The benefits of exercise are many. Our bodies were built to move. Exercise can improve your health, fight disease and help you hone life skills like persistence, confidence and motivation. Exercise functions to fill the gap between our decreased daily physical activity and our body’s natural need to move in order to remain fit and healthy.
But why pump iron in a sweaty gym, when you can do your fitness training in a park, surrounded by fresh air and greenery?
Parks make great fitness training venues. More and more fitness trainers are taking their clients into the great outdoors for classes and specialised training. Tai Chi is best experienced in calm natural surroundings. Yoga in the Park gives you space to spread out as you stretch.
Then there is hardcore fitness training. Trail running is popular in the Perth area with the Perth Trail Series holding organised events throughout the year, as well as training.
And then the ultimate fitness training: many a person has used Jacob’s ladder in Kings Park to train for a Mt Everest Basecamp expedition. Recently, in John Forrest National Park, we came across Luc and Bronwyn on roller bladed pulling tyres in training for an Antarctic expedition where they will need to ski and pull toboggans across the ice shelf. Now that’s ultimate fitness training!
Perth’s best park workout spots
Reabold Hill, Bold Park
If you’re into workouts on an incline, you’ve got to give Reabold Hill a go. Located in City Beach beside Perry Lakes, the reward for mastering this winding uphill track is epic views across Perth. Nearby, the Zamia Trail offers impressive inner-city views and the hilly 5km loop treats you to some of Perth’s best native plants and wildflowers.
For a killer stepping session, Jacob’s Ladder has got to be one of the best in Perth. But if you want to avoid the crowds, the Kokoda Trail is just as picturesque and includes a 150-step climb. There are also benches which you can stop at halfway up and use for dips and recovery.
Walyunga National Park
Echidna Trail is an 11-kilometre loop trail which is great for running. It initially follows the Avon River before it ascends steeply to the western side of the river. It passes through marri and wandoo woodland, currently with a thick understorey of regrowth after a fire, before offering good views of the Avon Valley from Woodsome Hill.
Lake Monger Reserve
For a nice, flat walk or run with the most stunning lake views, head over to Lake Monger, a peaceful urban wetland nestled between the suburbs of Leederville, Wembley and Glendalough. It’s a 3.3km round trip and the path is marked so you know how far you’ve gone. You’ll also find some basic workout stations and a hill if you’re wanting to up the ante with some hill sprints.
Abbott Park, Scarborough
Tucked away in Scarborough is the Joyce Street staircase, a great alternative to Jacob’s Ladder that’ll have your heart pounding just as much. The best part about this place? When you’re done on the stairs, head five minutes down the road and cool off at the beach – bliss.
So trade that gym membership for a park pass and enjoy the benefits of outdoor fitness training.
Images: Jacob’s Ladder (credit: Setiawan & Dewi)
Antarctic Training (credit: L-A Shibish)
Article Sources: The West Australian, John Hughes; LoveToKnow Corp, Laura Williams.