Whether your mind is already occupied with the thought of staying fit while you are still enjoying the comforts of your local gym membership, or you have been traveling for a while and can feel that holiday weight lurking around the corner, here are some tips to stay fit during your (working) holiday. I will mostly be giving tips for those traveling on the east coast of Australia but don’t worry, even if you are traveling elsewhere, here are some great ways to stay fit!
Australia will probably prove to be expensive enough for many. Therefore, I will also list some cost-free/budget options to stay (or get) fit whilst traveling. Bonus: a lot of these options allow you to enjoy the nature, wildlife, and splendid views Australia has to offer! This is part 1 of the blog in which I will be listing all things water-related. Don’t quite feel like getting your hair wet? No stress! Read part 2 HERE.
Alexa, play Surfin’ U.S.A. by the Beach Boys! Did you know more than 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast? And that if you visited one beach in Australia a day, it would take you 32 years to visit all of them? With waves suited for both beginners and seasoned surfers and some of the world’s best surf spots, it’s no wonder Australia is one of the greatest surfing nations out there. What better way to get fit than to copy the locals and shred some waves? #SHAKABRAH!
Certain hostels offer free surfboard hire – WakeUp Bondi Beach, WakeUp Byron Bay, and Noosa Flashpackers, to name a few. If you are completely new to the sport, we highly recommend signing up for a lesson or two to get yourself acquainted, as it’s a lot harder than it looks, trust us! And it can be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you are dead set on becoming one with the waves, consider joining a 5-day Surf Camp! Located just two hours south of Sydney, this 5-day course will get you shredding in no time. Book through ULTIMATE for some Ultimate discounts. Prices are inclusive of all meals and accommodation. Of course, you could always just ask that surfer dude/gal for some tips… You’re welcome. (Don’t forget to invite us to the wedding) Ozzy ozzy ozzy, oi oi oi!
N.B. Be aware of riptides, currents, and large waves, and make sure you always select breaks patrolled by lifeguards. Read more in our blog “Dangers and myths of Australia” HERE. If you ignore these warnings, you may end up a star on Australia’s very own TV show: Bondi Rescue.
Snorkeling, another workout in which you don’t realize you’re working out – our favourite kind! You’ll be too busy looking at all that gorgeous coral, beautiful fishes, and hopefully some turtles. At the end of the day though, you’ll realize just how tiring it can be and you’ll sleep like a baby. Want to help the environment? Use reef-safe sunscreen or better yet; just wear a t-shirt to protect yourself from burning. Just a few other rules when snorkeling… Never stand on the coral, don’t try to ride a turtle, and don’t put Nemo in your pocket to take home, okay? Long story short, look but don’t touch!
SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboard. Some hostels rent these out for free, some do for a small fee. This workout starts from the moment you pick up the board to walk it to the water. But as soon as you’re out there, it won’t feel like a workout: you’ll be having too much fun! Because you’ll be standing higher over the water, you’ll have a good chance of spotting turtles, stingrays, dolphins, etc. Maybe you’ll even be able to spot whales in the right season – April to November!
There are many kayaking companies out there that offer things like dolphin, turtle, or whale-spotting kayaking tours. You can find these tours in Sydney, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, and Rainbow Beach (to name a few). Not free, but very much worth the price! For the diehard sports fanatics, there is a full-day Noosa Everglades kayaking option. Surroundings are serene but beware, it is INTENSE! Trust us, you’ll be feeling that workout for days after. Are you up for the challenge?
Is snorkeling a bit too basic for you? Try diving! Many boats will offer a short intro dive for less than $100 – like the 3-day/2-night Whitsunday tour included in our East Coast trips. Likewise, you can add an intro dive on the Great Barrier Reef day trip from Cairns on our East Coast trips. And doesn’t everyone want to tick “Diving at the Great Barrier Reef” off their bucket list?! If you’ve done an intro dive and it has you wanting to trade lives with Sponge Bob, why not go for your PADI? Cairns offers many 4 to 5-day courses in which you can get your PADI and become a certified diver. You can even experience night dives, how exciting!
Swimming is a great low-impact sport. You can swim in the sea for a no-cost option, but you could also have look at whether there are any swimming pools with lanes for lap swimming near you. One famous pool which is on every swimmer’s bucket list in Australia is the 50m saltwater ‘Icebergs Pool’ at Bondi Beach – the most photographed pool in the world! It’s open year-round and (last time we checked) it’s only around $9 for an adult ticket. Too cold in the winter months? You don’t have to enter the pool to take your snaps from above… Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us.
Some aquatic centres near you may offer aqua fitness classes. But if you can’t find any organised classes, what’s stopping you from organising one yourself?! The only thing you need is a group of people, music, and a pool. (And maybe one volunteer from the group to study some YouTube video’s before taking on the position of an aqua Aerobics instructor. Maybe someone who doesn’t want to get their hair wet?) Aqua aerobics can be an extremely fun- and comical experience. Don’t worry about what anyone else at the pool thinks, just go for it! Most likely, the others at the pool (if there even are any) will be well jell of the group of friends having fun in the water. In fact, why don’t you invite them to join you? You might make some new friends while you’re at it! Like we always say: the more the merrier!.
Don’t quite feel like getting your hair wet? Or have you heard too many horror stories about sharks? No stress! Read PART 2 of our “Staying fit whilst traveling” blog HERE.
Speaking of Australian dangers and horrors… read our “Dangers and myths of Australia” blog HERE. We list a few things to keep into consideration and stay safe when (working out) in Australia, but we will also be busting some myths about Australian wildlife!
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