This, elegant, tactical sword-fighting art, which serves as an outlet for all those with Peter Pan-type aspirations, has been around since medieval times and has garnered popularity as a practice that is accessible to individuals of all ages and predispositions. As thrusting and defending with bladed weapons requires both speed, strength and a good deal of strategy, fencing is deemed a psycho-physical sport in that it works to keep both the body and brain fit. On a physiological level, the calculated movements offer an intense well-balanced workout and improve coordination, balance and suppleness. Then, as the art forces fighters to solve numerous technical challenges on the spot, it also cultivates a level of mental sharpness similar to that required in chess. In this way, it offers a somewhat off-beat method of developing multiple important capacities. While some may be put off by the notion of sharp swords spinning through the air, unlike some other contact sports, fencing is, in fact, entirely safe and employs a number of protective measures to ensure this. Though this exercise alternative is suitable for anyone, its one-on-one nature may appeal more to those who prefer individual over team activities.
Fencing Establishments in Cape Town: The Cape Fencing Academy, Blues Fencing Club (for individuals over 20 years of age).
Though engaged in by most purely for its serious fun factor, this invigorating recreational sport, in fact, carries a whole host of real fitness benefits too. As it involves just as much (if not significantly more) paddling and treading water as it does actual standing board work, surfing serves as a powerful cardio workout and acts to strengthen and tone both upper and lower body regions, including back, shoulder, leg and abdominal muscles. Not to mention, as committed boardies typically spend hours at a time moving about to stay afloat and catch waves out in the big, unpredictable blue, the activity also works to improve general staying power and balance. But this sport goes some way to enhancing mental fitness too; most who’ve given it a try vouch for its unparalleled ability to uplift and energise, to reduce stress and to induce a calming, almost meditative state. As a low-resistance activity, it’s an appropriate exercise form for a broad range of ages and dispositions (not just for your classic surfer dudes), and as a truly addictive pastime, it makes staying in shape both easy and enjoyable.
Surfing Schools in Cape Town: Gary’s Surf School, Learn 2 Surf, Roxy Surf School, Stoked School of Surf.
Read more about Top Surfing Spots in Cape Town.