How To: Get Fit in Alexandria

Welcome to 2015 in Alexandria! Your New Year’s resolution to get in shape just got a whole lot easier in ALX, where health and wellness is a way of life. Need a post-holiday detox? Or a workout regimen you’ll stick with come February? In Alexandria, there’s more than one way to get your fit on, whether it’s in a hot yoga studio, a CrossFit class or a rock climbing gym—just to name a few.


Sweat Sessions

alexandria-va-fitness-health-barre-studioImage credit: Xtend Barre Old Town

If you’re craving an endorphin rush, get your blood pumping at one of Alexandria’s fitness centers or on its outdoor trails. Programs like CrossFit Old Town offer varied high-intensity strength and conditioning training in a group, which keeps you from falling off the fitness wagon and prevents that same ole, same ole feeling you get with old routines. Or try Fitness on the Run, where you can get personal and group training plus nutrition coaching from skilled instructors.

For a high-intensity workout that’s also low-impact, check out barre classes at Xtend Barre Old Town or Pure Barre in Carlyle. Barre combines elements of dance, ballet and Pilates so you feel the burn without the joint stress (plus, you get to pretend you’re a ballerina).

Thrill-seekers and adventurous types, learn the ropes (get it?) at Sportrock Climbing Center, a rock climbing gym near Van Dorn Metro, with classes and Open Climb sessions. Warning: be prepared to discover muscles you did not know you had!

If you like to feel the wind in your hair, Alexandria has plenty of outdoor trails that are perfect for walking, running or biking, from the Potomac-hugging Mount Vernon Trail to the Wilson Bridge Trail, especially popular with cyclists. Need motivation to kick up your heels (and conquer those hills)? Local running store Pacers offers free morning and evening fun runs in and around Alexandria. You can also enjoy a more leisurely walk along King Street from the Metro to Market Square or go on a walking history tour; in Del Ray, Mount Vernon Avenue has energy to spare (and sweet treats to reward your hard work).


Holistic Health

alexandria-va-fitness-health-yoga-old-townImage credit: Pure Prana

With walkable streets, fresh and healthy dining, and stunning waterfront views, Alexandria inevitably inspires you to get moving and live healthy. So it should come as no surprise that holistic health and wellness studios are chockablock throughout Old Town and Del Ray!

To strengthen your mind and your body—and take a break from your fast-paced schedule—try yoga or Pilates. Pure Prana in Old Town offers meditation classes, stretching and conditioning, Pilates and (wait for it) a new hula hoop dance fitness class. Or you can jump on the hot yoga bandwagon, clear your mind and increase your flexibility at the new Zweet Sport in Old Town. Looking elsewhere? Alexandria’s got well over a dozen studios offering yoga and/or pilates, so breathe in, breathe out, and check them out!

Del Ray is home to quite a few holistic health centers, including Foundation Fitness and Vital Body & Mind. They’ve got everything from nutrition coaching to acupuncture, personal fitness training and yoga, making it easy for you to find your fitness sweet spot.


Rejuvenating Recharge

alexandria-va-fitness-health-lorien-spaImage credit: Lorien Hotel & Spa

After all that bulking up, find time to wind down with a healthy dose of relaxation at one of Alexandria’s spas. There’s no better way to release any holiday-induced stress than by treating yourself to a facial, hot stone massage, or a pedicure. So I hereby give you permission to set aside some “me” time at Fountains Day Spa in Old Town with a foot massage, facial or a Black Baltic Mud-wrap; at Sugar House Day Spa for a deep tissue massage or Organic Chocolate Therapy (I’ll meet you there); or at the Lorien Spa, with a Caviar Dreams Facial, Old Town Coffee Scrub or Swedish massage.


For more information about health and wellness in Alexandria, click here.

Header image via Flickr user Leo Boudreau