Sport and fitness in Cape Town
Sport and fitness are taken seriously in Cape Town, and many Capetonians consider staying in shape to be one of their primary priorities. Much of the lifestyle in the Mother City revolves around outdoor activities, and if the weather rules out such adventures, then expats can take advantage of one of the many gyms or exercise facilities.
Living between a mountain and an ocean means that hiking, trail running and rock-climbing are easy to access and free of charge, as are the various water sports connected with the nearby ocean. Slightly offbeat options also exist for a minimal price, including capoeira, Muay Thai, and salsa dancing.
Regardless of the type of exercise expats choose, keeping fitness levels where they should be is easy in a city with such ideal weather conditions and so many options.
Keeping fit in Cape Town
There are two main gym brands operating in the city: Virgin Active and Planet Fitness. Alternatively, there are other non-chain gyms located throughout Cape Town.
Gym membership can be pricey, depending on the specific gym and membership plan chosen. However, some medical aid schemes encourage insurance holders to stay healthy by offering discounts on gym memberships, in which case there is an initial joining fee and thereafter monthly fees are discounted according to attendance.
The Cape’s roads are popular with cyclists and the city has been making an effort to make the city more cycle-friendly, with dedicated cycle lanes and cycle routes being introduced.
Mountain bikers have plenty of options, with good routes on Table Mountain and lots of downhill in Tokai; not to mention countless routes in the mountains of the Winelands.
Hikers are spoilt for choice in the Mother City. Whether climbing Signal Hill, Silvermine, Cape Point Nature Reserve, or any of the other numerous options offered by the city, hikers are guaranteed beautiful views.
However, it's important to stay safe while hiking. For a start, never hike alone – authorities recommend being in a group of four hikers or more. Furthermore, Cape Town is known for its fickle weather, which can change from warm and sunny to windy and rainy in just a few hours. Wet and slippery paths and rocks are a common cause of injuries when hiking, so always check the weather report before embarking on a hike. Lastly, make sure at least one person in the hiking group has a working, fully charged cellphone in case of an emergency.
With spectacular views to be found around every bend and accommodating weather to be enjoyed most of the year, there are plenty of opportunities in Cape Town for running enthusiasts. Popular spots include Seapoint Promenade, Rondebosch Common and Newlands Forest. As with hiking, appropriate precautions should be taken for safety, such as running only during the day, running in groups, keeping valuable items out of sight and taking note of surrounding areas and people.