Get outdoors and stay healthy

Sometimes we as Capetonions take our stunning environment for granted and it’s our visitors who remind us just how lucky we are to be surrounded by such natural beauty.

Whether it is rugged mountains, endless beaches, or lush forests that appeal to you – we have it all. Yet even so, not enough outdoor play, as well as too much fast food and TV are the order of the day for our South African kids according to the 2014 and soon to be launched 2016 Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) Report Card kids-report- card-2014.

While weekdays are probably too frenetic to include much outdoor family time – try to set up a beach walk or family hike on one of the beautiful SANParks trails ( each weekend. That said, we need to be very alert when exercising outdoors.

Whether you are an adult or a child, keep the following points top of mind: Kids should never exercise alone; either take a friend along or go with an adult.

If out running consider taking your dog along; or take them to a popular park for a game of Frisbee or catch. Never engage in conversations with strangers including while out exercising.

Never consider a ride home or refreshments from a stranger, no matter how tired you are. Plan your route beforehand and make sure someone at home knows where you will be and what time to expect you back.

Always wear the correct safety gear for your sport, such as a helmet if you are on your bike or reflective running gear when you go for a jog.

Avoid exercising in quiet areas, and always make sure that you exercise when it is light outside and vary your route if you are running.

Never exercise with earphones – you might not hear oncoming traffic, or someone following you.

Keep a charged cellphone on hand and keep pepper spray in your pocket.

Take along enough money to catch a bus or taxi in case of an emergency. Always report suspicious behaviour or strangers lurking around your school, church or community sports fields to a responsible adult.

“By instilling these safety tips in your children” (and following them as adults), “you can be assured that they will keep a level head in any eventuality,” says Mr Jade Hanning, ADT’s district manager for Cape Town South.

The MySchool Move for your Health 6km Fun Run/Walk incorporating the ADT/Woolworths Schools Challenge takes place on Sunday, October 30, as part of the Landmarks events at the Western Province Cricket Club in Claremont.

It is the perfect opportunity for the family to participate in a fun-filled event that not only brings home the message of healthy living and regular exercise, but offers the family a fun day in a safe environment. The Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) ( is providing a weekly training programme – so follow this and you’ll have a great day out.

Schools, remember there is great prize money up for grabs for those with the highest percentage participation.

With ADT and Woolworths providing over R30 000 worth of prize money for schools with the highest percentage of pupils finishing the 6km event in the ADT/Woolworths Schools Challenge – make sure your school is signed up.

Visit for all the details.

Kathleen McQuaide is from SSISA.