Working fitness into my daily routine is an important part of my life as a resident of Washington, D.C. I’m always trying new classes, instructors, and ways to take #FitnessBreaks that also fit my lifestyle, and allow me to maximize my enjoyment of life in the District! Here’s what three days worth of #fitnessbreaks looks like for me, complete with FitBit data on calories burned and steps taken.
Workout like 💯 in Arlington
For my workout at the Pilates Loft (PL) in Arlington, I went in for a one-on-one Thursday night session with the co-owner of the studio, Alia Staples.
Alia is five-foot-nothing with platinum blonde hair and a rock-hard body (even with a baby bump!)--like a version of Tracy Anderson that you’d actually want to have a Chardonnay with. She has a three-degree separation in her instructor training from the Joseph Pilates--so there is no question that I’m going to get a great workout, as well as have a great time, under her supervision.
The studio is visually stunning. With the floor-to-ceiling windows, and a very minimalist, industrial-chic aesthetic, it feels like you’re walking into a laboratory for self-improvement. And in many ways, that is what my private training session with Alia is.
The combination of Alia’s technical acumen and her vigilance over students in a one-on-one setting means that she’s seeing every contraction of your abs, and every twitch of your gluteus. She drove me to engage a layer of my core that I didn’t know existed--and I’m not entirely positive mine works--with a very hands-on, classical Pilates approach to helping you lengthen and strengthen your muscles on the reformer.
All new students to the PL must take an individual training session before participating in group classes, so this level of instruction is accessible to all and a fundamental component of the PL approach.
This 60-minute class helped me skorch 326 calories. We moved around the studio and the reformer quite a bit, so I got just under 1,000 steps in during this workout. I pre-gamed for the session with some walking on the treadmill to be sure to get my 10,000 steps in for the day!
Find your edge in Old Town
532Yoga is a hidden gem in the historic Old Town, Alexandria neighborhood. This studio is situated in a quaint row house off of North Washington Street, and boasts a very tight-knit, loyal cadre of students and instructors.
Ginny’s Happy Hour class on Fridays is the perfect way to unwind from a stressful work week in Washington. For those that live, work, and travel to the District, it’s easy to feel like the weight of the free world is on your shoulders by the end of week. But the 532yoga Happy Hour class allows you to sweat all that away while you tone and sculpt your body.
Ginny herself is rock and roll meets warrior goddess meets ancient sanskrit wisdom. As the self-proclaimed “flight attendant” for your yoga practice, she is the perfect guide to help you release the stresses of your week and reach new heights in your yoga practice and overall fitness level.
For this class, she combines traditional yoga asana with power sculpting moves, like deep and long lunge holds where you feel like your quadriceps are shooting up in flames. So it’s equal parts suffering and deep stretching, toning moves.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!” is her battle cry.
Ginny is famous for weaving ancient yoga wisdom into the talk track for her classes. So while you’re contemplating death in a goddess pose hold for 90 seconds, she’s reciting one of the tales of Ganesha.
532yoga is one of the only studios I’ve been to in any city that has a Harmonium in the studio, and multiple instructors and students who are trained in playing it. We end the class with the beautiful “sea of Oms” set to the music of a real, live Harmonium.
Don’t plan on running straight to your actual Happy Hour after this class--you’ll work up a sweat, so plan to shower and change before commencing your weekend!
I burned 475 calories in this 60-minute class. No additional steps needed, because hoofing it around all day got me to 10,000 steps prior to attending class!
Stairway to sweat on the Mall
On any given Saturday, you’ll find a small tribe of sweaty, ragged warriors huffing and puffing their way up the stairs from the side of the Potomac to the Lincoln Memorial. It’s one of Washington, D.C.’s best kept secrets for a great heart-pumping, booty-toning workout. No class fee or pass required!
Rather than just crush my way up-and-down the stairs, which is definitely a way to get a great workout, I combined strength, toning, and blasts of cardio for a great total body workout in a stunning, monumental setting.
I start off with one-legged hops, up and down 10 steps each side 3x. This gets me warmed up and starts my lower body muscles firing.
Next, I do some tricep dips off the base of the stairs, 3x 10.
Then, I move to step-ups with leg raises, 10 each side 3x to get the booty popping.
I work in some abs by blasting out 100 boat crunches.
Between each move, I do 5 sets of stair sprints. That’ll get you pretty winded!
If you’re craving an endurance workout, you can add onto this total body blaster by making the run to the steps of the Capitol, around the other side of the Mall, and finish with the steps there.
But for me, containing this workout to the stairs more than meets my daily requirement--and allows me to justify my weekend brunch meal! The calisthenic workout comprised about 20 minutes of activity, where I burned just over 200 calories. Between my stair runs and mescatting around on the stairs, I got over 4,000 steps in before 9am.
This post was created in collaboration with Expedia.