Fitness

The best places to workout in the city without a gym membership

There’s nothing quite like a marvellous sunset after a walk up Northcliff Hill. Photo: iStock

There’s nothing quite like a marvellous sunset after a walk up Northcliff Hill. Photo: iStock

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The festive season was nice ne? All that food and drink. Add that to any pandemic weight gain and your love handles might be slightly more pronounced, or maybe you’re sporting a newly formed boep. You’ll need to work that off while still staying safe from Covid-19.

The gym is always good, but open air is so much better. These exercises spaces in Jozi are Covid-friendly and offer great workouts.

Westcliff Stairs

These stairs are always buzzing with fitness fundis galloping up and down while checking their wrist monitors as they work up a sweat. Running up and down these steps is the perfect exercise to promote explosive power and quickness. Your stamina will also be greatly improved by rigorous jogging and sprints. You could also take things slow and simply walk up and down the stairs, as some people do, which is a little less harsh on the joints.

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You’re also treated to a killer view of the city from the top of the large concrete stairway, so keep pushing.

Runners on the Westcliff steps in Johannesburg. Ph

Runners on the Westcliff steps in Johannesburg. Photo: Lauren Mulligan.

Inner city hiking

We are fortunate enough to live in a country where beautiful scenery is but a stone throw away. South Africa has one of the best interprovincial road networks in the southern hemisphere and some of the best natural attractions in the world. Even then, those can be too far away or you may not have the time to venture to the Wild Coast before Shell kills it, for example.

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Try The Wilds near Killarney. This nature reserve is the perfect place for a hike. The parking lot even boasts one of those communal book boxes that you can swap books out of – so long as you put one of your own in. We sometimes forget to exercise the one organ that matters most, after all.

Split into the East Wilds and West Wilds, the trails are lush and the flowers vivid. When visiting the East Wilds, make sure you’re in a group as those are said to be a little more gully than the other side. The two are linked by a bridge that crosses over Houghton Drive and, on the whole, this is the perfect place for a quick hike.

The Melville Koppies are also a good place for a short excursion, or even Northcliff Hill for the spectacular panoramic view.

There’s nothing quite like a marvellous sunset aft

There’s nothing quite like a marvellous sunset after a walk up Northcliff Hill. Photo: iStock

Park gyms

These can be found at certain parks in and around Joburg. They have gym equipment much like you would find at an actual health club, but they are completely free to use. We would suggest that you do as they would at a professional gym and have some sanitiser on you to sterilise the grip bars and such, but you can pretty much do a circuit session outdoors.

An outdoor gym facility is great for open air exer

An outdoor gym facility is great for open air exercises. Photo: Tebogo Letsie

Park gyms often offer equipment for full-body and leg workouts, as well as pull-up bars and benches for you to do some crunches and abdominal work.

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You can find these outdoor facilitates at parks such as Zoo Lake, Mushroom Farm Park in Sandown, Metro Park in Newtown, Protea Glen and Diepsloot parks, as well as George Hay Park in Parkview.


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Phumlani S Langa 

Journalist

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