Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to work on our health, and we know that getting active is good for you physically and mentally.
Gyms are packed at this time of year, but staying motivated in these cold winter months can be difficult.
The number one thing that helps motivate a real change is having a “menu of options,” psychologist Carrie Wilkens said.
Mixing some fun and novel activities into your rotation can turn workouts from a chore into something you look forward to.
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Whether you have specific fitness goals or you’re just fighting the urge to hibernate, here are fresh ways to get active indoors in the D.C. area.
Climbing for the adrenaline seekers
The most fun things to do and places to be in D.C., Maryland and Virginia
If you’re excited to see new sport climbing events at the Paris Olympics, then why not learn the ropes yourself?
Intro to rock climbing classes are the best way to try out what can be an addictive hobby.
Jenna, who teaches climbing at Sportrock, has seen students as young as 3 and well past retirement age.
“Whatever your walk of life is, we have a Parkinson's group here, and our oldest climber is 82,” she said.
Where to find it: You have a lot of options! Sportrock has locations in Alexandria, Gaithersburg and Sterling, and there’s even a Groupon for introductory classes (ages 14+ only). Reviewers also like Movement, which has locations in Crystal City and Rockville. Vertical Rock was still running holiday deals as of Jan. 2.
Boxing for a workout that packs a punch
Maybe you've seen boxing gyms popping up all around the D.C. area, but you're not quite an Olympic athlete.
That’s no problem at BASH, a boxing-inspired gym that’s growing in Northern Virginia.
“We're going to call you by name and face when you come into the studio and every single time that you come into class, we're going to take you through your six core punches right from the start,” BASH founder Alex Trakas said.
Trakas founded the gym specifically to get more women involved in the sport, but her goals have grown.
“The second that I learned how to throw a punch, the second that I learned how to connect the combos and just felt more empowered and confident in myself, I was like, ‘I really want to bring this to more women,'" she said.
Cycling that’s not a luxury
Leticia Long’s Wired Cycling in Eckington strives to do fitness better.
Her classes are just $20 each, or you can buy five classes for $85. But she doesn’t compromise on the quality of her machines, and schedules classes early on most mornings so anyone can squeeze in a workout.
“I want you to figure out what feels right for your body today,” she said at a recent workout.
Where to find it: Wired Cycling can be found at 2028 4th Street NE, Washington, D.C. Book classes online.
Water aerobics for the whole family
Aqua aerobics provides a low-impact exercise where almost everyone can find a comfort zone.
Tons of gyms offer group classes, including YMCA Anthony Bowen at W and 14th streets NW.
Instructor and former Olympian Rush Mijuskovic trained at the gym before competing in the Beijing Olympics, representing Montenegro in the triathlon.
“And we have, like people, three generations in the family going together for a while. And I'm teaching this class for 16 years,” Mijuskovic said. “This is the exercise you can do for the rest of your life.”
Where to find it: Check the YMCA’s Find Your Y page or look for rec centers with indoor pools in your county. Classes are offered by most park districts, including Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland and Arlington County, Alexandria and Fairfax County.
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