ACT News


Families swarm Lake Burley Griffin to shake off post-Christmas slump

For Canberra families shaking off the post-Christmas slump, this week's sunshine delivered them a different reason to sport elasticised pants.

Well-worn and newly minted fitness fanatics flocked to Lake Burley Griffin on Boxing Day to cycle and stroll their way into the new year.

Sally Clark spent a sunny day in the saddle, with her eight-year-old son Max Millgate pedalling alongside her.

"Kids these days have too much screen time," she said. "They're becoming so sedentary. This one in particular loves his screen time. He wanted an Xbox for Christmas and was a bit sad when he got a table tennis table instead."

But the Hughes mother, who is also a senior physiologist with the Australian Institute of Sport, acknowledged it was difficult for children to get their required levels of exercise when their parents were busy.

"We're probably no better in terms of not allowing them much freedom – it's too risky these days. [Fitness activities] are more planned now," she said.


While Max remained non-committal on the merits of table tennis compared to an Xbox, he was pretty sold on the benefits of getting out and being active.

"I get to spend time with my mum," he said.

Janine Clark, of Chapman, was out pounding the pavement with her sons and husband after an exceptionally "big Christmas".

Her son Brendan said it wasn't the extra booze that prompted him to drag his family out for a walk but the mountains of food.

Mrs Clark said: "I think while you've got the time it's important to do it. You're not working, you're not doing all of the things you'd normally do. 

"Canberra provides a lot of opportunity [to get out and be active] with the lake. We'll be doing more of it in the new year."

Nadia Apps and her daughters Lilyjana, 1, and Aaliyah, 3, were off to play at Boundless with some friends, via a leisurely stroll around the lake.

"They go crazy at home," the Page mother said.

'We walk the dogs, go to different parks. We try to do it often but we're definitely feeling the extra food after Christmas and are trying to work it off.

"[Lilyjana] was a real screamer when she was born and a friend said if she's going to whinge, she may as well be outside doing it. It tires them out, they sleep better. They get restless without a bit of vitamin D."