In the warmer months, it is easy to stay active in/around Old Town Alexandria. The Mount Vernon Trail is great for walking, running, biking, or roller-blading. Walking up/down King Street or to/from Del Ray is also pleasant. As it gets colder though, you may find yourself needing indoor fitness options. Below is a list of possibilities:
Gyms: Old Town’s gym offerings have significant improved in recent years and include:
- OneLife Fitness (305 Hoofs Run Drive) is situated in a building that used to house the now defunct Jungle Gym. After a thorough renovation, it is (at least to me) the best all-around gym in Old Town. The facility has a basketball court, extensive cardio equipment, spinning studio, weights and modern equipment, a large functional training area, and a wide range of classes. OneLife offers a free day pass.
- Orange Theory Fitness (1101 King Street) is the newest gym in Old Town. It offers 60 minute workout sessions that incorporate cardiovascular and strength training in a group setting. Sessions may incorporate treadmills, rowing, strength training and are supervised by a trainer. Orange Theory offers a free day pass.
- Snap Fitness (1315 King Street) is a modest gym whose claim to fame is being accessible 24/7 to members. Staff are on site certain days and times for questions/membership. If you have an erratic schedule, this might be the one for you. A free pass can be obtained through the website.
- Sport and Health (209 Madison Street) is a venerable gym that went through a major remodeling. The 40,000 square foot club offers weights, cardio equipment, a variety of classes, and some new features such as a virtual cycling studio and TRX suspension training. Sport and Health offers a free day pass.
- Solidcore (800 North Henry Street) offers high-intensity, low-impact 50-minute work out done as slow as possible to lengthen and tone. I’ve never tried it but know that fans can be enthusiastic to the point of cultishness.
- Fitness on the Run (210 North Lee Street) is a private studio offering personal with classes for 1-6 people. Clients receive a full body composition analysis, goal setting with regular check-ins, and complete mobility assessment to ensure safety.
- Sand and Steel Fitness (109 South Alfred) emphasizes personalized training and nutrition counseling. Power lifting training is also offered. Not bad for a converted row house. The staff maintains a fitness blog.
Crossfit: If you are tired of a traditional gym routine, Crossfit might be for you. Instead of doing the same thing on the same equipment again and again, Crossfit tries to make every workout different by incorporating a wide variety of functional movements with high intensity.
- Crossfit Old Town (805 North Royal Street) is a 3,700 sq/ft. group training facility with central air (in the summer, this matters!) and bathroom facilities for men and women.
- Trident Crossfit (410 Calvert Avenue) offers a variety of sessions including endurance, Olympic lifting, Crossfit for Kids, and Seal Lift – created by a former Navy Seal for those concerned regular Crossfit may not be tough enough.
- MVA Crossfit (1712 Mount Vernon Avenue) is located in Del Ray and offers session throughout the day starting early in the early morning. I sometimes walk by and see participants pushing heavy things as fast as possible back and forth in the driveway.
Martial Arts: Any martial art can be an excellent way to stay physically and mentally healthy. Unfortunately, martial arts studios often (but not always) come with a high price tag. Some gyms, like OneLife, include martial arts classes in monthly membership.
- Potomac Kempo (2050 Ballenger Street) has an Old Town location but be prepared to spend almost 240 dollars a month for unlimited sessions.
- Capital MMA is just outside Alexandria but includes unlimited sessions of Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, Cross-Fit, and Yoga for 170 dollars a month. If you want to train for competitions this is where you need to go.
- Seichou Karate Dojo (807 North Royal Street) offers one free class and the membership is 175 dollars a month for unlimited sessions. The dojo offers karate, self-defense workshops, and for something different, calligraphy and flower arranging.
- UFC Gym: (528 North Henry Street): UFC gym has a modest selection of weights and cardio equipment, but that is probably not why you would consider joining. Half of the rather compact gym consists of heavy bags that are the focus of boxing and kickboxing classes – either is a very good cardio workout. There are classes for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, and Muay Thai. The instructors for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts are very good although the ring is not full size so classes can get crowded at times. The Muay Thai classes are underwhelming – up to thirty minutes of cardio and then light hitting/kicking with pads. For boxers, there is a dedicated sparring class.
Yoga: Flexibility if an over-looked but important aspect of overall health plus yoga can be a form of meditation. A number of gyms offer yoga classes but there are many dedicated facilities in and around Old Town for those who are serious about their yoga.
- Body and Brain (1630 King Street) offers both yoga and tai-chi. Body and Brain also offers a range of workshops including on meditation. Pricing is unclear but they do offer a free class.
- Refresh Yoga (110 King Street) has special offers for students and pregnant women as well as training for aspiring teachers. New students can purchase two weeks of unlimited yoga for 29 dollars. Unlimited monthly sessions are 129 dollars a month or less if you are willing to make a six or twelve month commitment.
- Radiance Yoga (701 Prince Street), new students can take unlimited sessions during one month for 29 dollars. Radiance Yoga also offers workshops, teacher trainings, and has a small shop.
- Pure Prana (100 South Patrick Street) also offers classes, courses, and workshops. A single month pass for unlimited sessions is 150 dollars or new students can buy a two week unlimited pass for 25 dollars.
- 532 Yoga (532 North Washington Street) offers workshops, courses, teacher training and “yoga parties.” It was voted the best Yoga Studio in 2015. The staff maintain a yoga blog.
- River’s Edge Yoga (300 Montgomery Street) offers a variety of classes and, weather permitting, occasionally has classes outside. Prices are unknown.
- Zweet Sport Hot Yoga (400 North Henry Street) has a variety of course offerings (with emphasis on hot yoga). Zweet occasionally offers courses for which the proceeds go to designated charities. Local residents can purchase a one month/unlimited sessions pass for 49 dollars.
- Local Motion Studio (2377 South Dove Street) offers yoga as well as aerial, barre, pilates, belly dance, ballet, and modern dance. Staff periodically offer free classes for the community as well as half off “happy hour” classes. New students can purchase an unlimited one month pass for 50 dollars and then it is 129 dollars every month after that (or 145 dollars a month with child care).
- Mind the Mat (2214 Mount Vernon Avenue) in Del Ray has three studios for (1) Hot Pilates and Yoga; (2) Barre; and (3) a multi-purpose space. Mind the Mat has workshops, retreats, and teacher training. Monthly unlimited passes are 125 dollars a month (but new clients can purchase four classes for forty dollars).
- Your Life Energy Holistic Center (311 North Washington Street) offers yoga, massage, and “energy therapy.” This is one of the more affordable options with unlimited session for 28 dollars in the first month and 65 dollars every following month.
- Marcella’s Yoga Boutique (317 South Washington Street): Marcella’s offers classes, workshops and retreats. True to its name, there is a boutique that sells yoga-inspired art, yoga accessories, oils, jewelry, teas, candles, ceramics, clothes, books, and gifts. There are also periodic meditation-related classes.
Barre emphasizes small, isometric movements to burn fat and sculpt muscles. Not really my thing but there are two venues in Old Town if you would like to try it. .
- Pure Barre (429 John Carlyle Street) is a chain with a location in the Carlyle District. New clients can purchase a first month of unlimited sessions for 99 dollars. More information is available on their Facebook Page.
- Xtend Barre (1701 Duke Street) is a chain also located near the Carlyle District. There is a variety of classes combining elements of yoga, pilates, and dance. The studio includes a shop as well. New clients can buy a one week unlimited pass for 25 dollars or a 2 week unlimited pass for 40 dollars.
So there you go – no need to stay inside all winter! Are venues missing from this list? If so, feel free to contact me directly or tweet it to @bryan_schaaf