If there’s one thing we like to boast about to our southern neighbours, it’s our endless sunny days, scenic riverways and expansive outdoor spaces. With a natural playground on our doorstep, we are fond of an outdoor workout and for good reason. Studies prove that outdoor movement can decrease tension, anger and depression, while getting out into the green spaces will help boost your mood and self-esteem. Not a bad way to improve your physical and mental health, all while topping up your vitamin D levels.
To get you out of the gym and into the great outdoors, here’s a roundup of the best outdoor workouts in Brisbane.
Medibank’s Free Feel Good Program
Brisbane’s much-loved free fitness series returns to Southbank Parklands and the CBD from 28 September to 28 November — just in time to soak up that beautiful spring weather. Classes will include Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Aqua Aerobics, Mums & Bubs and more. For those eager to get their groove on, Latin Fitness will also be added to the dance repertoire, complementing the existing Ballroom and Bollywood dance classes at South Bank. With 16 free workouts hosted each week from qualified instructors both in the early morning and evening, there’s something to suit everyone. Please note that to ensure public safety, several COVID-Safe measures will be in place during this season’s program, including a free pre-registration process. Click here for the full schedule and to register into a class.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Good for the core, good for your balance and good for some peace and quiet. Unlike some other types of exercise, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a little bit easier to get the hang of (unlike it’s cousin, surfing). You may think it’s impossible to get some SUP time in Brisbane, but you have been mistaken because there are a plethora of beautiful spots to get your SUP on close to Brisbane, complete with board hire, that don’t include the Brisbane River.
Now that isolation is over and done with, spending your weekends with Netflix and ice cream just won’t cut the mustard anymore. That’s why we’ve unearthed some of the best hiking trails close to Brisbane for you. You’ll really start to appreciate the natural wonders of our planet when you get to hike to beautiful waterfalls and lookouts.
Kayaking is another water sport that involves using your core, arms and balance. Some kayak for the competition, some for the serenity, but either way it’s worth trying. There’s some amazing kayaking spots just a stone’s throw from Brisbane. We’ve searched low and high to bring you the best places to dip your toes and drop in your kayak around Brisbane.
No head for heights needed for this rock climbing exercise. With no equipment needed either, get down to the Kangaroo Point cliffs for a bouldering and sweat sesh. Instead of going up, go across—you’ll be surprised at how much work goes into clambering along the rock walls. You may not be going very high, but we still wouldn’t recommend falling off—you may just bruise your pride.
Get the heart racing with some old-fashioned bike riding around Brisbane city. You don’t even need to own your own bike—Riverlife are now hiring bikes out on a daily and weekly basis, and will even deliver them up to 10km away. Bike riding is a perfect cardio exercise and you may even find that you’re enjoying yourself so much you’ve forgotten that you’re doing exercise entirely. Need some ideas on where to ride? Check out Brisbane's best bike tracks here.
After being confined to a treadmill or the end of your street for quite some time, it’s time to step up the running game and head to Brisbane’s best running tracks (as long as they’re not too far away). Brisbane is home to some pretty special running tracks, offering you access to the great outdoors, fresh air and a whole lot of beautiful views and scenery. Want to make it even harder on yourself? Head to the far eastern ‘burbs for some deep sand beach running.
Prefer to keep things cool? If you’re a true adventurer, the perfect workout for you may be swimming in a glorious watering hole. At least if the water is cold, you’ll be swimming so fast you’ll be doing double the exercise. Score. Adventurers get ready, here are our favourite natural swimming holes in and around Brisbane.
Image credit: Matthew Lejune