So, Game of Thrones is over, summer is here (well it’s always here!) and there’s lots to do outdoors in Singapore. Here are 10 great ways to keep fit and socialise at the same time, from bootcamps and running group to inline skating and hiking. Even if you’re pregnant, you can choose something like outdoor yoga or bootcamps with other mums-to-be. Whether it be on land or water, here are things to do in Singapore that will keep you fit and feeling good.
A great way to blast calories and get in shape, running is a full-body, endorphin-producing workout that can help bust stress and strengthen your joints. Whether it’s along the Singapore River, the Botanic Gardens, the Sentosa beaches or East Coast Park, there are tons of places to power-walk, jog or full-on sprint.
Looking to get fit with running but don’t know where to start? UFIT’s RunFit programme helps individuals ignite their passion for running and takes regular runners outside their comfort zones by introducing intervals, fartleks, stairs and hills, and combinations of each (check ufitbootcamps.com.sg/runfit-classes for more details).
Another running group to join is The Singapore Sunday Hash Harriers, whose activities involve cross-country running and socialising (mingling over food and drinks always happens after the run!). Meeting on alternate Sundays at 5.30pm, the group takes on different terrains each week, following the trails laid out by the “hares”. You don’t have to be a seasoned runner to participate. The group, which has around 45 members from age 18 up, is made up of people with different running abilities and is open to walkers.
“Running with the hash is far more fun than running on your own. There is a wide range of ability on the hash, and everyone finds their own running or walking partners,” says British expat David Hug, who has been running with the Hash House Harriers for over 20 years. “It’s really a big family and it forms an important part of my social life.” For a full list of upcoming events, visit sundayhash.org.sg.
There are loads of locales across the island for a nice hike with the fam – from MacRitchie Reservoir Park and the Southern Ridges to any one of Singapore’s many other trails. You’ll engage different muscle groups all at once, including your core, thighs, calves and ankles, while building cardiovascular strength and burning calories. And, it’s free – a win for everybody!
Offered everywhere across the island, from green spaces to scenic beaches to the CBD, outdoor bootcamps are an excellent source of cardio, and are extremely popular among those who want to get fit, get outside and get social, all at the same time.
UFIT, which is one of the largest outdoor fitness communities here in Singapore, offers over 60 classes a week – including HiitFit, BoxFit, Tanjong Beach Boot Camp and the female-only SheFit class, among other options – across 10 locations. This means there’s literally a class for everybody, and at any fitness level. Combining the energy of the outdoors, group motivation and a tough-love approach, classes are aimed at challenging participants’ boundaries using techniques that enhance strength and cardiovascular fitness, agility and flexibility.
Another popular bootcamp community here in Singapore is Mom in Balance, which offers outdoor workouts specifically designed for pregnant women, new mums and any women who want to get in shape (and social!) in a supportive and friendly environment. In fact, the workouts are planned in conjunction with gynaecologists and pelvic floor specialists to ensure women are working out responsibly at every stage of their pre- or post-natal journeys, and beyond.
Tailored specifically for expectant mums of all fitness levels, the Mom in Balance “Pregnant” workout combines strength training, cardio and relaxation to keep participants fit and energetic throughout their pregnancies. Once mums are six to eight weeks postpartum, or after exercise has been cleared by a doctor, they can join the “Back in Shape” programme that’s customised for the postnatal stage.
“Here, we stimulate mums to stay healthy and fit so they can combine work with family, and be sociable with like-minded mums during the workout, but still cope with less sleep. A strong and healthy body and mind really gives you the energy to be at your best,” says Jantien Kroese-van den Berg of Mom in Balance Singapore.
And, with Mom in Balance classes offered islandwide – including at the Bukit Timah and Tanglin gates of the Botanic Gardens, East Coast Park, Fort Canning Park, Telok Kurau Park and West Coast Park – there’s really no excuse, mamas!
Metabolic conditioning, or “Metcon” for short, is a type of training (made popular by the CrossFit community in recent years) that involves short bouts of high-intensity exercises. These usually involve weightlifting movements (think kettlebells, weighted plates and medicine balls), with short rest periods in order to burn fat or create a “conditioning” effect. Research has shown that raising one’s heart rate and lowering it again multiple times with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be very effective for fat loss, improving fitness and increasing anaerobic threshold.
There are Metcon classes offered throughout Singapore, though not all of them are offered outdoors; UFIT offers an outdoor Metcon class seven days a week at CrossFit Bukit Timah, which means participants have potential for burning even more calories!
#5 Beach Volleyball
Not only is this sport a full-body workout that strengthens your arms, shoulders, thighs, abs and legs, but it’s also great for improving balance and coordination – not to mention, a great way to be social! There are plenty of places to partake in this outdoor favourite across the island including Singapore Sports Hub, and Sentosa’s Tanjong Beach and Siloso Beach.
#6 Cycling & Mountain Biking
There are loads of bike trails to choose from in every corner of Singapore. The eastern half of the island is particularly rich in routes, including Punggol Waterway Park and the Eastern Coastal Loop. We’d suggest renting bikes at SAFRA Punggol or the Punggol Settlement and exploring a coastal ride that will have you cruising boardwalks, as well as the dirt roads of Coney Island.
If you’re looking for something a bit grittier, mountain biking is great exercise and will have you exploring parts of the island you probably haven’t been to! The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has some of the oldest trails and consists of a range of medium and difficult tracks. The trail is 6km with entry points to the trail at the Dairy Farm car park and Hindhede Road. Pulau Ubin is another spot where you’ll find mountain biking bliss. The island, reached via a $3 bumboat ride, offers 10km of track that’s both challenging and rewarding. Just make sure you’ve got the essentials: helmet, gloves, plenty of water, sun protection and a willingness to get sweaty!
For an extensive list of cycling and mountain biking trails, head to expatliving.sg/things-to-do.
Yoga is always a popular choice for those looking for a low-impact workout, and there are loads of meet-ups and classes available outdoors. UFIT’s YogaFit class, for instance, offers a full-body yoga flow class at the Botanic Gardens that has participants moving through different postures to build strength, endurance and flexibility, all while in the fresh air.
#8 Dragon Boating
This ancient Chinese tradition is also a killer full-body workout. Paddling one of these bad boys requires you to use your shoulders, while your back, abdominals, chest, hips and thighs are all engaged as well. Missing practice is a no-no, so you’re less likely to skip a workout; and, with so many people, movements and paddles involved, you’ll develop a heightened sense of awareness as you move in sync with your fellow paddlers. There are a number of dragon boat groups that can be joined across Singapore, whether you want to race seriously on a team or just get in a good workout.
#9 Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
This form of fitness looks deceptively simple, but get on a board and you’ll need to work muscles you never knew existed. The common misconception is that SUP requires upper body strength only. In reality, you will need to engage every fibre of your core, upper body and legs. A session on a SUP board will help improve balance and overall strength while increasing endurance. Best of all, if you take a tumble, you land in the water. There’s also SUP Yoga (stand-up paddle yoga), a challenging and relaxing workout all at once – you’ll get to zen out but also enjoy some major cardio and core engagement. Look out for SUP classes (and rentals) at Tanjong Beach, Siloso Beach, Pasir Ris Park and East Coast Park, among other locales.
#10 Inline Skating
Ready to whip out those Rollerblades from the 90s? Sure, you may feel a bit dated at first, but you’ll be more than glad you gave it a go when you’re blasting calories with fresh air in your face. In fact, the cardio element that skating offers is comparable to running; just 15 minutes of skating can burn about 162 calories! In addition, the side-to-side movements of inline skating are ideal for strengthening your legs, trimming your thighs and working your glutes, and the low-impact activity itself can help improve your coordination and balance. There are actually a number of companies here in Singapore that offer group and private skating lessons for both adults and kids, including Inlinex, Inline Fitness, Skate With Us and Exis, to name a few.
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