If you’re upset about Washington D.C. losing its title of America’s Fittest City to Minneapolis last year, you are not alone.
“To lose by one point, after having won three times in a row, is rough,” says Allison Rand, director of marketing at Vida Fitness.
That’s why Vida Fitness and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation are coming together to launch Take Back #1, a citywide campaign that hopes to push D.C. back into the No. 1 spot in 2018.
Each year, the American College of Sports Medicine puts out its American Fitness Index, which ranks the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. after analyzing personal health, availability of health care, and local policies and community resources that support physical activity. The District came out on top in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but lost to Minneapolis last year by one point. The 2018 rankings is set to be released on May 16, an ACSM spokesperson said.
Take Back #1, which also supports Mayor Muriel Bowser’s #FitDC program, will include a series of free workouts, walks and runs, nutrition seminars and health expos leading up to the May announcement.
Starting this month, Vida Fitness, a D.C. gym with six locations, will be offering free InBody analysis, which provides measurements of body fat and muscle mass, as well as hosting three open houses. The first is this Saturday at The Yards (1212 Fourth St. SE). Gallery Place (601 F St. NW) will host its open house Jan. 20, and City Vista (445 K St. NW) will host one Jan. 27.
DPR will be highlighting free fitness centers in the District every week in January, as well as hosting events like Funky #FitDC Friday, a monthly musical-themed fitness event. This Friday’s event includes boxing, dancing and a high-heel workout to the tunes of Janet Jackson at Kenilworth Recreation Center (4321 Ord St. NE). DPR is also partnering with local fitness groups, like the November Project, to host free workouts.
Gregory Jackson Jr., director of communications and community relations at DPR, emphasized D.C.’s access to public parks as another way to get active.
“It’s obvious that D.C. has always been an extremely fit community,” Jackson says. “Look at the resources we have: pools, parks, marshlands, courts. … The facilities and resources are there, but if we push a little harder on programing, we should be able to reach people.”