ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 New Zealand Activities That Can Inspire a Healthy Lifestyle

Updated on May 24, 2018
Hiking is known for its positive effects on physical and mental wellbeing
Hiking is known for its positive effects on physical and mental wellbeing | Source

Few would argue with New Zealand’s reputation as a healthy and prosperous nation. A 2015 study of 20 nations ranked New Zealand second in its life span category; and only last November, NZ topped the Legatum Prosperity Index, a report which measures national performance in health, as well as several other key social indicators such as economic environment and education.

However, a look at the nation’s obesity statistics suggests that our reputation for good health could very likely run into trouble in years to come. Obesity in New Zealand has been steadily increasing in recent years. As reported by the Ministry of Health, 26.5% of adults had a BMI of 30 or above in 2006/7. By 2011/2, this figure had risen to 28.6%. By last year (2015/6) it had risen to 31.6%. In addition, a further 35% of adults in 2015/6 were in the overweight category.

The connection between obesity and serious chronic health issues is well established. Those who are overweight or obese at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and several other conditions.

Of course, the trend is a global one. Countries around the world are seeing obesity rates increasing, and raising awareness of this issue is going to be key in the coming years to tackling this epidemic before it starts. That means more educating the public, not only on diet and nutrition, but also on the benefits of undertaking physical activity on a regular basis.

While the gym is a great way to keep in shape and stay healthy, it can become familiar very quickly. Making time to engage in more adventurous health and fitness exercises every now and again can shake up our routine, and help to make staying well more enjoyable.

Luckily for New Zealanders, ours is a country with a host of health-boosting activities on its doorstep. Here are just a handful of NZ signature activities we can participate in to help us stay healthy:


Surely there’s no better place to start than with the nation’s favourite sport. Rugby utilises a combination of cardiovascular and strength exercises, contributing to better circulation and muscle health. And being the home of the best national team in the world, neither men nor women will have to look far in NZ for a local team to join.

While the full contact nature of it may not appeal to everyone, there are other versions, such as touch rugby, which will still give you a decent workout but won’t cause as many bruises.


It may seem like a serene and leisurely activity on TV commercials, but in reality sailing can be quite physically taxing. According to the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities put together by researchers at Arizona state University, sailing burns as many calories per minute as brisk walking. It also requires strength, agility and mental alertness; making it a good workout for anyone looking to widen their horizons.

Glacier Skiing

One of the benefits of NZ living is that if that if summer sports like sailing aren’t your preference, you can try a winter sport instead without even having to get on a plane. Glacier skiing is more physically demanding than sailing, burning between two and three times more calories per minute depending on the level of effort you put in. It is also a great way to develop leg and lower body strength.

Natural Mud Pools

Staying well isn’t all about exercise. Rotorua boasts a wealth of geothermal and mud pools. While some do charge an entry fee, you can still access several free of charge. Hydrotherapies such as these have been employed for several years to help improve skin health, ease joint and tissue inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis, and treat several other conditions.

Hill walking

If there’s one thing NZ isn’t short of, it’s scenery. Studies have shown that hill walking, as well as providing a thorough cardiovascular workout, is great for our mental wellbeing too. Escaping to the country to go rambling helps to put some distance between us and our daily routine and reduces stress levels, and when we do it with friends it can contribute towards better social bonds.

New Zealand as seen from above

Share your experience

How often do you exercise outdoors?

See results
Rugby is one of the top sports for muscle endurance and cardio vascular workouts
Rugby is one of the top sports for muscle endurance and cardio vascular workouts | Source
Sailing and water activities improve coordination and, stability and core strength
Sailing and water activities improve coordination and, stability and core strength | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)