In the first COVID lockdown, which seems a lifetime ago (and for some of the young ones in our community, WAS a lifetime ago), we were a united and resilient community. We made sourdough bread, we set up home gymnasiums, we found books that had sat on shelves for years and we tried to download and figure out Zoom.

In the second lockdown, we transitioned seamlessly into home exercise, we experimented with baking, we finished some of those books we had started and we has “isobrations” and “isotinis” over Zoom.

In lockdown 7, we seem more jaded. Our resilience is at its limit. We’ve put our heads down intent on surviving the frustrations of home-schooling and working-from-home. Zoom only reminds us that we’d much rather meet friends for a coffee or a glass of wine. We’ve added a few COVID kilos and the sourdough starter looks like an abandoned science experiment in the back of the fridge.

Even though the gyms, pools and playgrounds are closed, we still need to take care of ourselves. It may be hard to overcome the inertia, but getting outside for some exercise in the bracing air of a Daylesford/Hepburn winter will do wonders for your physical and mental well being.

Years of research have demonstrated the health benefits of exercise – weight loss, reduced stress, improved immunity, improved cardiovascular health, longer life expectancy and improved mental health are just some of the benefits of regular exercise.

Our regular exercise venues may be closed, but your improvised home gym can be re-created. If you don’t have a set home exercise program, check out the Reclink Connect “Online & Interactive” exercise sessions which run almost all day weekdays. Sessions include gentle exercise, DanceFit, meditation, Bollywood, Pilates, Zumba, Yoga and Fitness. Session times may change each day but the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre publishes the daily schedule on their Facebook page. The Zoom link for sessions is

But you don’t need a home gym. We live in an area that provides ample opportunities for walking, running and cycling. All of us can find walking trails and bush tracks within our 5 km radius of home. The Wombat Post has published a number of self-guided walks around Daylesford and Hepburn. See these recent posts:

Recently, the Great Dividing Trail Association published a book of circuit walks near Daylesford. Some of these will be outside of your 5km radius and walks to the south of Daylesford have been affected by recent storm damage but other walk and ride circuits may be well suited to your needs and interests.

Grab  a water bottle and a map, put on a sturdy pair of walking shoes and get moving!