As winter comes to a close and the weather starts to warm up, it becomes more attractive to once again exercise outdoors. Popular places to exercise are around Canberra's three lakes - Lake Ginninderra, Lake Burley Griffin and Lake Tuggeranong - with running tracks located around the perimeter of each one. If you would like to add some weights or strength training into your workout however, Canberra also has some outdoor fitness stations dotted around the city to stop to do some push ups, push against some weights and build up some muscle in your workout. According to the ACT Government website, there are 20 parks and recreation areas with outdoor fitness stations, as well as more in some of Canberra's newly-built parks and recreation reserves.
Which is your favourite? Do you have one close to home that is on your running route? Or maybe you like the small one at your local park, as you have it all to yourself? Please leave a comment at the top of this article with your favourite and why. These are my personal favourites - why don't you grab your water bottle and check them out this weekend?
Exercise with a view, at Henry Rolland Park at Lake Burley Griffin
Henry Rolland Park by Lake Burley Griffin, is a modern recreation area with brand new outdoor fitness facilities. This is the most scenic outdoor fitness station in Canberra, with views across the water to the National Museum of Australia and up to Telstra Tower. It is the ideal place to stop when bike riding around the Western Loop of the Lake Burley Griffin Circuit. What I personally like about this fitness station is the range of interesting and challenging stations, as well as the clear instructions on how to use each piece of equipment. You can easily make up your own circuit and stay there for an hour - who needs a gym membership? See here for details.
Franklin Community Park and Moncrieff Community Recreation Park are two new recreation areas located in Gungahlin, north of the city. Both of these recreation parks in Franklin and Moncrieff offer state-of-the-art modern facilities, with outdoor fitness stations, playgrounds, sports facilities and Franklin also has an impressive skate bowl for the kids. Both of these new outdoor fitness stations have a wide variety of machines to target every area of the body, as well as instructions on how to do the exercises safely, without injury. Both have shade, so you can visit any time of the day in the hotter months.
Fitness station at Franklin Community Park - also take your basketball or soccer ball to use in the caged multi-use sports area
Crace Recreation Park is also located in Gungahlin, north of the city. This large recreation area opened in 2012 at a cost of $3.6 million, so the whole park feels new, modern and is an attraction in itself. As well as the impressive outdoor fitness station, there is also a grassy reserve for playing games of soccer, a playground for the kids, a full sized sports court, a half court with a tennis hitting wall, a cricket net and a skateboarding area with ramps.
This fitness station is one of my favourites, as it has such a wide range of stations to choose from that it feels like you are at the gym - except it's free! This can be an exercise destination in itself, if you follow the videos from the ACT Government website and make it your own personal circuit class. See here for videos on what you can do at each station.
The outdoor fitness station at Crace Recreation Park - better than the gym!
For people who don't enjoy going to the gym, these outdoor fitness stations are the ideal place to stop for an extra workout, when out for a walk in the sunshine. Each station has instructions and most of the time you will have the fitness stations to yourself, which gives you time to figure out how they work and get into a routine. Once you have done it once, it is then easy to stop there each time and make your walk a little more interesting and challenging.
Lastly, although not as modern, new and impressive as the fitness stations above, the outdoor fitness station near Tuggeranong Park is one that I stop at weekly, on my walk around Lake Tuggeranong. It is a good place to stop and work on the arms for a while, to give my weary legs a rest! These are my favourite fitness stations in Canberra, however there are many more that I haven't discovered. Please leave a comment at the top of this article with your top local picks. Where will you be stopping to break a sweat this weekend?
Simple, but effective - the outdoor fitness station near Tuggeranong Park, along Lake Tuggeranong