7 Ways to Work Out in Washington if You Hate Exercising

Photograph by shironosov via iStock.

Not everyone loves feeling their “fat crying” or wants their workout to be all about pain for the gain. That’s okay. There are places for people who want to attempt to enjoy exercise and maybe even have fun while doing it. If this describes you, here’s seven places you can give a shot.


The AM dance party that combines club vibes with your morning coffee is ideal for the person who doesn’t want to be super-conscious of the fact that they’re burning calories. Instead, they can think about staying on beat with the live deejay and replenishing with breakfast treats and juice. Depending on how amenable they are to organized workouts, Daybreaker also begins the morning with an exercise class that’s followed by the two-hour dance party. On December 16, Daybreaker will kick off with a one-hour Barre3 class followed by dancing, all hosted at Soundcheck (1420 K St., NW). Keep an eye on Daybreaker’s schedule for other upcoming classes.

United Social Sports 

Remember how in shape you used to be when you played sports in high school? Or intramurals in college? Recreate that feeling to get in some exercise that feels less obligatory through United Social Sports. From basketball to soccer to volleyball to hockey there’s a wide array of sports in DC, Maryland, and Virginia to fit your fancy. Winter registration is open now, so head to United Social Sports to find a team. 

Spark Aerial Yoga

Strengthen your core muscles while flying high in an aerial yoga class. While hanging from strips of fabric definitely isn’t easy, you’ll hopefully be so focused on staying afloat that you forget you’re working on improving your strength. Start with Spark Yoga’s 75-minute basics class to get the hang of it, then sign up for their starting level aerial yoga class.

Trampoline Class at Trapeze School New York

Get your blood pumping on the Trapeze School New York’s above-ground trampoline. The 60 and 90-minute classes focus on form for beginners and progress to learning how to flip and fly through the air in the more advanced sessions. You’ll work on your core muscles and flexibility while getting to return to a favorite childhood activity.

Capital Hiking Club

Step away from your couch and breath some fresh air during a Capital Hiking Club group outing. Their local hikes include a hike leader and an option to carpool to the trailhead, from where participants will tackle several miles worth of trails. On December 10, the club is headed for a 7.5-mile hike through the American Chestnut Land Trust, and on December 17, there’s another 7.5-mile hike through Glover Archbold Park and Palisades Park. Check out the schedule of upcoming hikes here.

American Parkour Academy

Whether you’re obsessed with American Ninja Warrior or just want to feel like James Bond every now and again, the American Parkour Academy will train you how to move. The four-week Foundations course will work on your strength and speed while you practice climbing and vaulting over obstacles. Not ready to commit a month of your life? A Beginner’s Drop-In class on Saturdays lets you test drive the gym for $20.

305 Fitness

I know, I know, the word “fitness” in the name doesn’t bode well for those who have sworn off workout classes. But hear me out: this 55-minute session is marketed as “high-intensity rhythmic cardio,” and it’s set to the beat of a live deejay to capture that Miami club life feel. If dancing sounds like a more fun way to break into a sweat than lifting weights, give this class a shot.

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.