Get Fit for Cheap

5 January 2010

Did you indulge over the holidays? Thinking about getting up off the couch and moving to get rid of the extra Christmas calories? There's lots for you to do in Wellington and, best of all, you don't need to worry about burning a hole in your pocket - most of these activities are free or cheap.

Children playing cricket.

Children playing cricket.

You could take a leisurely stroll in the bush at one of the city's botanic gardens. There are guided tours like the monthly Otari-Wilton's Bush Trust walk, where you can learn about our native flora and fauna.

If you're more of a night owl, take a walk through the Botanic Garden after dusk. The concerts in the Soundshell are just about to begin, and they're always accompanied by exquisite lighting among the trees. And if you walk past the Duck Pond up to Glen Road alongside Pukatea Stream, you might be lucky enough to see the glow worms shining their little lights.

For a bit more exertion, the fitness trail at Karori Park has a running track, as well as a few 'exercise stations' at various points on the track. Two of the stations have dynamic or moving equipment - an 'elliptical' or Nordic trainer, and a 'rider' to exercise the arms and legs. The other stations have equipment for pull-ups, tricep dips and step-ups. It's like going to the gym, but for free.

Speaking of gyms, we have them at both Freyberg Pool and the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie. If you're thinking of joining a gym as a New Year's resolution, check them out. They provide a welcoming and supportive experience for all kinds of exercise needs, and a range of affordable membership options.

For swimmers, we have five indoor and two outdoor Council-run swimming pools throughout the city. If you feel your swimming stroke or endurance could improve, it could be the right time to book yourself in for an adult swim course - it'll make training at the pool all the more rewarding.

It's also a good time to think about a water safety course and set up your family with skills for life. Children can learn all aspects of safety in the water and survival techniques for the outdoors. This takes place over the last two weeks of the summer holidays at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre - give them a call on (04) 387 8029 for details.

Thanks to Wellington's hilly topography, mountain biking parks are plentiful. If you're anxious about hitting the slopes among experienced mountain bikers, there's no need to worry. There are tracks to cater for all levels, from beginners to advanced. There's a free guided mountain bike tour of Makara Peak to get you started every month.

There's a series of 'Push Play in the Park' events for families and communities throughout the city this summer. There are Push Play trailers with sports and games equipment, as well as a Push Play coordinator to keep everyone active and entertained. Check out the Summer City festival brochure or go to our website for dates and times.

If you'd like more information on any of these activities, or want to check out others, visit the Feeling Great website or pick up a Feeling Great booklet from libraries, pools and stands around town.