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Get active at South Africa’s top holiday destinations

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Mountain views

Let’s be honest. There’s probably a good chance that you won’t be able to maintain your regular training routine while on holiday. And that’s ok. But you don’t have to go completely inactive over the holiday period. Firstly, don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. Remember that performing 40 to 50% of what you typically do is healthier than doing nothing at all, so try to move as much as possible whilst still taking downtime and enjoying your holidays. Even better yet – try to plan some movement into the fun activities that you’ll be doing anyway.

Here are some ideas for keeping active at different holiday destinations:

Hike up the mountains

If you’ll be spending your holidays in Cape Town and its surroundings, you can Hike up Table Mountain, South Africa’s most photographed landmark and a continuous reminder that nature reigns supreme in this magnificent beachfront metropolis. There are approximately 350 pathways leading to the summit for various levels of trekkers, from casual strollers to more experienced climbers.

The Golden Gate Highlands Rhebok hiking trail in the Free State has the most impressive highland scenery South Africa has to offer. There are several waterfalls and rock pools throughout the path, providing a refreshing break from the summer heat for hikers.

In addition to the Mac Mac and Lone Creek falls, which have been proclaimed national monuments, the Fanie Botha route winds its way through Sabie’s acres of lush Komatiland forest.

Limpopo’s Magoebaskloof hiking path is another great option. The Magoebaskloof route, located on the mountain that skirts the town of Tzaneen, brings hikers through craggy ravines and sub-tropical woodland, allowing them to experience the true nature of Limpopo.

Being in nature, breathing in the fresh air, basking in the sun, disconnecting from technology, and not feeling like you’re working out is the best experience for hikers. Going up and down hills gets the heart pumping, creating a great cardio workout. Like most cardio exercises, hiking helps reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even some cancers. Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise, which builds muscle mass and helps prevent osteoporosis. Happy hiking!

Volleyball at the beach

Beach volleyball requires a lot of physical effort. You’ve got the sun in your eyes, the wind at your back, and warm sand beneath your feet, which makes moving swiftly difficult, but it’s the ideal way to get some cardio in while enjoying that holiday feeling.

South Africa offers a number of viable possibilities for beach volleyball. King’s Beach in Port Elizabeth is a stunning 1,6-kilometre-long stretch of golden sand that stretches from the harbour wall to Humewood. North Beach is a popular tourist location in Durban. With a variety of activities to explore, this sought-after city will not disappoint. Camps Bay and Clifton beaches, approximately six kilometres from Cape Town’s city centre, attract buff, bronzed, and stunning white-sand beaches flanked by polished granite boulders and splashed by brilliant, but fresh, blue seas. Heading along the Garden Route for a holiday? Both Wilderness and Plettenberg Bay have beautiful stretches of beach with ample space to set up a volleyball net and find extra team players.

City cycle or walking tours

South Africa is a beautiful country with many spectacular, picturesque locations to see. Cycling and walking trips can be terrific experiences and great ways to stay active while exploring. If you enjoy the outdoors, head out for a breath of fresh air in the mountains, in a vineyard or even in the city centre.

Choosing to cycle instead of choosing public transport or renting a vehicle will allow you to do and experience so much more, such as mingle with people, enjoy the fresh air, and exercise your body. Regular cycling stimulates and strengthens your heart, lungs, and circulation, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. Cycling helps to strengthen your cardiac muscles, decreases your resting pulse, and lowers blood fat levels.

Wondering where to head for a good cycling tour? Here are some options:

1. The Drakensburg and Kruger National Parks

This trip begins and concludes in Johannesburg. Imagine amazing mountain landscapes, beautiful rock formations, sightings of wild animals in the Kruger National Park, and peaceful natural waterfalls – all on one magnificent route.

2. The Cape of Good Hope and the Winelands

Cape Town and its surroundings, regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet, are ideal for a bike journey. Consider cruising through the Stellenbosch Winelands with Table Mountain in the background, or cycling along the West Coast from Milnerton all the way to Melkbos.

Kayaking

Kayaking is an easy way to get out on the water, whether it’s a river, a dam, or the ocean. Canoes seat one or two people and provide an engaging experience, particularly while observing marine life such as whales, dolphins, seals, and penguins along the coast. Kayaking is a fantastic water activity that is so simple to master that even travellers with limited time may enjoy it.

South Africa’s bigger rivers and calm Cape waters are ideal for kayaking, although playing in the waves or padding about on a lake or dam may also be enjoyable. The enjoyment of kayaking lies in the paddling itself, being out in nature, and being near to breathtaking views. A kayak is smaller and lighter than a canoe, and it is built differently, making it more manoeuvrable. Kayaking has helped to increase cardiovascular fitness. Moving the paddle boosts muscular strength, notably in the back, arms, shoulders, and chest, enhancing the torso and leg strength, since powering a canoe or kayak is mostly accomplished by twisting the torso and exerting pressure with your legs.

Have any other favourite activities for the holidays that help you get outdoors and move regularly? Share them with us on social media!

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