By: Natasha Archary
It’s a good idea to take advantage of the final few days of Summer and spend time outdoors. Week nights revolve around school runs and rushed dinners in front of the TV, so weekends should be all about active family time.
To visiting coastal babies, our city lacks scenic beauty and “free” family-friendly activities. We may not have the ocean views or warm, clammy weather most of the year, but Johannesburg does have a certain charm. Many city-slickers will agree, our city has a vibe and pulse all its own. And there are loads to do with your family and friends if you’re inventive enough and up for the outdoor lifestyle.
Missing the mark
According to a survey from 2017, the average South African does not walk as much as the rest of the world does. We have some catching up to do, it seems, on the physical activity and health front.
In the biggest human movement study, (I’m guessing those health apps on your phone are not loyal), data shows that South Africans walk on average 4000 steps a day. Missing the global average by a thousand steps.
The study focuses on 46 countries, each reviewing 1000 users. This does not look promising for a country that seems to be in a constant battle against the bulge. An estimated 5 million people are said to die from health-related causes associated with inactivity.
Get out and explore your city
With almost 47% of our country living sedentary lifestyles, the risk of our lazy behavior patterns being inherited by our children are high. The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week for the average adult, and teenagers should aim for an hour a day. Children from two and above should get in 25 to 30 minutes of outdoor play that challenges their balance and co-ordination.
A 30 minute walk a day is what most healthcare professionals advise and it is suitable for the entire family, furry friends included. Motivate your family to join in on a weekend hike at one of the city’s pet friendly parks. It will boost not just energy and improve overall health by decreasing stress, but it will help you see the city in a profound way.
Pet friendly hiking trails in Johannesburg
Living in the thicket and confines of our concrete jungle may make it difficult to get out with the whole family, but there are a few pet friendly hiking trails worth exploring. Most are free to the public and whilst the general rule with many are that dogs stay on the lead, it means the entire family can get their step count up.
Be sure to check out:
- Echo Dog park in Fourways
- Walkhaven in Muldersdrift
- Faerie Glen in PTA
- The Wilds in Houghton
- Huddle Park Golf & Recreation in Linksfield
- Zoo lake (there aren’t any hiking trails, but pet and runner friendly)
- Delta Park in Randburg
- Jackson Dam in Alberton
It doesn’t matter how many steps you get in on these hikes, walks or runs, the point is to get you off the couch and out catching some rays and fresh air.