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Exercise with Benefits

Home > Melbourne > Free | Outdoor | Walks
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published August 19th 2021
You can multitask while exercising
The main benefit of exercise is to maintain a healthy body, but there are many other benefits if your exercise is a walk around your local streets.

Plenty of exercise here.

Gardeners. You will often see people tending their gardens. A polite hello will often expand to a conversation on gardens. On such encounters, I have learnt the names of many exotic plants and flowers. I have also learnt that many gardeners haven't a clue of the names of their flowers. "They were there when we shifted in," is the usual reason."

picket fence & roses.
A beneficial sight.

Gardens. These usually fit into three categories. The good, the bad and the ugly. Fortunately, most are in the first category and are a pleasure to admire a visual benefit. If you are a keen gardener, you can often get ideas to the benefit of your own garden.

Flamingo in a good garden.

Landscaped garden.
This is also a good garden.

This should inspire you.

Flowers. Perhaps the greatest benefit of a street walk is the ability to get close and personal to enjoy the beauty of flowers of every colour of the rainbow.

Leucadenron bush.
Leucadenron bush with the benefit of back lighting.

red roses

Your eyes will benefit by looking at these.

Walkers. Walkers, either alone or couples are usually too intent on getting their exercise to engage in any interruption to that goal. But a friendly exchange of smiles and a good morning/afternoon adds pleasure to a walk.

She's smiling.

Walkers with dogs. My favourite benefit of walks. People taking their canine friends for a walk are never in a hurry. My knowledge of dog breeds has increased significantly. If I see one I can't identify, the owner is always pleased to increase my knowledge of their furry friend.

Staghound, "Paddy

Most doggies like a pat and reciprocate with a lick or two, or three. I always ask owners before I pat them patting the dogs, I mean. Over my walks, I have been introduced to a Hungarian Vizla, several Murray River Retrievers, a Scottish Deerhound, a Staghound and many more common breeds.

Border collie & cavy.
Polo & Mischa.

Hungarian Vizla.
Hungarian vizla and Paddy again.

Other Animals. An occasional cat is seen and less occasionally is a horse. An added benefit.

white cat.
It's watching me.

So is this one.

Big blocks - big animals.

Birds. Apart from the ubiquitous magpies, crows and noisy miners some rarer types are often observed in trees, overhead wires, gardens, rooftops and fences. Some birds herald their appearance vocally while others a just quietly sitting in trees.

Their antics are a visual benefit.

corella flying.
A real benefit to catch a bird in flight.
corella and crow.
Corellas in the tree tops and a crow giving me an evil stare.

spotted dove & noisy miner.
Spotted dove and noisy miner.

My two favourite sightings were three Yellow-tailed cockatoos feeding in a tree and two juvenile Tawny frogmouths just staring down at me. Also, another beneficial sighting was a plover exercising their wings and a strutting chook.

Yellow tailed cockatoo
Black beauty.
tawny frogmouths
Juvenile tawny frogmouths - the benefits of looking up.
Strutting chook.

An exercising plover.

Crimson rosella & rainbow lorikeet.
The colourful benefit of looking into trees.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos and Corellas are often seen in numbers ground feeding as a Galahs.
sulphur crested cockatoos.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.

sulphur crested cockatoo.
A real poser.

Garden ornaments. Non flora garden items is an added benefit to many gardens. Many wheelbarrows get a new lease of life as mobile garden beds, a benefit to them if they have feelings. Gnomes, angels, buddhas and even meerkats inhabit many gardens, not to mention numerous birdbaths, a benefit to our flying friends.

You feel relaxed seeing these.

Gnome & cherub.
Gnome & cherub.

meerkats in garden

wheel barrow
This wheelbarrow needs some TLC.

Other benefits. Occasional a surprise benefit pops up on your walk. Street libraries and spoon villages are an added benefit for your education and amusement.

Street library.
These are for the benefit of book worms.

spoon village
The village people.

After a few street walks, you will be fit, knowledgeable with flowers, dogs and garden design, all beneficial.

You may think that stopping to enjoy all the benefits will reduce the exercise benefit of a walk. The solution is simple take a longer walk and increase your flora, fauna and gardening knowledge as well.
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Why? It is beneficial.
When: anytime
Where: Any street, road, avenue, drive or court.
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great article Neil. I think in these times of restricted movement it so helpful to get people thinking about walking in their own areas as something pleasant and rewarding; an opportunity to get to know and enjoy things we sometimes take for granted or don't see at all. Your street walk series certainly does that and this article ties it all together.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8906) 27 days ago
Great article, Neil, love your pictures and your humour. You must be super skinny and super fit with all the walking you've undertaken ... well done!
by Elaine (score: 3|8421) 27 days ago
I really like this article Neil.
by 23and (score: 1|28) 27 days ago
Very enjoyable reading your articles. Kiersten
by irwin (score: 0|9) 24 days ago
Ideal article and great presentation. congrats on Bronze Neil.
by T. A. Rose (score: 2|478) 27 days ago
Very enjoyable reading your articles. Kiersten
by irwin (score: 0|9) 24 days ago
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