First week on holiday in Queensland, and already, we were finding the healthy lifestyle such an unusual treat! Who says that vacations are just all about eating and sleeping? No way. Not if you love to exercise. And Australia is one of the best locations for fitness inspired holidays if you ask me.
Here are 5 Ways, to incorporate Fitness into your Travels, when you’re visiting the Sunshine Coast & the Gold Coast :
1. Eat Right
One thing we noticed from the outset was how many health bars, cafes and restaurants there were, on the Sunshine Coast. We also noticed that sustainability continues to be a growing trend in the fresh produce industry in Australia. Ultimately, high quality, local produce, that’s good for the planet (environmental sustainability), the people (social and worker sustainability), and for the long haul (economic sustainability), is key.
It’s not hard to get a good start to the day with avocado, organic eggs and soy coffee (soy because I am lactose intolerant and it is a good substitute). The food is fresh, locally produced and prepared daily, and it tastes awesome too. Can’t ask for more.
After a run, at Noosa National Park, I like a big tall glass of juice, followed by my Soy Cappuccino!
Another great place for healthy food is Dandelion & Driftwood. Pumpkin, Feta Cheese sandwiches, Salmon and eggs are just the tip of the iceberg, of great healthy eats, from this quaint little cafe in Brisbane. They also do great brewed coffee here, prepared using either Chemex, Syphon, Aeropress, Yama Cold Drip or Trifecta. We loved the artistic alchemy involved in the brewing of even one cup of coffee!
The Eumundi Market is a great place to check out healthy eats. This fantastic little kiosk called Got the Blenz, made the most amazing Kale smoothie we had ever tried. Loved the name of it too – the Aztec Warrior!
2. Work out
(a) Healthy Bespoke Vacations in Noosa
We met Nikki Fogden-Moore, at Noosa, from Life’s A Gym. Nikki’s vision is not just about weight loss or diet tips, but about helping and inspiring folks to make the best possible choices for their long term health and wellbeing.
Nikki’s passion is contagious, and just talking to her, you can tell that she’s happiest talking about what she loves best – fitness. And I love her philosophy on life – that nature is our gym, and we should always do something healthy, even if it be for 10 minutes, per day.
nature is our gym
Walk the dog, do some push ups.. anything, so long as we remember to engage our bodies and do something healthy. And if you are the sort of person, who likes to includes some fitness aspect thrown in as part of your holiday, then Nikki is the person to talk to. She organizes bespoke holidays for folks who are seeking a different sort of holiday retreat. It combines choice accommodation with nature at your doorstep. Play hard, eat hard.. and workout hard!
Here’s something that we did with Nikki, whilst on holiday at Noosa. A quick run in the Noosa National Park, followed by Yoga, and stretching and winding down. It was practical, it was fun, and it was a great start to the day.
(b) Circuit Training at Pulse Pilates & Fitness on the Gold Coast
Pulse Pilates & Fitness was established in 1995 by professional dancer, presenter and international aerobics champion Dina Matty. Dina was trained in the authentic, original “True Pilates ” style in New York, under Romana Kryzanwoska (who in turn was trained by Joseph Pilates ), Sari Pace and Cynthia Lochard (a soloist in the New York City Ballet), and she is a real inspiration.
While on holiday on the Gold Coast, we decided to check out her center, and tried out the incredibly challenging but fun, Urban Athlete. This workout is a circuit training of sorts, crossing cardio, weights training, agility and core exercises, to give you a complete workout. After 1 hour of this, and your body will be screaming for a break. Really great for pain junkies like me. We loved the fact that Dina is there in person and tailors the program to suit the class for the day. The focus is on the client and their particular needs, to achieve their specific goals. It is a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and the focus is on overall health and wellbeing.
Another great class I thoroughly enjoyed was the Booty Barre. Booty Barre is a total body workout focused around the abdominals, it’s a balanced workout hitting every part of the body also with a strong emphasis on the gluteus and hamstrings. It’s a combination of strength, flexibility and cardiovascular conditioning. It looks a lot like ballet, but is tougher and in the end, you will end up with a ballerina’s physic if you persevere – long, sinewy limbs, muscle definition and centered, straight posture. Oh, and a great butt of course! It’s really the best complement to Urban Athlete if you ask me.
(c) Cross Fit Gyms Mooloolaba
CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. It’s challenging and you need to have a high level of fitness to take on this one.
3. Eat fresh produce – Mt Tamborine
Tamborine Mountain is the source of an enormous variety of horticultural produce such as avocados, kiwi fruit, rhubarb, vegetables and flowers. On our recent visit to the Hinterlands of the Gold Coast, we noticed just how amazingly rich the land was, and how abundant in lush produce.
Being only 1 hour’s drive from Brisbane and even less from the bustling Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain is a popular tourist destination. Many travel to Tamborine Mountain to see the extraordinary views of the Gold Coast, and the equally dramatic, but very different, views to the west.
Behind high hedges and dark green avocado trees, there is an aspect of Tamborine Mountain that few visitors see. The extraordinary fertility of the soil and favorable climate makes it possible to grow an amazing range of horticultural crops in this beautiful area of south east Queensland.
Tamborine Mountain’s horticulture has a long and interesting history. Originally, the main activity was timber getting. This is where the name Cedar Creek originates. As the land was cleared, it was taken up by dairy farmers. Later, there were periods when citrus growing was the major industry and large tracts of land were devoted to vegetable and flowers. Now, avocados are the main crop.
There are many large, specialist orchards, but much of the production comes from small farms or large residential blocks. About 70% of the land on Tamborine Mountain is designated for rural use. Horticultural activities give Tamborine Mountain its green, unspoiled character, which is one of the main reasons for the large numbers of tourists who visit here.
affordable and good!
delicious, larger than life, figs, at Skylodge
Homemade cereals with nuts, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, dried strawberries, and the oh so healthy gojiberries
Homemade Rhubarb Jam
4. Seek out Adventure – Skydive, Kayak, Paddle Board, Run & Biking
If your life ever lacks color, or you need some excitement, try some adventure sports on holiday. It might knock the wind out of you, but your life won’t be boring! It might just give you a stronger heart too.
Skydiving – not for the faint hearted. Plummet during free-fall at 200km/hour.. great exercise indeed.
Kayaking at the everglades not only provides an encounter with the wilderness, but you get a good workout under the sun and wind practicing your kayak strokes. Its an easy to moderate adventure where a family with young children can participate. The water levels are never too high. Even myself, a beginner, had learned to kayak in a short time.
Stand up Paddle boarding is like a cross between kayaking and surfing. It’s great cardio because you need to put some muscle in it, especially if there is a strong wind, coming in the opposite direction, if you what to move forward. It’s a great introduction to surfing, as you can practice your balancing technique on a board, before hitting the waves. It is also a great way to see the surrounding islands and town (riverside), without having to walk – just paddle around the area instead.
Seeing places on a bicycle is great. You cover longer distances and can stop anywhere you like without the need to pay for parking. At Mooloolaba, the Electric Bike Center is the place to go to, to get a cool, motorized bike for hire or even to buy one. And if biking is not enough, you can stop at one of the many outdoor “gym’s” to workout a bit, before continuing on your way.
When all else fails… RUN! There can never be a better time or place to run. And sometimes, you don’t need a single piece of equipment either, for this active sport. Just run barefoot on the beach, and enjoy the sun and wind on your face.
5. Meditation – Yoga, Holistic Therapy
At Skylodge on Mt Tamborine, you have the perfect backdrop for morning Yoga and meditation. Growing acceptance of evidence-based complementary and alternative therapies has been a catalyst for integrating yoga and meditation with other forms of exercise to achieve complete, holistic well being.
Many medical practitioners still consider yoga to be a complementary therapy alongside regular physical therapy and medicines, but an increasing number are beginning to recognize yoga’s value as a complete therapy in itself. Traditional yoga has long been used to manage high blood pressure, treat depression and anxiety and help maintain or regain strength after prolonged illness or injury.
For me, I like it because it helps me stretch out my hip flexors and hamstrings.. all the muscles I use for running
Talking to Alison J. Pryce of Fig Tree Cottage, fitness instructor and Lifestyle Coach, we found her insights into fitness and health inspiring. She has a very practical outlook on fitness, and totally at ease, and in the zone, be it leading an adrenaline fueled boxing class, or a calm yoga class. I find her a good role model, as I too like a little bit of both.
Foot reflexology is a simple, non-invasive method to help balance the body – at the Skylodge, Estelle administered the treatment to our tired feet for 1 hour, and it felt great after. Foot reflexology has been described as a natural therapy that requires the application of a specific type of pressure on particular areas of the feet. It is based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet which correspond to every part of the body. Reflexology serves to relax, improve circulation and promote a general feeling of wellness. We learned from Estelle that the technique she used was a soft touch technique – the art comes from Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist, who developed techniques and a body map of the foot and provides numerous benefits, particularly one of profound relaxation.
We were visiting the Sunshine Coast as part of #room753 & #thisisqueensland campaign, in conjunction with Tourism Queensland.