Get outdoors

By Kathryn Anderson

Wiggle your hips
If you prefer sensible shoes to the wheeled variety, then the Salsa Foundation’s intro classes might be more up your alley! As a dance company which is “dedicated to teaching you how to love dancing” the Salsa Foundation has opened its doors to the open air from November to right through to March.
Jai Villagonzalo, co-founder and teacher at the foundation, describes their passion for opening the studio where the trend of most Salsa schools is to produce only performers and competition dancers.  Together with Angela Fayth, current Australian Salsa champion, the studio at 600 Little Collins St was then born out of a passion to bring the world of Salsa dancing to everyday people.
These free lessons will be held in St Paul’s Court or Flinders St Amphitheatre fortnightly from 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm on Fridays. No experience is necessary and you can either come as a group or on your own. You’ll be in expert hands with Angela recently coming fourth in the world championships in Columbia.  For more information, contact info@thesalsafoundation.com.au

Open water swimming
With the 34th Lorne Pier to Pub coming up in January, many of us will be thinking of starting some open water miles. As most of us city workers are confined to pool miles during the winter months, it’s important to take the time to consider how to prepare your body before jumping in the ocean:
The temperature: consider the difference between our indoor city pools and the Antarctic current of Victoria’s beaches.  Be well aware of the risk of hypothermia and make sure you wear a wetsuit until you acclimatise. The Pier to Pub in fact, recommend that all entrants under 14-years-old wear one for the event.
The endurance: unlike in the open water, when swimming in a pool, you’re always a minimum of 25 metres away from a fixed surface. Therefore, bear that in mind when making your choice of how far to swim.
The technique: the unpredictable nature of the ocean means we need to extra energy and propulsion to deal with currents. Train your body for maximum efficiency in the water by training muscle groups such as abs, gluts and hamstrings on land. See http://vivaphysiotherapy.com/preventing-swimming-injuries/ for more info.
* Thanks to Tina from the Lorne Surf Lifesaving Club and Dr Kevin Moriarty (Pier to Pub medical expert) for their advice.

Skate, scoot or ride
We’ve all walked past it 100 times on the way to the Tan or the MCG, but have you ever thought about donning some wheels and having a go at the Riverslide Skate Park? Well the opportunity is there for those brave enough – Riverslide is holding daily skateboard, BMX and scooter lessons during the school holidays for as little as $17.50 per hour.
The program’s primary participants are kids aged 6-12 but the manager Ryan Harbottle tells me they’ve had kids as young as 2 or 4 involved and even a couple in their 50s joining in.  Many of us would generally see skateboarding as a lifestyle activity for teenagers, but don’t forget that you can also improve your flexibility, balance, co-ordination, muscle strength and endurance all while burning a high number of calories!
Riverslide is also holding its annual “Go Skateboarding Australia Day Event” this January 26 which is a free event including cash prizes for the best trick, so you still have eight weeks to get practising and get involved! See skatepark.ymca.org.au for further details.

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