A Different Kind of Workout: Loudoun’s Unique Fitness Classes

It’s the third week of 2018 and people everywhere are beginning to either slack off on their New Year’s resolutions or finally get in the groove.

While many people share the common goal of getting in shape, it inevitably becomes routine for some and more of a hassle for others. According to Pam Sullivan, fitness supervisor at Leesburg’s Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, there are three rules to follow when striving to reach your goals: make small changes to your fitness routine, grab a buddy to hold you accountable, and find a program you love.

“If you do those three things you’ll be successful,” she said.

This is where the county’s community and recreation centers come in. Many of the programs offered at these centers are far from typical, which should give those who find it difficult to workout a bit more incentive.

One of the most popular sports sweeping the county is Pickleball, which is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. Played on a badminton-sized court with a paddle and wiffle ball, players all over the county can drop in for a pickup game most days of the week at either the Sterling Community Center, Purcellville’s Carver Center, the Cascades or Leesburg Senior Centers or Ida Lee Park.

Pickleball players take advantage of a two-hour drop-in session at Leesburg’s Ida Lee Park Recreation Center. [Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]
            Ida Lee is also offers another new and popular class aimed at working out to the tune of a different drum, literally. “Pound” classes are designed as a cardio torch in which participants workout to high-energy music using quarter-pound drumsticks.

“Once you do it once, you just love it,” Sullivan said. “That is going to be something that takes off.”

If dancing the calories off is more your style, the Bluemont Community Center offers a 45-minutes dance class on Monday nights called Country Heat. Set to the tunes of the latest country music, this class is meant for cardio and country lovers who like to cut loose and not have to memorize routines or complicated moves.

On the other end of the spectrum, geographically and culturally, is the Fin-Tastic Challenge at the Claude Moore Recreation and Community Center. This water workout has participants using flippers to increase resistance for a core, balance and muscular strength workout.

Kids can get in on the action, too. The Lovettsville Community Center offers a Tough Tikes program for children aged 3-6. Offering fun games that use fitness, partner exercises and obstacle courses, this class is designed to increase the overall health and fitness level of children.

Ida Lee also has multiple classes for moms to attend with their young children, including a ballet and tumbling class and a creative movement class, which utilizes musical instruments, parachutes, balls and puppets.

The Ida Lee Park Recreation Center in Leesburg offers both the fitness buff and resolution maker an expansive weight room to dominate goals.
Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now [Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]
            Resolving to be healthier in the new year isn’t just for adults and children, though. Seniors have just as much opportunity to try something new at a community center or one of the county’s four senior centers. Claude Moore offers fitness goers aged 55 and up a different outlook on walking. The center’s Nordic Walking class is a combination of cross-country skiing and walking that distributes body weight evenly to relieve stress on the joints.

For seniors with a more eclectic taste in workouts, the Leesburg Senior Center features classes in ballet, line, folk and belly dancing three days of the week. These courses are sure to get seniors moving in a physically and culturally different way.

According to Katey Jackson, the county’s recreation superintendent, becoming more active and living a healthier lifestyle in 2018 is all about selflessness. She said people who are healthier ultimately improve their ability to care for others, which in turn encourages others to follow the same path. She also stressed the need to set a routine and execute a plan.

“You always have to set time aside for yourself,” she said. “Because if you don’t, you’re never going to do it—that’s so important.”


For Teens/Adults

Pickleball Drop-In

Ida Lee Park Recreation Center

Tuesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Pound (drumstick class)

Ida Lee Park Recreation Center

Monday 6:20-7 p.m.

Tuesday 11-11:45 a.m.

Wednesday 10:05-11 a.m.

Wednesday 7:40-8:30 p.m.

Saturday 11:45 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.


Country Heat

Bluemont Community Center

Monday 7:30-8:15 p.m.


Fin-Tastic Challenge

Claude More Recreation and Community Center

Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Thursday 6:30-7:30 p.m.


For Kids

Tough Tikes

Lovettsville Community Center

Thursday 11-11:45 a.m.

Ages 3-6


Mommy and Me: Ballet and Tumbling

Ida Lee Recreation and Community Center

Tuesday 9:30 a.m.

Ages 1-3


For Seniors

Nordic Walking

Claude More Recreation and Community Center

Monday 12-12:45 p.m.


Folk Dancing

Leesburg Senior Center

Tuesday and Friday 1 p.m.


Belly Dancing

Leesburg Senior Center

Wednesday 10:30-11:30 a.m.


Line Dancing

Leesburg Senior Center

Thursday 12-2 p.m.

Friday 10:30 a.m. to noon


Silver Swans Ballet

Leesburg Senior Center

Friday 9-10 a.m.

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