides
Dates and times vary
Every weekend, The Bike Rack hosts a group ride that meets at either their Q Street or Brookland shops. Saturdays are a mixed bag of rides for all skills, including the Intro Road Ride designed for beginners and the Treetime Ramble that is perfect for families; Sundays are reserved for Intermediate/Advanced riders who are comfortable with a faster pace.
Zumba by No Excuse Workout
Wednesdays at 7pm
Every Wednesday between May 4th to October 26th, dance it out with a hip-hop themed Zumba class on the National Harbor Plaza. This is a true workout where you use muscles you didn’t even know you had, but it’s so much fun you won’t care.
Yards Park Free Fitness Series
Dates and times vary
Navy Yard is a neighborhood buzzing with excitement, and their fitness series only contributes to its appeal. I went to a Beyonce Dance Class there one evening, and I haven’t had that much fun working out in years. Also on the schedule are boot camp classes, Jazzercise, and resistance training.
Outdoor Zumba Crystal City BID
Every Wednesday at noon
Zumba in the courtyard is truly a party. With sexy Latin beats and energetic instructors, it’s almost impossible not to have a blast at this class. When I attended, I met lots of awesome people who made me feel comfortable and welcome.
These are just a few of the free workouts available around the District right now. To find even more affordable classes, visit the Fitverse website to choose your activity and enter your location.
Brittany Kerfoot is a writer and educator living in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared in Thrillist, Brit + Co, Racked, HelloGiggles, and more.