How to capitalise on your daily hour of exercise, because we all need the fresh air
21.08.2020

How to capitalise on your daily hour of exercise, because we all need the fresh air

Image taken by Diliff and straightened by Ian Fieggen
Words by Eva Marchingo

Make the most of your allocated outside time.

Stage four lockdown has changed the way we live dramatically. For most of us, it means our daily exercise has been obstructed in nature and/or duration. Either way, it’s never been more important to make the most of our one hour of allotted exercise time, for general wellbeing and mental health.

The new rules say that you can exercise with one other person within five kilometres from your home for up to 60 minutes per day. Join us as we spotlight some of the spots in your council area that are well worth a peruse.

Yarra

On the banks of the Yarra River and wetlands lies Alphington Park. The park plays host to a range of different interests, with conditions to suit bike riders, dog walkers and more.

For those who miss bushwalking, Coate Park will quench your thirst. Resembling a bush reserve, the park boasts native and exotic trees, which both you and your dog can enjoy during a relaxing walkthrough.

Dame Nellie Melba Memorial Park is quite a mouthful, and you’re guaranteed to lose your breath at the ornamental garden beds, specimen trees, and relaxing atmosphere. You can bring your furry friend, but make sure to pay attention to the leash rules.

Moreland

There’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of weaving around rogue pedestrians who have stopped to bird-watch on the Merri Creek Trail. The shared path means everyone can enjoy the rich indigenous vegetation and wildlife.

From one trail to another, find the Moreland Totem Bike Counter along the Capital City Trail near Nicholson St and Park Street, where you can see the number of bikes that have travelled along the path.

Sydney Road is a fond spot for anyone in Moreland; maybe it’s where you’ve always bought your bread and baklava, or where you always end up on a night out. Take a walk along your favourite part of the road and bask in your fond memories.

Coburg Lake Reserve

Darebin

If expansive bushlands and habitat restoration efforts are what tickles your fancy, then the Darebin Parklands are the perfect place to explore. Bring your dog (and even cat), as pets are generally allowed, although pay attention to the signs.

Pedal up St Georges Road and take a pit stop at the Northcote Koori Mural. The large-scale renderings of vibrant historical artworks are representations of Victoria’s Indigenous culture and history.

If you’re looking for a more urban walk, trek up and down Ruckers Hill reminiscing on the good times had along High Street pre-pandemic. Even though you can’t hit up a gig at Northcote Social Club or the Wesley Anne, or potter around in the various local stores, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the memories.

Banyule

It’s not hard to find a beautiful reserve in Banyule Council, but Alma Brown Reserve is certainly a cut above the rest. Your furry friends won’t be able to join you in your exploration, but fret not as the reserve is home to a range of fauna including kangaroos and possums.

A catch-all when it comes to recreation, Chelsworth Park has everything you need for your daily hour of exercise. Sporting fields and a shared walking and cycling path are surrounded native red gums and plenty of wildlife including turtles and an array of birds.

Wilson Reserve boasts 21.5 hectares of wetlands, native woodlands, and aquatic vegetation. Located along the Yarra Valley floodplain, you’ll find over 121 species of native birds and nine ecological vegetation classes.

Maribyrnong

Footscray Park is an iconic part of Maribyrnong, with its extensive garden beds and wide-open spaces. The beautiful views of Melbourne’s skyline are even more beautiful at sunset, just make sure you’re back home by the 8pm curfew.

Whether you’re enjoying a walk or riding your bike, the Maribyrnong River Trail is your new friend. Of course, you’ll be able to complete – at the absolute most – a fifth of the 25km trail during lockdown, but that doesn’t mean it won’t satisfy.

At Beaton Reserve in Yarraville, you’ll find open spaces with heaps of exercise opportunities including basketball rings. With so much space, the limit to your activities is your imagination (and lockdown rules too, of course).

Moonee Valley

Keeping 1.5 metres apart is easy at Aberfeldie Park in Essendon, with two ovals at your disposal. You will also find yourself surrounded by beautiful native trees and a bunch of doggos, as this is a dog-friendly park too.

Lincoln Park (but not the one you’re thinking of) is a great spot to get some fresh air. There’s ample room to have a kick of the footy or go for a satisfying run, and thanks to recent works the park is beginning to look quite beautiful as well.

A hidden treasure of Moonee Valley, Five Mile Creek Reserve is the most interesting place you’ll find during lockdown. Mostly undisturbed, you’ll feel like you’re going on an adventure surrounded by beautiful trees and shrubbery.

 

Five Mile Creek

Boroondara

If you live in the council of Boroondara that encompasses suburbs such as Hawthorn, Camberwell and Balwyn, then you’ve got the Yarra River at your doorstep – take to the Yarra Trail for a blissful 60 minutes of exercise.

Outside of that, you’ve got the Boroondara Park that’s fit for a wander. This park will link you with a number of different suburbs throughout the council by way of its meandering walking paths so the adventure truly awaits.

If you end up wandering astray from the Yarra River then check out the Koonung Creek Reserve – a sweet spot that has plenty of open parkland and room to move.

Port Phillip

Walking through the St Kilda Botanical Gardens is a nourishing experience, allowing you to enjoy some mindful exercise in a beautiful location. It’s accessible, open to dogs, and features a bunch of hidden gems.

You may not immediately think to head to the Gasworks Arts Park for exercise, but think again. You can go for a run along great paths while enjoying the shaded environment, and better yet you can bring your dog (off-leash) too.

As the days begin to warm up, the beach might be calling your name. The newly-refurbished Sandridge Beach is the perfect place for you and your dog to get your daily hour of outside time.

Stonnington

Exercise among 19th-century decorative features at Victoria Gardens in Prahran. Dog-walkers will particularly enjoy the sunken garden, where their puppers can roam leash-free.

In the Glen Iris Wetlands, you’ll find three separate bodies of water linked by bluestone channels, a beautiful array of bird life and paved walking paths to enjoy both during your daily walk.

If you’re more interested in an urban park than nature, Windsor Siding is for you. While certain features are closed at the moment, you can still enjoy street art and utilise a bunch of areas for exercise.

Consider your daily-allocated exercise time an opportunity to explore the beautiful and quiet places near home. Ensure that you’re social distancing throughout the entirety of your exercise and that you’re wearing a mask if you’re walking. 

Otherwise, stay home and stay safe.

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