While we await the return of holidays in 2021, the dark days of winter can seem long and drawn out. But, there's no need to worry, because there are lots of healthy ways to pass the time and keep the mind and body active. Whether you're planning your next trip away, a staycation at one of our holiday parks, or just when you can see family once more, here are some reasons why passing the day with with a good walk and a blast of fresh air could make time pass a little faster...
Boost Your Mood
Now more than ever, we could do with a boost in our mood and some time in the outdoors is a perfect way to achieve it. According to Walking For Health, physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed. In older people, staying active can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Walking For Health offer support for anyone who wants to walk, especially those who are looking for short simple walks for health.
Awaken Your Creativity
Science has confirmed that walking does indeed awaken creative ability. Researchers at Stanford University found that walking boosts creative output by 60%. Inventors have spoken about walking for creativity and books have been written on the subject. So if you're in need of of inspiration, whether it's for work or home, take a walk and spend some time in nature.
Support Your Four Legged Friend!
Any dog owner will know that a happy dog is a tired dog! A long walk, full of adventure will prevent them staring between you, their lead and the door for hours on end! When you both come strolling through the door, muddy and wet, you will feel a sense of achievement and you'll be ready for a well earned rest. Researchers have found that dog walking helps individuals reach their overall exercise targets, so they are a useful tool as well as a faithful friend!
Get Social and Alleviate Loneliness
There are indeed strict rules about social interaction and who we can and cannot meet outdoors at the moment, but that doesn't prevent you from saying hello to your fellow walkers from a distance. Given that most people are using walking as their only form of exercise currently, the chances are that you'll meet plenty of people, whether you're walking in a town, a village, round a reservoir or country park. Stick to the rules, but say hello! Bear in mind anyone walking on their own may be living alone too, so do make time to help alleviate any loneliness or isolation they may be feeling.
Explore The Local Area
We are all guilty of overlooking the beauty on our doorstep, so take this opportunity to learn about your local area. Are there walks you didn't know about? History you were unaware of? Try Facebook for suggestions of local walks and local walking groups for that all important insider knowledge! When current travel restrictions are eased you may choose to holiday closer to home and enjoy a staycation to discover the beauty on your doorstep!
Immerse Yourself In Nature
The Japanese practice of forest bathing is an ancient relaxation practice, focussing on being calm and quiet among trees, observing the nature around you while breathing deeply. It is an excellent form of de-stressing and boosting health and wellbeing. If you have a forest local to you, take a look at the Forestry Commission tips for forest bathing, you may have found your next healthy hobby!
Improve Your Sleep
Our eyes need enough natural light to regulate our internal clock and maintain our regular sleep cycle. Spending time in the great outdoors can help relieve stress and reduce negative thoughts that keep us up at night. Combine this with exercise outdoors, and you have the perfect combination for a peaceful night of sleep.