4 unique ways to get fit along the Potomac

Because the treadmill at the gym should be for winter months only

Climbers on  Romeo’s Ladder   near Great Falls. Photo: Chris Irwin and  midatlanticclimbers.org.

Climbers on Romeo’s Ladder  near Great Falls. Photo: Chris Irwin and midatlanticclimbers.org.


The abundance of yoga studios, spin classes, and crossfit boxes in the Washington, DC, area shouldn't come as a surprise. The nation's capital is one of the fittest cities in the nation. But with temperatures rising and summer setting in, the prospect of spending Saturday afternoons locked in a dark, windowless room becomes less appealing. 

Fortunately, our local area has a lot more to offer for fitness enthusiasts than you might think. 

To celebrate National Great Outdoors month we're encouraging you to rethink your workout. With an amazing river in our backyard and sunny weather heading our way, there is no better time than the start of summer to get outside and get fit. 


Rock Climbing

Photo: Gabe Boning,  mountainproject.com

Photo: Gabe Boning, mountainproject.com

It might not be El Capitan in Yosemite, but the Potomac's Mather Gorge has its share of impressive cliffs and spots for rock climbing. It's a full-body workout that comes with some stunning river views. Great Falls on the Virginia side of the river and Carderock on the Maryland side are both great climbing locations, but they aren't the only local spots.

Never been climbing before, but want to give it a go? Learn to rock climb with REI Co-Op.

Intro to Rock Climbing at Carderock June 17 >
Women's Intro to Rock Climbing at Carderock June 17 >


SUP Workout

Photo: Boating in DC

Photo: Boating in DC

Want to take your workout to the next level? Do it while balancing on top of a stand-up paddleboard. Yea, it's a thing. Your core won't know what hit it. SUP workouts are for experienced paddlers. If you're looking to give it a try, get a ticket to our Paddle the Potomac Alternative Happy Hour July 12. All skill levels are welcome! 

Boating in DC offers a SUP general fitness class and a SUP yoga class >


Volunteering at a river cleanup

Don't underestimate the strength it takes to pull a tire out of riverbank muck or the flexibility and balance required to reach fishing line trapped in a tree limb. Volunteering at a cleanup is a great way to exercise, and you can feel good knowing your workout made a difference.

Get your workout on with the National Park Service at Oxon Cove along the Potomac > 




If you're trying to get your shoulders tank top ready, head down to the water. Kayaking can burn more calories per hour than cycling, and on the Potomac, the monument views are top-notch.

If kayaking isn't your thing, Boating in DC has lots of other rental options, including hydro-biking, paddleboardng, and sculling. Just don't be surprised when you're extremely sore the following day (looking at you Ross).

After your workout, you deserve a treat. Keep your eyes peeled for NautiFoods, the Potomac's only food boat, and sponsor of our paddles. 

Come paddle with Team Potomac at our Alternative Happy Hour July 12 >


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