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Zara D'Cotta

Zara D'Cotta

Founding editor, Oh My Goodness
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8 ways to exercise in a new city

Lifestyle — Posted 22/08/16

New to town? Take the opportunity of a fresh start to revamp your workout – and explore everything the city has to offer.

Starting life in a new city is the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button on your exercise routine. Zara D’Cotta from wellbeing blog Oh My Goodness discovered this recently when she moved from cosmopolitan Melbourne to sunny Sydney.

Here, she shares how to breathe new life into your exercise routine.

1. Make the most of what’s free

The best things in life are free – and that most certainly is the case when it comes to getting active in any city. Mother Nature provides the most invigorating setting for getting your heart rate pumping, and I’m feeling pretty spoiled with the plethora of coastal walks and sea baths on offer in Sydney. The best free local haunt is without doubt the famous Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, along which you’ll find the most picturesque free sea baths at Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee.

2. Try new things

Pick at least one thing you’ve never done before and give it a go. My new favourite weekend workout is stand up paddle boarding – it’s a brilliant all over body work out and an amazing way to explore Sydney Harbour, with board hire only $20 an hour in Rose Bay.

Make the most of intro offers at exercise studios too. I love the pilates and yoga classes at Body Mind Life and Power Living. You can also try a multi-access fitness pass like Body Pass, Class Pass or GymBetter which will give you access to a range of studios and workouts across your new city.

3. Revisit the old

Is there a sport you loved as a kid but haven’t done in years? Give it a go again! I was quite the swimmer in my school days but my love of the water somehow got forgotten when I entered adulthood.

It’s a love that has been reignited at the stunning Bondi Baths at Bondi Icebergs, where for $6.50 you can do as many laps of the pool and have as many saunas as you like.


"Group fitness classes are a great way to meet new people and feel like you’re part of a community." 


4. Establish a routine

While mixing up your workouts is great, there’s a lot to be said for regularity – having a handful of classes to go to at the same times each week is a great way of not only making sure you stay on track but also helping you get acquainted with the locals.

5. Join group fitness classes

Group fitness classes are a great way to meet new people and feel like you’re part of a community. Bondi Beach has to be one of the world’s finest settings for group fitness – there are so many classes to choose from.

6. Make exercise dates

Having a weekly exercise date with a friend is a great way to make sure you get out of bed, make new friends and explore your new home. My weekly sunrise coastal walk with a girlfriend not only stops me from hitting the snooze button, but is also key to feeling supported as we both share the highlights and challenges that go with transitioning to life in a new city.

7. Soak up the anonymity

Make the most of the anonymity that goes with being a new kid on the block. I’ve been doing things I would never do in Melbourne, like running up and down the beach, doing my own little workout routine, and even braving ‘muscle beach’ – a free outdoor gym in North Bondi. It’s somewhat intimidating with so many burly blokes, but none of them know little old me, so who cares?

8. Commit to doing something new on a regular basis

As you settle into your new home, get into a habit of regularly creating new ones, whether it be a style of yoga you haven’t tried before, a walking track you haven’t yet taken, or a weekend adventure in a different part of town.

Hear more about Zara’s Sydney adventures at Oh My Goodness

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