Canberra Centre Masthead

Kicking it old school

Ashleigh Went

Whether you’re looking to completely overhaul your approach to exercise, or just looking for a few fun additions to take the seriousness out of sweating, it’s time to look to our childhoods for fitness inspiration.

How far our exercises regimes have come since our youth. All you need to do is look around a gym to see that too many of us have swapped chasing butterflies and laughing in favour of chasing perfection and slogging away on the treadmill, bored and uninspired. Even the gym bunnies among us are prone to periods of stagnation and boredom.

Here are some fun childhood activities to throw into the mix and shake up your summer fitness.


BlocHaus. Via Facebook.

Nearly every adult has some memory of climbing trees with their siblings or friends as a child. While it was certainly easier back when we were small and sprightly, climbing remains a fun and effective way to get fit.

BlocHaus opened earlier this year and has taken the fitness community by storm. Gymnasts, powerlifters, runners and more have been taking to the sloped walls, studded with colourful handholds. No matter your build or ability, bouldering is an exciting, social way to get fit.

If you’re more brains than brawn, there’s even more reason to love it. t’s not just the physical elements of bouldering that make it so much fun—there’s a level of strategy required to tackle the walls.

There’s also a gym, Pilates classes, a children’s area and great coffee, meaning there really is something for everyone.

BlocHaus | Unit 2, Building 2, 1 Dairy Road, Fyshwick |


As an adult, gymnastics can seem a little intimating. How often do we jump, flip, spin or swing? As we spend more time at our desks and less time out playing, we become increasingly-limited in our mobility (think more Tin Man, less Elasti-Girl), balance and coordination.

However, gymnastics has never been more accessible for adults, with a huge range of programs and classes available at clubs across the city. One slightly different offering that’s just crossed our radar is Woden Valley Gymnastics Club Groove and Move program for the over 50s, whose participants returned from competing on the world stage in Norway.

Gymnastics is a fabulous way to get fit and flexible whether you’re seven, 17 or 70!

Woden Valley Gymnastics Club | 27 Mulley Street, Holder |


Urban Rec Australia is an organisation started in Sydney by Madeleine Wilkie, and recently launched in Canberra. While they offer a whole range of fun social sports, we’re loving Urban Rec’s ‘Return to Recess’ offering, which focuses on playing games from primary and high school.

Every week is different, but the sessions centre on fitness through play—think handball, carrying sandbags, and adventure racing.

If you’re looking for an activity that’s more social than serious, this could be your jam—and with sessions costing just $12.50, you can score a workout for little more than the cost of a lunch order.

Return to Recess Canberra | Merici College, Wise Street, Braddon |


Canberra is blessed with a plethora of watering holes where you can dip your toes into the water and cool off during long, hot summer days. Being outside by the water encourages your inner child— especially when you add a game of beach volleyball or soccer into the mix.

Some of our favourites include Uriarra Crossing, Kambah Pool, and Casuarina Sands.

Alternatively, why not visit your local pool? Take a beach ball, a lilo or some pool noodles and simply play in the water—you’ll be having so much fun you’ll barely realise you’re burning calories at the same time.


Kite flying is the ultimate throwback to your childhood. Not only will you spend time sprinting to get your kite airborne, but the time you spend standing and manoeuvring the kite is time far better spent outside than sedentary on the couch.

This is definitely an activity that’s great for families. Children love the novelty of kite flying. If you’re blessed with a young artist, why not get crafty and build your own kite? You can even hang it up in your home to remind you of afternoons spent active together as a family.

And one of the best spots to fly? The National Arboretum.


A Frisbee that is—not a tantrum. You don’t need to join a league to have a play with a Frisbee. They’re cheap, portable and you only need two people. The further you throw, the more time you’ll spend running, so you can scale the game to your fitness level.

That beings said, Ultimate Frisbee is an incredibly fun social sport. There are leagues on both sides of the lake. With throwing, sprinting and endurance, it’s great for improving your coordination and fitness.

Above all, you’ll be enjoying yourself – and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Canberra Ultimate | Locations across Canberra |

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Summer for Summer 2017/18, available for free while stocks last. Find out more about Magazine here.


Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author