Starting life in a new city is the perfect opportunity to hit the re-set button on your exercise routine. It’s easy to fall into the same old habits, but our brains reap the benefits of being stimulated with different types of exercise, just as they do a change of scene.
My recent move from cosmopolitan Melbourne to the sunny shores of Bondi beach has inspired me to be more adventurous. Whether you live in Sydney or you’re setting up camp in a new city – here are 7 tips to help breathe some fresh air into your exercise routine.
1. Make the most of what’s free
The best things in life are free and that most certainly is the case when it comes to getting active in any city. Mother Nature provides the most invigorating setting for getting our heart rates pumping and I’m feeling pretty spoiled with the plethora of coastal walks and sea baths on offer Sydney. One of my favourite local haunts is without doubt the famous Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, along which you’ll find the most picturesque free sea baths at Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. I also love the 10 kilometre Spit to Manly 10km walk, which is nothing short of spectacular, with stunning views of Manly and back to the Eastern suburbs, and beautiful little coves to stop and swim along the way. The walk from Rose Bay to Watson’s Bay is pretty amazing too, with amazing views of Sydney harbour all along the way.
2. Try new things
Pick at least one thing you’ve never done before and give it a go. My new favourite weekend workout is stand up paddle boarding – it’s a brilliant all over body work out and an amazing way to explore Sydney harbour, with board hire for only $20 an hour in Rose Bay.
Make the most of intro offers at exercise studios too. I love the Pilates and Yoga classes at Body Mind Life and Power Living. You can also try a multi-access fitness pass like Body Pass (www.bodypass.com) Class Pass (www.classpass.com), or K-Fit (www.kfit.com) which will give you access to a range of studios and workouts across your new city.
3. Re-visit the old
Is there a sport you loved as a kid but haven’t done for years? Why not give it a go again. I was quite the swimmer in my school days but my love of the water somehow got forgotten when I entered adulthood. It’s a love that has been reignited at the stunning Bondi Baths at Bondi Icebergs, where for a mere $6.50 you can do as many laps of the pool and have as many saunas as you like.
4. Establish a routine
While mixing up your workouts is great, there’s a lot to be said for regularity – having a handful of classes to go to at the same times each week is a great way of not only making sure you stay on track but also helping you get acquainted with the locals.
5. Join group fitness classes
Group fitness classes are a great way to meet new people and feel like you’re part of a community. Bondi Beach has to be one of the world’s finest settings for group fitness – there are so many classes to choose from.
6. Make exercise dates
Having a weekly exercise date with a friend is a great way to make sure you get out of bed, make new friends and explore your new home. My weekly sunrise coastal walk with a girlfriend not only stops me from hitting the snooze button, but is also key to feeling supported as we both share the highlights and challenges that go with transitioning to life in a new city.
7. Soak up the anonymity
Make the most of the anonymity that goes with being a new kid on the block. I’ve been doing things I would never do in Melbourne town – like running up and down the beach, doing my own little work out routine, and even braving ‘Muscle beach’ – a free outdoor gym in North Bondi, which is somewhat intimidating with so many burly blokes, but none of them know little old me, so who cares?
8. Commit to doing something new on a regular basis
As you settle into your new home – get into a habit of regularly creating new ones, whether it be a style of yoga you haven’t tried before, a walking track you haven’t yet taken, or a weekend adventure in a different part of to town.
Variety is the spice of life, whether you live in Sydney or you’re relocating to a new city, mixing things up, spending more time in the great outdoors, and doing things you haven’t done before is a sure fire way to invigorate you exercise routine.
This story was originally published in Medibank’s Be. Magazine.