Published on 05 January 2023

Want to be fit and healthy in 2023?

The first week of 2023 is almost over and many of us are still clinging to our new year’s resolutions.

One of the most popular resolutions is to exercise more, but research shows more than half of us won’t stick to our new year’s resolutions.

Below are some great, local ways—many of them free—to help you commit to being more active in 2023, and ‘Find Your 30’ minutes per day of moderate-to-intense physical activity, as recommended under Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.

You might even make some lifelong friends or pick up a medal or two in the process!

Stay motivated with free outdoor group fitness classes

OUTFIT Onkaparinga, Healthy Active Lifestyle Onkaparinga’s (HALO) free entry-level group outdoor fitness classes, resumes on Monday 30 January with weekly classes at Christies Beach, Christie Downs, Moana, Flagstaff Hill and Maslin Beach.

OUTFIT pairs outdoor fitness equipment with a personal trainer in a welcoming group environment.

  • Monday 6pm – Niipu-niipu Wama, Morton Road, Christie Downs
  • Tuesday 9:30am – Nashwauk Crescent, Moana
  • Wednesday 6pm – Rotary Park, Christies Beach
  • Thursday 9:30am – Minkarra Park, Manning Road, Flagstaff Hill
  • Friday 9.30am – Frank Hilton Reserve, Gulf Parade, Maslin Beach

Head to the OUTFIT webpage for more information and to book.

Join a local sporting team

One of the best ways to stay healthy and active is to join local sporting team – or start your own social team. With four council-owned recreation centres (Aldinga, Hub, Noarlunga and Seaford) and a directory of more than 40 local sports and recreation clubs, you really are spoilt for choice.

There's also something for everyone, including modified sport such as walking football. Steve Trickey, whose walking football group plays weekly at Noarlunga Recreation Centre, knows the benefits of organised sport well.

The sessions are run as part of Walking Football Adelaide, a not-for-profit group with the aim of playing football in a socially inclusive way. Rules are modified to remove running, physical contact and encourage team play.

“We established the Noarlunga group in early 2022 as an informal, social format, and our players are predominantly over 50,” says Steve.

“We provide the facilities and manage team selection on the day to ensure a fair spread of skill and ability. That is, players don’t need to form their own team in order to participate.

“The Noarlunga Recreation Centre provides a great all-weather venue for us, meaning we run all year, and the courts allow us to adjust size to suit the numbers we have each week. Its location is central for southern suburbs and accessible by public transport.”

Steve says the benefits for the players involved are twofold.

“Offering a team-based activity allows them to get out of the house and socialise at the same time,” he says.

“Players report numerous physical benefits: increased fitness, stamina and mobility; and decreased BMI, weight, blood pressure and blood sugars.

“The social aspect also boosts mental health as players learn they can still participate in sport without feeling judged but rather encouraged and supported.

“After each session, the recreation centre puts on tea and coffee and we take it in turns to bring biscuits. Arguably, this is the highlight of the session. Players enjoy this format so much they come along to watch and support even if they’re injured.

“Despite what people initially think, walking football is a great workout. It’s open to anyone regardless of age, gender or ability. We have many who have never played before or who thought their playing days were over. There’s no judgement, just fun.”

Although the group plays socially, a few players recently wanted to test their skills competitively, so they sent three teams to the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast in November 2022, with the 60+ sides winning a gold and silver medal, and the 50+ side also taking out a silver—proof you’re never too old to reach your fitness goals!

Interested players can contact Steve via email or message the Walking Football South Australia Facebook group.

Beat the heat at the aquatic centre

The classic hot days of summer took a little longer to arrive in 2022–23, but the past few weeks have seen a return of temps in the high 30s—perfect weather for getting in the pool!

The Noarlunga Aquatic Centre offers aqua aerobics classes, which use water resistance to improve your flexibility and strength without putting too much strain on your joints, or you can dust off the goggles and simply do some laps at your own pace (followed by a therapeutic spa or sauna).

The aquatic centre gym offers a selection of cardio, strength and functional training equipment for all ages and abilities. Join the gym on a membership and its trainers can provide you with a personalised program to help you reach your fitness goals.  

A range of group fitness classes is available that are accessible to a wide variety of ages and all fitness levels, including a specialised 50+ group fitness timetable, boxing, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), Pilates, core and balance, and yoga.

Beat your personal best with a weekly parkrun

parkrun is a free weekly five-kilometre timed community group run or walk and it’s a global phenomenon, reaching 100,000 events worldwide across more than 20 countries last year as it celebrated its 18th birthday.

In Onkaparinga, you can see what the fuss is about, get your body moving and come together with your community at five stunning, world class parkrun locations—Aldinga Beach, Christies Beach, McLaren Vale, Moana and Reynella East. The volunteer-coordinated, Saturday morning (8am) event is suitable for all ages and abilities.

If 5km sounds too much you can build up slowly in your own time, or take your time walking, and increase your pace as you feel ready.  

All you need to do is register in advance by 6pm on the Friday before your first event, print off you barcode (you only need to do this once) and then set your alarm to enjoy the community spirit of parkrun. More details at council’s website.

Walk the talk

Walking is one of the simplest ways to get moving, and it can help you shed weight; reduce the risk of disease, stroke and diabetes; and improve your mental health.

If you need some more motivation to get walking, join a free Heart Foundation Walking group near you to assist you to reduce stress, be more alert, have a healthier body and build strong relationships.

The free community initiative uses local volunteer walk organisers to lead small groups of people on walks in their local area, with walks scheduled regularly and conducted in a fun, supportive and social atmosphere.

The City of Onkaparinga is also blessed with some of the state’s most beautiful natural landscapes, accessible by a significant network of recreational trails. Why not tick off a few new trails in 2023 and get fit while you explore your own backyard?


For more ideas on local programs and physical activity opportunities in 2023, visit HALO's website and sign up for its email newsletter.

City of Onkaparinga's HALO program assists the community to take part in sport and recreation and to lead healthy lifestyles. Each year HALO enables over 20,000 activations (incidents of physical activity) in sport and active recreation.

A smiling woman in black workout gear uses outdoor fitness equipment while a polo-shirted personal trainer looks on.