28 November 2011 by Denise Slabbert

Keeping fit over the festive season

The festive season is all about indulgence and overindulgence. Most of us head back to normal life in early January with an extra tyre around our middles and jeans that are a size too small. But it doesn’t have to be like that…

You’ve worked the whole year to keep in shape and make healthy choices (well, we hope you have), just because you’re on holiday in South Africa doesn’t mean that your fitness routine needs to go on vacation, too.

South Africa is lucky enough to have one of the best climates in the world and many visitors make the most of this by bypassing the indoor hotel gym and heading outdoors to stay active. Not only does this help you stay fit while away, but gives you a chance to experience South Africa’s diverse landscape and attractions and plus get off the regular tourist beat.

At the coast, active travellers can try snorkelling, swimming, surfing, wind and kite-surfing, kayaking and surf-skiing. The more adventurous can try anything from adrenalin-pumping bungee jumping to deep-sea diving.

The diverse Highveld landscape offers opportunities to try a number of activities like mountain-biking, hiking, abseiling and rapp jumping, cave adventures and spelunking, even polo holidays and in winter, skiing and snowboarding.

This country is a great adventure destination, and there are both extreme adventures and softer adventures to be had, so look out for what’s available in your area - whether it’s a bush walk in Mpumalanga, paragliding over the Knysna heads, taking a canopy tour in KwaZulu-Natal or whita water rafting on the Orange River.

Here’s the fine print. Just a few things to remember:

  • Remember sun protection: The sun is at its most fierce between 11am and 3pm, so stay sun safe by regularly applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and a hat if your activity allows.
  • Stay hydrated:  Whether you’re visiting the humid coastline or the dryer Highveld area, stay hydrated to keep up your energy levels. Tap water is fine - South Africa boasts some of the best quality tap water in the world.
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