This New Year’s you made a pledge; to get healthy! But let’s face it, you’re already sick of the gym (and the germs!) and according to Punxsutawney Phi, spring is at least a good six weeks away. You don’t have to wait for warmer temperatures to break out of a gym rut; just head to one of these regional locations for a hearty workout. We’ve tallied the calories you’ll burn trying each of these exercises (calculations are based on a 140 pound woman). Our favorite part, these gym-free zones are kid-friendly, so bring the family along for some hearty-healthy fun!
Step Up Your Workout Routine
Climbing stairs raises your heart rate quickly, which makes this an efficient workout if you are short on time. Plus, walking or running up stairs has a squat-and-lunge leg toning benefit. In just 10 minutes, you can burn 100 calories walking and 200 calories running. If you’re trying to squeeze in some cardio during the work week, considering taking a detour on the metro; Wheaton (Red Line), Bethesda (Red Line) and the Woodley Park Zoo (Red Line) have the longest escalators in the system. For a more scenic workout, head to the Lincoln Memorial (which boasts 87 steps) or Meridian Hill Park.
Meridian Hill Park
16th St., NW & W St., NW
2 Lincoln Memorial Cir., NW
Power Walk the Potomac Mills
At a length of two miles from one end to the other, Potomac Mills in Woodbridge is the longest indoor shopping space in Virginia, and the ideal training track for those wanting to stay warm while working out. Walking from one end of the mall and back in an hour burns approximately 400 calories. If you push your kiddos in the stroller you’ll increase your calorie burn by 18 percent.
2700 Potomac Mills Cir. (Woodbridge, Va)
Tube Your Way to a Toner You
It’s easy to keep your New Year’s resolution when the workout is less work and more play! While it doesn’t seem like hardcore exercise, snow tubing can burn up to 600 calories in an hour (hauling your tube up a hill is a lot of work!) To hit the closest slop, head seventy-five miles north of D.C. to Liberty Mountain Resort. Prices start at $21 an hour ($9 for children under 4). Also offered at the resort: skiing (400 calories an hour) and skating (380 calories an hour).
78 Country Club Tr. (Carroll Valley, Pa)
Muscle Build on the Monkey Bars
Slides, swings, monkey bars and more can all be incorporated into a workout routine. If you’re looking for a challenge beyond what your neighborhood’s playground has to offer, check out Stead Park, which has a public climbing wall (rock climbing burns 500-900 calories an hour). For a more traditional workout, try the exercise course in Rock Creek which offers various equipment, from bars to benches, along a 1.5 mile course.
1625 P St., NW
Bike Your Way to a Better Soul
Maybe we’re overselling it, but riding a 2-wheeler in the great outdoors is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Bonus: a leisurely pace burns 200-300 calories; peddling uphill can burn as much as 900 calories. Bike and Roll — which has five locations in D.C. — rents adult and children’s bikes for a fun, family ride. For a more vigorous (and free!) workout, join the Hills of Anacostia for a Saturday morning cycle over a 25 mile course.
Take a Hike
You don’t have to wait for warmer weather to enjoy some of the beautiful trails that surround the DMV. Head out to Harper’s Ferry where many trails offer views of majestic waterfalls. If there is possibly something more breathtaking then cascading waters, it’s a frozen fall! Hiking both vertical and horizontal terrain burns an estimated 400 calories an hour. If you wear your wee one on your back, you’ll increase the workout by another 100-200 calories.
What is your favorite no-gym way to workout? Tell us in the comments.
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