Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

We’ve ditched the gym this spring in search of Fun ways to get fit in JHB. Read on for 3 great alternatives…

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

One of the hardest things about getting in shape is that it feels like a chore. Not everyone enjoys dragging themselves off to a gym to slog for a few hours busting one difficult move after the other.

 

It’s hard and it can get boring.  So, We decided to search for alternate ways to get fit and discovered these 3 fun way to get fit in JHB and the best thing about them is none require a gym.

 

  1. Play at height | Vertical adventure centre

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

What is it?

Play at height was opened in May 2015. Nico Myburg (the same guy behind Orlando Towers) conceived of the idea with Engineer Keith Trowbridge in 2008. They offer Bungee Jumping (Which we didn’t try), Abseiling and Climbing. They also have a viewing deck which is home to the SkyBar and offers 360° View of Fourways and surroundings.

 

Where is it?

Play at height is located in the Pineslopes shopping centre in Fourways in the parking area. The crane that houses their activities is visible from kilometres away but once you get into the shopping centre, it takes a little while to figure out where exactly it is. Tip: Drive to the back and you can’t miss it.

 

How much does it cost?

Their prices range from R50 – R350. R50 will get you a trip to the SkyBar or a climb up their 12m wall. Abseiling and Bungee Jumping are both R350.

 

When are they open?

Bungee Jumping, Abseiling & Wall Climbing

Fri & Sat: 12:00-21:00
Sun & Public Holidays: 12:00-20:00.

SkyBar & Viewing

Wed-Sun: 12:00-21:00
Sun & Public Holidays: 12:00-20:00

 

They also take group bookings outside of these times. This would make a great location for a party.

 

Good To Know

  • There is one instructor per person per activity at all times – slows things down but makes it extra safe.
  • They close during bad weather; storms, extreme wind (above 42km/hr)
  • If you weigh below 35kg or above 110kg you won’t be allowed to Bungee jump
  • Saturday is their busiest day, Sunday is the quietest.
  • If you have a beard, clip it up before getting harnessed for the abseil – our male tester got his caught on the way down and thought it was pulling out (it wasn’t 🙂 ) – this is relevant for long haired individuals too.

 

Is it Safe?

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

Before you embark on any activity you have to sign an indemnity form. They also have a scale on hand to weigh everyone before Bunjee jumping so the correct ropes are used.

Since opening they have had no accidents. All their instructors are heavily trained (all have a minimum of level 1 rope access technician status) and supervise every single person on every single activity. Every activity felt very safe.

 

The highlight

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

Their staff are amazing. They have patience, technical know-how and a calming energy.

 

Our Abseiling Review

 

Describe the experience:

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

I was led up the tower (50m) in their lift cage. The higher I got, the scarier it became. It was also a windy day so I was shivering at the top which made it scarier. At the top Mhlengi, my guide, harnessed me and gave my gloves and a helmet. He gave me instructions on what to do and I tried my best to focus. Eventually it was time for me to climb over the little rope between the platform and platforms edge.

 

play-at-height-06

 

 

I was then instructed to sit into the harness aka. dangle midair. The wind (which apparently wasn’t considered strong!) was blowing me and I was panicking a bit. I tried not to look down because it felt like I was incredibly high up. I wanted to get to the bottom as soon as possible so started the movements of feeding the rope which lowers me. The more you feed it, the faster you go so it was a tricky balance between letting it go and having control. I got to the bottom very quickly and was incredibly pleased to be feeling the ground.

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

Did it feel like a workout?

Feeding the rope and controlling the rope challenge my right arm, but aside for that it did not feel like a workout.

 

Do you feel like it was a good alternate for a workout?

I wouldn’t say it’s an alternate for a workout. You require very little fitness and it’s over in 5 minutes. The biggest muscle you are working out is your brain (if heights frighten you). I did feel a huge adrenaline rush at the bottom.

 

Would you do it again?

 

Yes but for fun not fitness.

 

Our Rock Climbing Review

Describe the experience:

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

After putting on a harness and a helmet (which was too big for me), the instructor explained how to approach the climbing – using your legs to pull you up and not your hands. The harness secures you to the wall so if you lose your footing, instead of falling you hang and are able to swing back to grab a climbing hold.

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

There are three different coloured climbing holds; green, yellow and red, with green being the hardest and red being the easiest. You are able to alternate between two colours, so if you feel one is too difficult you can swing over to the easier climbing holds.

 

play-at-height-08I chose the hardest level for the biggest challenge and started climbing. What makes the different colours harder or easier is their size. The green climbing holds are small and not easy to grip. I found myself using a lot of my upper body strength despite what I was instructed and as I got higher the grips got smaller and smaller so I swung over to the yellow holds to get all the way up.

 

Once at the top I was able to release my grip and kick off the wall to lower myself to the ground, which was loads of fun.

 

The height never bothered me once, surprisingly enough. I think that you are so busy concentrating on climbing and keeping a grip that you don’t focus on how high you are climbing.

 

I got back to the ground shaking (like the shake you get after an intense workout) and felt like I had got a great upper body workout in.

Do you feel like it was a good alternate for a workout?

Yes, it’s mentally and physically stimulating. Climbing a wall is hard work and you have to use your mind to plot where you’re going to go next. And because there are different levels, you can challenge yourself to graduate from the easiest to the hardest and try go faster each time. You can also go with a group of friends and challenge each other to beat a time.

Would you do it again?

Yes, at R50 it’s not terribly expensive and although it’s over quite fast (depending on how fast you scale it) it’s loads of fun, a good workout and nice change to a gym routine.

 

Want to try Play at height?

Find the details here

 

  1. Acrobranch | Outdoor Obstacle Course & Zip Line

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

What is it?

Acrobranch has been open for 5 years and has 5 locations around the country. Acrobranch is a treetop experience dedicated to offering children and adults alike a unique adventure as they move from tree to tree in lush, green forests. There are different obstacle courses in each of their parks, some for kids (marked Acrobranch Kids) and some for reasonably fit adults and teenagers. Obstacles consist of awesome tree top high ropes and tricky crossings (with ladders, tunnels, walkways and bridges). As well as spectacular zip lines (the longest being 200m).

 

Kids as young as 3 years old and adults as old as 78 years have come and experienced Acrobranch. Fun fact: Little girls are the most fearless Acrobranchers according to our guide!

 

In addition to being a place you can go to alone or with friends, Acrobranch offers parties and team building packages.

 

Where is it?

Acrobranch has 5 locations around South Africa; Johannesburg, Centurion, Pretoria North, Cape Town and the Garden Route.

 

How much does it cost?

R80 – R250.

The Courses range from R100 (kids) to R300 (adult). The Zipline (Johannesburg and Centurion only) is R80 and the Acro-Bungee is R100 (centurion only).

 

When are they open?

All locations are opened 9am to 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday, school holidays and public holidays.

 

Good To Know

  • The busiest days are Saturday and Sunday.
  • Up to 109 people can use the course in a two hour timeslot
  • There’s a 140kg weight limit on all courses
  • You have to be over 1.4m tall to tackle the blue course
  • You have to be over 18 and 1.6m tall to tackle the red course.
  • Acrobranch closes during lightning and thunderstorms.

 

Is it Safe?

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

Yes, it is safe. Obstacles including ziplines have all been designed and built to European standards and verified by European industry experts. Acrobranch safety gear is EU-marked and imported directly from Europe. When you arrive, you get a full brief on safety which includes a demonstration before you even start and all guides are trained.

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

The ‘carabiner’, a metal loop which connects the harness to the rope is the most vital piece of safety equipment for climbing. You get full control of your carabiner and are instructed on how to use it (one must ALWAYS be attached!) You also sign an indemnity form before starting.

The highlight

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

The staff! When it comes to experiences that for some can be scary, the guides can make or break your experience. They are knowledgeable, know the course with their eyes closed and most importantly are encouraging without being pushy (and when you have a fear of ziplines that’s huge!). When it comes to dealing with kids, the guides are incredibly patient and let each kid enjoy the experience properly (and this means happily allowing them to complete a zipline multiple times.)

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

Another highlight is the feeling after finishing when you realise you conquered your fears, got through the obstacles and enjoyed it.

Our Acrobranch Review

Describe the experience:

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

We visited the branch in Melrose Park, Johannesburg which offers 6 different courses. The red course which is the most challenging was closed for maintenance so I opted for the level down – blue course (which in hindsight I was grateful for). After signing indemnities, getting my safety gear and a demo on how to use it I was off.

 

I found navigating the course to be easy and enjoyable once I got the hang of using the carabiners and enjoyed hopping from one obstacle to another to reach another tree. That is until I got to my first zipline. In my head I’m jumping off cliffs like Beyoncé. In reality I stood at the top of my first 50m zipline, very securely attached to the ropes for a good 5 minutes shaking like a leaf in full panic mode. I have to credit our guide for patiently encouraging me and never once pushing me (physically or verbally) to take the leap.  Eventually I lept and it was thrilling. One of the nicest things was the confidence you get as you go along the course and by my last zipline I was leaping off, eyes wide open and enjoying it!

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

It is my opinion that the difference in levels of courses is largely a mental one. Yes, the obstacles are longer and require more stamina, but the heights get higher and the ziplines longer. So unless you’re a fearless adventurer, I’d suggest starting on an easier level and working your way up. I consider myself extremely fit but it wasn’t my fitness I struggled with, it was a fear of jumping. So before selecting a course take into consideration how you handle heights and jumping off trees, not how fast you run or how often you gym.

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

Do you feel like it was a good alternate for a workout?

Yes, it’s mentally and physically stimulating! A lot of the obstacles move, so it requires a good and strong core to help balance. It’s a good full body workout and I’d highly recommend it being used as a training ground by anyone who’s doing an Impi challenge, Warrior race or other obstacle course races. This helps with the obstacles but most obstacle races involve an obstacle which involves you jumping off of a high platform into water – and Acrobranch can help with those mental blocks against taking huge leaps! More than a physical workout I enjoyed the mental workout the most. It requires concentration and for someone who started out petrified of ziplines, gaining confidence as I moved through the course was incredibly rewarding.

 

acro-08

 

Would you do it again?

Yes, who knows maybe I’ll tackle the red course (I mean if a 68 year old lady can, I can right?) or take on the 200m (yikes!) zipline!

 

Our Zipline Review

 

The zipline was absolutely thrilling. There are two and you do the long one first, which is quite massive. The second one is smaller which brings you down to land on a ramp. It definitely is not a workout- getting up to the zipline takes a bit of work but the rest is easy. I would 100% do it again.

 

 

 

Want to try Acrobranch?

Book here

You could also win entry for 2 and entry for 4, find the details here

 

  1. Bounce | Trampoline Park

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

What is it?

Bounce is a trampoline park and home to the free jumping revolution. It opened in June 2015, the first of its kind in South Africa. It houses over 100 trampolines grouped in difference zones; Free jumping, Big Bag, High performance and dodge ball – you will never get bored of all the options you have at your feet when you visit. It is an incredibly family friendly environment and a phenomenally great workout.

 

bounce-01

 

Where is it?

 

Bounce’s first location – and the one we visited – is located in Waterfall lifestyle centre. They just opened their second branch in Menlyn Maine and have hinted at a third by the end of this year.

 

How much does it cost?

Single sessions range from R100 – R140 (R100 for students, R105 for Juniors and R140 for regular attendees).

They also offer discounts for your second consecutive session (R140 becomes R115) and have special prices for families (R460 for 4), a 10 session multi pass (R1200) and also offer hosted groups of 10. The price covers a 1 hour session (except in the case of their R200 for 3 hours of bouncing) and a pair of their adorable bounce grip socks.

 

When are they open?

Bounce is opened 7 days a week:

 Mon – Thu: 10am – 9pm

Fri: 10am – 10pm

Sat: 8am – 10pm

Sun: 8am – 8pm

 

Good To Know

  • They only allow 1 person per trampoline to avoid accidents
  • Booking works much like when you book a movie; when they are at capacity for an hour session they don’t take any more entrants – book via their website or call centre beforehand to avoid disappointment.
  • Get there early – your booking slot starts with the clock, not when you arrive. When your time is up an announcement goes off asking all people with ‘x’ coloured bands to leave the area – the referees enforce it.
  • Accepting a wristband means you accept their terms & conditions
  • Bring some money along; they rent out safety locker for R5 to put your valuables in while you jump and have a café onsite with a seating area to enjoy snacks.
  • They focus on youth employment, hiring students as referees.
  • You can throw out your existing socks in their provided bins – which they then donate to charity.

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

Is it Safe?

Bounce is an Australian brand and all the equipment has been imported. All the padding is state of the art and circus grade and the design boasts no sharp edges. They also provide socks to all entrants that have rubber grips, which are important to eliminate slipping. All referees have level 2 first aid training and are able to deal with any injuries on the spot. There is also a hospital down the road should something serious occur.

 

bounce-03

 

Since opening and seeing 700k jumpers come through their doors, they say they have had 1 in 10 000 recorded injuries (anything from a sprained ankle to grazed knee included).

 

The highlight

 

 

They have the coolest referees who create an amazing vibe around the venue. They supervise jumpers, give tips and Lucky who was looking after the high performance area even did a demo on wall running for us.

You also get to keep your cool rubber socks and get a new pair every time you visit, so win win 😉

 

Our Bounce Review

 

Describe the experience:

As you enter the premises and give the guys at the counter your booking reference they immediately start telling you all the rules. Simultaneously they get your shoe size (to give you the correct socks) and hand out your wristbands – which are color coded for different hour slots.

 

bounce-04

 

Once your socks are on and your shoes and bags stowed away in their lockers, you  are free to roam around any area. There was so much to choose from, I didn’t know what to start with first. I was nervous to begin with but once you start bouncing it is addictive and you don’t want to stop – until your body stops you from exhaustion (plus minus 3-5 minutes in!)

 

We free jumped, tried out the high performance extra bouncey area, played some dodge ball, turned their vertical trampolines into an excuse to get in some “hill training” and tried our hands at some bouncy basketball.

 

Fun ways to get fit in JHB [No Gym Required]

 

It was the best active fun I can recall having and when the hour buzzer went off, I was both disappointed and absolutely finished.

 

Do you feel like it was a good alternate for a workout?

Hell yes. 10 minutes of intense bouncing is said to be equivalent to 30 minutes on the treadmill. Considering 3 minutes of bouncing felt harder than the 10km run I went on before I got there, I would happily trade at least once of my weekly workouts for an hour at bounce.

 

bounce-06

 

Would you do it again?

Yes for sure, this is the ultimate combination of fitness and fun. They also have Bounce fit classes (R100) that I’m itching to try out next.

 

Want to try Bounce?

Book here

 

Disclaimer:

 

Our reviews were based on the feedback received from various members of our team. Each activity covered a female and male aspect as well as beginner and advanced fitness Levels.

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Photography: Mendel Katz Photography and Bryan Moore © Nutreats

 

Want Nutreats to do a review of your event, location or product? Contact us here

 

Feige Lewin

Feige Lewin

Feige is the co-founder of Nutreats. She has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Witwatersrand and works in retail design. Apart from her day job she’s also a graphic designer, writer and runner. She is passionate about helping people reach their goals, creating new things, and active living. When she’s not drawing retail spaces you can find her on her laptop mastering code, cupcake in hand.
Feige Lewin
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