Fitness Guide To South Africa

A Fitness Lover’s Guide To South Africa

While there are plenty of gyms and fitness centers around Cape Town, you might not be in town long enough or aren’t willing to spend hundreds of rand on a membership. Luckily, Cape Town has a multitude of outdoor spaces where you can exercise for a small fee or absolutely free!

On any given day, the Sea Point Promenade is filled with families, dog-walkers and tourists enjoying the stunning sea views and sunshine, but it’s also a great place to work out. Whether you enjoy walking, running or rollerblading, this seaside promenade is the perfect place to get into shape. There’s even a free outdoor gym with a range of equipment to give you a full body workout. If you’re not into running or leg-pressing, hop on one of the rental bikes offered by Discovery Vitality and pedal to your heart’s content.

© Play on Art

Sea Point Outdoor Gym | © Courtesy of Play on Art

Situated next to the Cape Town Stadium, the Green Point Park is a green oasis in the middle of the Mother City. The large park is perfect for exercising on the manicured lawns or walking and cycling along the designated pathways. There’s also an outdoor gym for adults and play parks to keep children occupied.

Need to up your running mileage? Join ParkRun for an easy five-kilometer run at the Green Point Park every Saturday at 8am. Entry is free but you need to register on their website if you wish to be timed. Check out their site for other park runs held around Cape Town.

© Gill Fordyce/Flickr

Runners participating in the weekly ParkRun at Green Point Park, Cape Town | © Gill Fordyce/Flickr

Cape Town has seen an increase in outdoor fitness groups during the summer months. Think boot camps and beach yoga. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced yogi, outdoor yoga will clear your mind and restore your vitality. Join The Om Revolution, a mobile yoga service that offers group and private classes anywhere in Cape Town.

Outdoor boot camps like Adventure Boot Camp and O2 Fit Club will whip you into shape in no time. Packages range in price and number of sessions, and include wellness assessments, nutrition advice and professional coaches.

Yoga | © janeb13/Pixabay

Yoga | © janeb13/Pixabay

If you love walking, Cape Town has a multitude of hiking trails for beginners to more advanced trailblazers. The Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) offers many popular hiking trails ranging in difficulty and time from 45 minutes to four hours one-way. Watch the sun rise over the Hottentots Holland Mountains or see it set over the Atlantic from your perch on top of Lion’s Head.

Further south, the Silvermine Nature Reserve offers some of the best hikes and mountain-biking trails in the TMNP. Make your way through scenic fynbos landscapes and over mountains. When you return, a dip in the large reservoir will leave you feeling refreshed. If you’re looking for a family-friendly walk, try the Silvermine Reservoir trail, which takes you around the lake-size reservoir along a pram and wheelchair-friendly boardwalk.

The Elephant Eye Cave trail is another popular route that takes you to a fern-covered cave with stunning views of the city. Entry to the Silvermine Nature Reserve is R40 per adult, R20 per child or free for Wild Card holders. The suburb of Fish Hoek and the Cape Point Nature Reserve also offer magnificent mountain and coastal hikes ranging from easy to moderate.

© Rick McCharles/Flickr

Hiking up Table Mountain | © Rick McCharles/Flickr

There’s nothing like cycling down a Cape Peninsula road in summer with the wind blowing through your hair. Cape Town has plenty of biking trails to choose from, ranging from seaside road routes to peaceful trails through the Cape Winelands. Many companies like Awol Tours and iRide Africa offer bicycle hire and day tours with professional guides. Cape Town also plays host to the world-renowned Cape Town Cycle Tour, a 109-kilometer route around the Cape Peninsula, as well as several mountain bike challenges.

© South African Tourism/Flickr

If you’re a natural water baby, do some laps at one of the Cape Town city council’s public swimming pools. The facilities offer pools for adults and children and are maintained regularly. The most popular sites include the Sea Point Swimming Pools, which boasts an Olympic-sized pool with views of the Atlantic ocean, and the Long Street Baths. The council pools are open year-round and admission is inexpensive.

© Hilton1949/WikiCommons

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