4 Ways to Stay Active | The Washington Center

4 Ways to Stay Active

Exercise is an important part of my lifestyle. I’m most productive when I stay active; the endorphins give me an extra drive and focus that seeps into every facet of my daily regimen. If I don’t get the opportunity to break a sweat, tasks begin to pile up, and I feel like a carnival performer trying to balance a spinning plate on my nose while juggling five balls. It gets overwhelming. It can be difficult to adapt a workout routine when moving to a new environment, but here are some fun ways I’ve found to get my blood pumping.



I used to hate going on runs with a passion rivaled only by my disgust for single-use appliances (is a hot-dog toaster really necessary?). What’s the point of all that exertion if you’re just going to end up in the same place you started? However, that all changed after reading Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. In the memoir, Murakami describes his evolution from Tokyo jazz bar owner to ultramarathon runner, touching on his international literary success along the way. Running became a time of meditation where he could shed all of his idle thoughts and attain a sense of clarity that his busy service-industry career never afforded. I took those words to heart, finding solace in the steady rhythm of my shoes hitting the pavement and my measured, if often ragged, breathing.


Rock Creek


One of my favorite parts about running is planning my route ahead of time. It’s always nice to vary your route to keep things interesting. There are so many places to visit throughout the Washington, D.C. area, and I recommend checking out as many different spots as possible. My personal favorite is Rock Creek Park, which has a huge variety of trails and great elevation changes. From The Washington Center’s Residential and Academic Facility (RAF), it’s easy to get to the National Mall and the National Arboretum as well.


Recreational Leagues

Rec leagues are another great way to stay active and meet new people. Washington D.C. has some great opportunities for casual sports fans. I joined a summer Ultimate Frisbee league organized by the Washington Area Frisbee Club (WAFC), which brings together athletes throughout the DMV. If flatballs aren’t your thing, District Sports arranges adult soccer leagues and pickup games. Meet ups are another way that word gets around for casual games. It’s common to see groups gathering on the Mall to engage in some friendly competition.


Capital Bikeshare

Over the summer, the Metro can get a bit stifling during peak commuting hours. I picked up a Capital Bikeshare membership and have been using it almost every day to escape the crowded train cars. Washington’s roads are easily accessible for two-wheelers; many streets have designated bike lanes that separate you from high velocity traffic. Biking a few miles every day is a fantastic way to stay in shape and, while it might add a few minutes to your commute, sometimes it's helpful to slow down your bustling internship lifestyle. If you’re considering using the Bikeshare to get to work, remember to bring an extra shirt. Wearing a sweaty button-up the rest of the day is decidedly unpleasant.


Outside the National Gallery


Event of the Week: Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals

By far my favorite method of relieving stress is dancing, and this concert presented the perfect opportunity to shake my tail feathers. Anderson .Paak combines the grit and grind of West Coast hip hop and punk with a laid-back style more at home in electro-house or surf rock. His latest album Malibu, which dropped this year, has been invading my playlists since March, so I made sure to catch him as he stopped through D.C. on his promotional world tour. I must’ve been bouncing up and down for 2 hours straight, but between switching from drums to the mic and hyping up the crowd with his freewheeling, energetic moves, Anderson .Paak definitely managed to burn more calories than I did. If you need any proof, here's video evidence:


(Courtesy of Joeseph Gay)


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