8 Outdoor Activities More Enjoyable Than The Gym To Try In DC

Lauren Piot Lauren Piot

8 Outdoor Activities More Enjoyable Than The Gym To Try In DC

Discover the city while being active in exciting ways.

Washington DC is a fantastic city with so many opportunities to venture around while getting some exercise. Since a gym membership can get pricey and being inside working out when the weather is so nice can be displeasing, we’ve come up with eight alternative activities you can do outside to get some exercise and fresh air.

1. Venture around by bike

Biking is a fantastic way to explore the city at a faster pace. Luckily, there are many bike trails and places to rent bikes, like the Capital Bike Share program. You can even take bike tours the discover the city’s hidden secrets. Some major bike lanes in DC are:

  • Capital Crescent Trail
  • Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
  • Metropolitan Branch Trail
  • Rock Creek Trail
  • 15th, M St & L St (and other green lanes)

2. Play ball sports at your local park

There are many parks throughout the city that have baseball or soccer fields, tennis courts, and basketball courts, where anyone can practice their skills, enjoy the weather, and run around. Visiting a park to play at is also a great way to make new friends and meet the community.

3. Try paddle sports on the Potomac River

With the Potomac River so close by, there are many opportunities to try out kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing. These paddle sports are excellent sports that exercise your arms, back, and abs and will probably leave you feeling quite sore the next day. Check out the article above to find some places where you can rent boats and paddles.

4. Take an outdoor yoga or fitness class

Many studios offer classes under the sun which can be much nicer than being in a crowded gym or indoor studio. This is the perfect spring or summer activity for a lovely day! Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen and to hydrate throughout the workout!

5. Swim at a public pool or in natural waters


Swimming is an excellent way to get exercise and enjoy the summertime! The DC Department of Parks and Recreation has a cool tooll] where you can find a public swimming pool near you. If you are feeling more adventurous there are many natural swimming areas around DC to explore. Enjoy a day trip and savor some sunshine, cool water, and nature before it gets too cold to hang out in a swimsuit.

6. Simply go for a walk

Whether that’s in your neighborhood, on a trail or around the block, even the smallest exercise can make a difference, because something is better than nothing. Plus there are so many hidden benefits to walking; according to the Arthritis Foundation walking improves circulation, lengthens life, lightens up your mood, it strengthens muscles, improves sleep, and so much more! Walking is probably the simplest exercise you can do too.

7. Go for a hike

If you are looking to upgrade your walk, try hiking. Luckily, a little outside of the city are many national parks with trails of all levels to explore. Famous American novelist Jack Kerouac wrote “because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” It’s time to lace up those sports shoes, pack a bottle of water, and hike up a trail and discover the beautiful view that waits. Check out the article linked above for trails to hike near DC.

8. Golf in the many courses near the city

Golfing is an important sport in the US and requires mental capacity while using muscles and physical exertion. There are many golf courses in the DMV area that are reputable for their golf courses and services. Below is a list of a few:

  • East Potomac Golf Links
  • Rock Creek Golf Course
  • Chevy Chase Country Club
  • University of Maryland Golf Course


[Featured image: @unionmarketdc / Instagram]

See also: 12 Things To Do With Kids During The Summer In DC

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