Arlington, VA

Arlington has again claimed the title of “America’s Fittest City.”

The results of the annual ACSM American Fitness Index, published by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation, were released this morning. Arlington topped the list of the 100 fittest localities in the U.S. for the third year in a row.

Rounding out the top 10 are:

  1. Arlington, Va.
  2. Seattle, Wash.
  3. Minneapolis, Minn.
  4. Madison, Wis.
  5. San Francisco, Calif.
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Irvine, Calif.
  8. Denver, Colo.
  9. Boise, Idaho
  10. Boston, Mass.

“The science-based ACSM/Anthem Fitness Index evaluated America’s 100 largest cities using 33 health behaviors, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators,” the organization said in a press release. The indicators include access to athletic facilities, parks, and bike/pedestrian infrastructure; exercise frequency; healthy eating habits; and prevalence of chronic health conditions.

“Arlington’s balance of healthy behaviors and community infrastructure earned it the #1 overall rank,” the press release continues. “Arlington ranked in the top 10 cities for 19 of the 33 indicators in the ACSM/Anthem Fitness Index. Two indicators ranked #1, including lowest rate of adults with obesity and highest rate of residents meeting aerobic and strength activity guidelines.”

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This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

With many locals, not including fitness services in the list of essential businesses, a lot of people are looking for home workout exercises so they can stay active from the comfort of their own home.

At the Keri Shull Team, we know how important personal fitness is for many Arlingtonians, so we decided to ask an expert about how you can keep your blood pumping and stay limber during the COVID-19 lockdown!

Christa Aiken is a former member of the Washington Redskins’ cheerleading squad, traveling with the team for 4 years. Since leaving the team, she has begun teaching fitness classes at workout studios in Dupont Circle and Clarendon — and she joined the Keri Shull team as a member of our Buyer Advocate Team!

We met up with Christa in Rocky Run Park in Clarendon to show you some exercises that you can do at home! These workouts and stretches are a perfect way to get your morning started right, or to take a break from your work-at-home routine and get your muscles (and mind) loose! Here are the top 4 exercises for home workouts that Christa showed us:

Good Morning Stretch

Let’s face it — most of us don’t stretch as much as we probably should. The Good Morning Stretch is a great place to start building the habit of keeping your muscles warm and loose. The stretch itself is straightforward and beginner-friendly, but it is a great move for people of all experience levels

Here’s how you do a Good Morning Stretch: Stand up to your full height — make sure not to slouch your back at all! By keeping a good form with a straight back throughout the entire movement, you will ensure that your lower back gets a good stretch.

With your back and legs straight, steadily bend at the waist as far as you can or until your torso is parallel with the ground. Hold the stretch for a few moments, then slowly return to the starting position. It’s important to perform this stretch with steady motions so you can properly relax and warm your muscles.

Muscles targeted: The Good Morning Stretch is ideal for loosening the abdominal oblique muscles in your lower back, as well as the hamstrings in your upper leg. You might also feel a stretch in your calves.

Because of the ease of this stretch and the muscle groups targeted, it is an ideal movement for people who are seated for long periods of time. This quick exercise can help keep the muscles and tendons in your lower body loose and oxygenated, so make sure to take some breaks while working from home and do some Good Morning stretches.

Inchworm Into Runner’s Lunge

For a full-body stretch, there are few better exercises that you can do from home than the Inchworm Into Runner’s Lunge. This movement hits muscle groups across your entire body, making it an ideal stretch for improving mobility from tip to toe.

Here’s how you do an Inchworm Into Runner’s Lunge: Start like you would with a Good Morning stretch — back and legs straight, but not locked. Raise your arms above your head to stretch out your core and shoulders, then bend at the waist until you can put your fingertips on the ground in front of you. From there, walk your hands out while keeping your feet in place until your hands are a yard in front of your feet.

Lift your right hand off the ground and lunge your right leg forward, keeping your left hand and foot where they were. Your right foot and left hand should be even with each other, if possible. In a fluid motion, twist your torso until your right hand is pointed to the ceiling. Hold that position for a moment, then return your right hand and right foot to their original position and repeat the movement with your left hand and foot.

One of the best things about this movement is that you can perform it as a stretch or as a cardio exercise, depending on your speed. So not only is it great for getting muscles all across your body loose, it is also an effective way to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping!

Muscles Targeted: Because this exercise involves a lot of stability, it targets a large host of muscles across your body including your deltoids, triceps, pectorals and abdominal muscles in your upper body, as well as your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves in your lower body.

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L.A.-based gym Barry’s Bootcamp — famed for its difficulty — is coming to Clarendon.

Construction permits were filed earlier this year for a 5,695 square foot space at 2825 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon, next to the Chase Bank.

The international gym franchise has one location in D.C., in Dupont Circle, and staff there said the Clarendon location is expected to open by the end of the year — most likely in December.

The layout of the new gym will be similar to the D.C. location, we’re told. There’s no word yet on promotions or other pre-opening deals, the company usually offers them to first-time members.

There’s no shortage of new gyms coming to Arlington, but the gym is opening near where Washington Sports Club closed in June.

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CorePower Yoga and VIDA Fitness aren’t open yet, but they’re offering free classes for anyone looking to get a little more limber in Ballston.

Today (Thursday), VIDA Fitness is offering a “Glow Up! Power Yoga Class” from 6-7 p.m. at the Ballston Freshfarm Market (901 N. Taylor Street). The VIDA Ballston website describes the class as an outdoor yoga class aimed at improving flexibility and reducing stress.

VIDA has been holding free fitness classes the first Thursday of every month since May, with rotating themes and topics. The next fitness event — Pinot and Pilates — is planned for Sept. 5. The free classes are scheduled to run through November.

VIDA is planning to open its new Ballston location in the still-under-construction 4040 Wilson Blvd tower The opening date has not been announced, but staff said VIDA is eyeing an early 2020 opening.

CorePower Yoga, meanwhile, is scheduled to open at Ballston Exchange on Thursday, August 22, and has also been holding a series of free yoga events ahead of its launch.

Next Friday, August 9, the yoga studio will host a sunset yoga event from 5:30-6:30 p.m at 4201 Wilson Blvd. The event is free and open to the public, though attendees are encouraged to bring their own mat and water. Another free yoga class is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 30.

Photo 1 via Facebook/Ballston Exchange

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Arlington’s newest indoor cycling studio “Good Sweat” is set to open next weekend with $1 class packages and an altruistic mission.

The exercise center will hold a grand opening celebration next Saturday from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at its studio in the Rosslyn’s Colonial Village Shopping Center at 1711 Wilson Blvd.

Between April 15-20, Good Sweat customers can buy an unlimited week pass for $1.

After April 22, drop-in classes will cost $28 and class packages will cost $99.

“At Good Sweat, we are committed to giving you the best sweat of your life, all while improving someone else’s,” founder Alessandra “Ali” Hashemi said in a statement. “Arlington is the perfect location for Good Sweat’s flagship studio. The local population is fitness focused and extremely socially conscious.”

Hashemi previously told ARLnow she expected to open in March after raising $26,000 in donations last fall to build the studio, exceeding her original $25,000 goal.

The company intends to donate a portion of all proceeds for charity.

Riders will be able to choose which organization they’d like to receive a portion of their booking costs. The cast of local nonprofits will revolve through the month and will include Urban Alliance, Doorways for Women and Families, and Arlington Food Assistance Center.

Employees and clients from the nonprofits featured each month will also get discounts at Good Sweat, reported the Washingtonian. Other proceeds will subsidize low-income customers who want to go for a spin at Good Sweat, Hashemi has said.

More from a press release, after the jump.

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Arlington’s newest fitness studio Next Phase Fitness & Strength Training, has launched its Signature Circuit class of creative and effective weekly workouts that minimize members’ time while maximizing their effort to reach their personal goals.

The inspirational team of dedicated coaches of Courthouse’s Next Phase Studio guide members through a strategically designed program that rotates through six different phases built off the four modalities of strength: Power, Hypertrophy, Strength and Endurance. Each week combines two of these modalities into the phases you see below, to consistently keep your body guessing and drive results.

The efficient, no-wasted-time 50 minute workouts employ TRX straps, kettlebells, Versaclimbers and indoor sleds among other equipment drive strength progress in a challenging — but not daunting — workout to keep the body progressing and the mind stimulated.

  • The Endure Phase introduces heavyweight exercises to improve overall strength + lightweight exercises to build muscle endurance.
  • The Grit Phase emphasizes lightweight, explosive exercises + moderately weighted toning exercises.
  • The Contrast Phase adds different explosive movements + opposing, heavier exercise to improve power and continue to build strength.
  • The Elevate Phase focuses on toning + endurance work to stimulate the growth of lean muscle mass.
  • The Drive Phase offers more lightweight, explosive movements + endurance exercises in what NP calls their Cardio and Deload Week.
  • The Gains Phase is all about building muscle and combines heavier strength + moderate toning exercises to trigger strength gains while improving lean muscle tone.

Even if you have never trained like this before, the beauty of consistent change allows you to find which strength modality, or combination of two, is most effective on YOUR body — all without the steep costs of hiring a personal trainer to find out for you.

Next Phase Fitness & Strength Training offers a number of membership packages and class times to accommodate individual budgets and busy personal schedules. Personal training and customized corporate wellness programs are also available.

Contact Next Phase Studios, located at 14th and North Taft Street in Courthouse, at [email protected] or 703-229-3678. Try your first class for free here.

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(Updated at 9:40 a.m.) Good Sweat, an indoor cycling studio, is set to open in Rosslyn’s Colonial Village Shopping Center in early 2019.

Alessandra Hashemi, the founder of Good Sweat, told ARLnow that she is aiming for a March opening.

More than 180 people helped Good Sweat raise roughly $26,000 in 21 days, surpassing the studio’s goal of $25,000 in 25 days, the company posted on Facebook on Oct. 21. The money will fund the opening next year at 1711 Wilson Blvd.

A portion of the money from the campaign was donated to Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network to sponsor its “Sixth Annual Happy Hour Benefiting Veterans” on Nov. 7, Hashemi said.

The studio plans to have metered bike and offer classes in the mornings throughout the week and in the evenings on weekdays, according to a brochure sent to ARLnow.

“I have been indoor cycling for over 10 years, and I have seen it all (the good, the bad, the underwhelming),” Hashemi, said in the brochure. “Indoor cycling classes can be cathartic if you have amazing coaches, music and motivation.”

The brochure says that a percentage of every purchase will get invested in the community by hosting subsidized rides for low-income individuals and donating to a different local nonprofit every month, including Urban Alliance, A-SPAN Doorways for Women and Families and Arlington Food Assistance Center.

Good Sweat held two pop-up events earlier this year — a yin yoga class in February and a body weight boot camp in August.

The studio is currently selling discounted packages, some of which include pre-opening access, ranging from one drop-in class to unlimited access for three months.

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(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) A group encouraging peer-led, male-only workouts is coming to Arlington.

Jim Gregory is the organizer bringing F3, a national organization whose name stands for “fitness, fellowship and faith,” to the county.

Gregory first experienced F3 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Then, when he moved to Arlington, he reached out to F3 about establishing a group in his new home.

“I had a great experience down there with these guys who were fun people to hang out with and it’s a free workout and I thought you know I want to start something here,” Gregory said.

F3, which was founded in 2011, has the stated goal of encouraging male community leadership. Gregory said part of the motivation for starting a male-only workout group is that it’s an opportunity for men to find friends.

He added that it can be difficult over time for men to create meaningful bonds after they leave college, get a job or get married.

“It also might help them become better husbands, better friends, better bosses, better crazy uncles,” Gregory said. “It helps them become better at it, because they develop confidence in a friendship group and a peer group that they can relate to that they may have lost.”

F3 has a female workout group affiliate called Females in Action (FiA), but Gregory said he doesn’t plan on being the one to organize an FiA in Arlington. Though he did say he hopes maybe the wives of F3 members will start one.

Though at least one resident contacted ARLnow.com to criticize F3’s exclusion of women, Gregory said he hasn’t personally received any criticism for bringing F3 to Arlington. He has about 25 men signed up for the first workout, which is set to take place at 7 a.m. on June 2 at Greenbrier Park, next to Yorktown High School.

Photo via Twitter/@F3_Arlington_VA

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Morning Notes

Arlington Named Fittest ‘City’ in U.S. — “Arlington has been named the fittest city in America, according to the 2018 American Fitness Index ranking from the American College of Sports Medicine. The Northern Virginia jurisdiction eeked out a win over last year’s champ, Minneapolis, by just a half point, with an overall score of 77.7. Minneapolis came in second with a score of 77.2.” [Washingtonian, USA Today]

Person Rescued from High Water — Firefighters rescued someone trapped under a bridge by high water following last night’s storms. Around 9:30 p.m., firefighters responded to the 2800 block of S. Glebe Road for a possible water rescue along Four Mile Run. The victim was removed from the high water and evaluated by paramedics. [Twitter, Twitter]

Airport Noise Battle Rages On — “Residents in several Northwest Washington neighborhoods aren’t giving up their fight against airplane noise from flights at Reagan National Airport. They are asking for a rehearing of their case against the Federal Aviation Administration from a full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.” [Washington Post]

Courtesy photo

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A whole lot of shaking will be going on at Rosslyn’s Freedom Park, where a series of belly dancing classes will occur.

The hour-long classes, which run from May 9-30, target beginners looking to learn belly dancing basics. Classes take place on Wednesdays starting at 6 p.m.

A new move will be introduced each week by an instructor with Saffron Dance, and “particular focus is given to developing correct posture alignment, flexibility, arm positions and paths, fundamental shimmies, basic hip accents, introductory undulations, easy to follow traveling steps and combinations.”

The cost is $25 to attend four classes at Freedom Park, a typically quiet, elevated park at 1101 Wilson Boulevard.

This isn’t the first time that Saffron Dance has brought its craft into the community. Back in 2011, the studio organized a belly dancing flash mob in Clarendon.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Arlington Revamps Engagement on Projects — “The County’s new ‘Six-Step Public Engagement Guide for Capital Projects’ aims to strengthen engagement and communication processes across County government – for hundreds of capital projects both large and small… The guide identifies four types of engagement that can occur with capital projects: Communicate… Consult… Involve… Collaborate.” [Arlington County]

Barre3 Opening ‘For Real’ — After construction, permitting, and inspection delays, Clarendon’s new Barre3 exercise studio has set a new opening date of March 22 — “for real.” An email to customers apologized to those who have been “waiting (and waiting and waiting)” for the studio to open in Clarendon’s Market Common shopping plaza at 2800 Clarendon Boulevard.

Millennials Buying Homes at Modest Pace — “Home purchases by Millennials ticked up over the past year, but inventory constraints and higher housing costs kept their overall activity subdued and prevented some from leaving the more affordable confines of their Gen X and Baby Boomer parents’ homes.” Meanwhile, Northern Virginia’s population continues to boom while many rural Virginia locales are shrinking. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

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