Where to Take an Outdoor Fitness Class in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is home to the nation’s fittest city (Arlington) and 32 state parks, so it’s no surprise that fitness enthusiasts like to sweat it out. This spring, they have new ways to do it.

Dynamic Nature Walk

Combine two popular and proven health activities – walking and forest bathing – in this Fairfax County Park Authority class designed for participants ages 13 and up who can hike 4-6 miles over the varied terrain of Riverbend Park . The benefits are many, but “the biggest one is stress relief,” says FCPA fitness director Hannah Hutton. “It’s a component that we really get a lot from being outdoors and being in green spaces. Next, cardiovascular exercise…is great for your heart.

Or: Riverbend Park, 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls
When: Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. from April 7 to May 26 and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. from April 24 to May 22
Cost: $142, although discounts and scholarships are available

Tennis tactics and techniques for you

Adult players can learn or perfect a skill each week of this new nine-week offering that each time targets a different aspect of the game. For example, there’s “Fancy Feet” for footwork development and “Drop it Like It’s Hot” to practice a drop shot that opponents can’t return. Each free class includes one hour of instruction and 30 minutes of play. You Tennis.

Or: Eight slots
When: Weeks from April 11 to June 13
Cost: $40/class for non-members, $35/class for members

PowerFull Fitness’ StrongHer HIIT

Choose your own fitness adventure in this three-in-one class, says Laura Waller, owner of PowerFull Fitness, which has been offering outdoor workouts since 2015. Taught by a certified running coach, the class starts with strength and core work before participants move into one of three high-intensity interval training plans: track work (think endurance and speed drills for those training for spring races) and bench and field work for strength and agility. Expect to do push-ups, shuttles and Tabata – short bursts of hard work with even shorter recoveries in between.

Or: 8519 Tuttle Road, West Springfield
When: Thursdays, 5:15 a.m. from March 31 to May 12
Cost: $66 per six-week session, walk-in available

Zumba on the Square

The Latin dance-style class isn’t new, but it’s starting earlier than usual due to its popularity, said Christine Belotti, director of group exercise at The Fitness Equation (TFE), which runs the classes. Open to all fitness levels and ages, the class, which typically attracts 50 to 60 participants, begins with a warm-up and moves through several dance formats such as salsa. “It’s mostly about having fun and moving. You don’t have to be perfect at it,” Belotti said, adding that it’s still a practice. “It works every muscle group in your body.”

Or: One Loudoun, 20626 Easthampton Plz., Ashburn
When: Thursdays, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., May 5 to October 27
Cost: Free

Yoga for puppies and kittens

Do lying dogs with puppies and hold cat pose with kittens during this monthly, hour-long hatha yoga class that focuses on breathing and physical postures. A certified Yoga Alliance instructor guides participants through common poses as baby animals watch or join in. you’re going to feel good, but that’s the mental and spiritual element with the animals. We’re not saying it’s real therapy, but it really is,” says Maddie Marsh, a farmhand at Little Goat Farm at the Lake. Currently, the farm donates 100% of the $40 class fee to Doctors Without Borders to train Ukrainian doctors in trauma care.

Or: Little Lakeside Goat Farm, 8954 Burwell Rd., Nokesville
When: Monthly on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cost: $40

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