Monday, 16 December 2019 16:36

Boost your health and happiness in Sydney’s Biggest Backyard these holidays

This article is featured with the kind permission of Western Sydney Parklands media.

We all know that staying active is key to maintaining our physical health, but recent research has revealed that the answer to boosting our overall wellbeing could be as simple as stepping outside and soaking up nature for at least 3 hours a week.

Western Sydney locals are being called upon to get back on track and enjoy the things that matter most – nature, friends, family, fresh air and fun. Recognising the benefits that being outdoors can bring – from improved heart health to better mental wellbeing, Western Sydney Parklands Trust is keen to connect its vibrant and diverse community and support healthier living by getting more people into Sydney’s Biggest Backyard and using their local park. And now with Western Sydney Parklands’ eight new, signposted tracks and trails, it has never been easier to get outside and commit to boosting our overall health and happiness.

Are you healthy?

Many of us consider ourselves as healthy, but the increased time we spend indoors, sitting at desks, and on our screens are all having negative repercussions on our health. Getting enough physical activity is essential to decreasing the risk of disease, but staggeringly nearly 70% of Australian adults and over 8 in 10 children aren’t meeting The Australian National Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines due to low levels of physical activity; essentially we’re not moving enough.

But it’s no longer just about how physically fit we are. Our busy, modern, lives are having an impact on our mental wellbeing too. So how can Australians get back on track and find their way to good physical and mental health?

The benefit of nature’s tracks and trails

Whether you prefer a burst of intense physical exercise or recreational walking, a daily dose of activity is essential to good overall health. But that doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours or money at the gym. Walking is one of the easiest ways for Australians to get their physical activity up and just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day has been proven to make a dramatic difference to our health. We just need to be more resourceful and learn how to use the green spaces around us – after all they’re free and come loaded with benefits.

Western Sydney Parklands is home to 60km of tracks and trails. Each path is free for public use and with various distances, surfaces and inclines, they are an ideal location for local walking groups of all ages and fitness levels to get together, socialise and work-out. And to help keep everyone on the right track, each Parklands’ trail now has a digital, downloadable map.

Not only is being outdoors a great way to boost our oxygen intake and up our step count, being surrounded by nature has huge positive mental benefits too – from increasing productivity, to helping daily stress slip away. And the good news doesn’t stop there. In the latest findings Harvard researchers have linked physical activity to reducing the odds of depression, making us happier in the short and long term.

Get to know Western Sydney Parklands’ Tracks & Trails:

Western Sydney Parklands stretches across Blacktown, Liverpool and Fairfield, with each area featuring a selection of walks, picnic shelters, BBQ stations and playgrounds. Every area comes with a downloadable, digital map to help you choose the track or trail that’s right for you:

Blacktown Area: In the northern part of the Parklands, the Blacktown Area is home to four new tracks and trails that pass through spectacular scenery. Spot local wildlife on the Bungarribee Trail (4.6km), Heart Crossing Loop (2.3km), Binyang Matta Trail (6.7km) and Binyang Matta Short Loop (1.9km) – all are graded easy and are in close proximity to the new Sydney Zoo and Raging Waters.

Fairfield Area (Lizard Log and The Dairy): Sitting right in the centre of the Parklands, Fairfield connects Lizard Log with The Dairy. Here you will find some of the longer and more challenging trails including Moonrise Loop (6.2km), Sugarloaf Loop (2km) and Pimelea Loop (1.6km). The Moonrise Lookout also offers one of the most spectacular lookouts of the Sydney City skyline and Calmsley Hill City Farm is a must see for the whole family.

Liverpool Area: Featuring the popular Plough and Harrow Loop (1.6km) and the longer Spotted Gums Trail (3km), the Liverpool Area at the southern end on the Parklands is a family favourite thanks to the near-by action-packed playground. TreeTops Adventure Park is also within the vicinity for those seeking an additional activity.

So next time you want to feel better and get a boost of endorphins, swap the sofa for a walk in Western Sydney Parklands. Need some thinking time? Use your local, green space. Want to be more productive? Get outside amongst nature in Sydney’s Biggest Backyard! Good health needs to become a priority and being in Western Sydney Parklands could be your healthy habit. If you’re not sure how to start, try these tips below:

Easy health hacks to improve your lifestyle:

  • Prioritise! Schedule a brisk walk as a non-negotiable commitment in your calendar
  • Think of getting active outdoors as saving in your “health bank” – put the effort in now, and reap the rewards later
  • Make it fun - take a friend or join a community walking group so you can walk and talk
  • Switch off! Put down your phone and appreciate the beauty of nature
  • Find ways to make walking in the park part of your daily routine
  • Set a goal! Try a new track or trail each week
Last modified on Tuesday, 17 December 2019 09:55