BLOG: New year new me - five top tips if you want to spend more time outdoors this year

8th January 2020

We’re already over one week into 2020 and some of us are feeling refreshed and ready to smash it this year. Some of us, however, need a bit of encouragement and motivation to start the year in a healthy, productive way.

New Years’ resolutions can either propel us into a year of achieving what we want and improving ourselves, but sometimes they can also put pressure on us to try and do too much. Whether you want to lose weight, get fit or kick old habits, it’s important to consider how you do it.

It may not be something you’ve thought about but one thing everyone can do which will help improve fitness, mental health and may help you discover something new is by spending a bit of time out of your usual four walls.

I know what you’re thinking: “in this weather?” or “But what about Netflix?” but trust me. It doesn’t have to be a long time, but any time spent in the fresh air can be beneficial. Here’s how you can make the first steps into a new New Year goal.

  1. Dress for the weather

I suppose this goes without saying in the UK but it really does make a difference. Whether it’s through your phone, smart speaker or by sticking your arm out the window; make sure you check the weather. It does make a massive difference if you layer up and wear an appropriate (waterproof) jacket and footwear.

You’re not going to enjoy a cheeky lunchtime walk if you’re ruining your brand new white trainers that you got for Christmas or if your clothes are going to be soaked for the rest of the day. If necessary, take an emergency umbrella – it can double up as a walking stick if you need.

  1. Use it as an escape

Don’t see going out as a chore. Use it to relax, unwind or do something you love. You might just enjoy taking a stroll or sitting and watching the world go by. You might enjoy running or cycling, improving your fitness and challenging yourself.

Here are some ideas for things to do to help you escape while you’re taking some time outdoors:

  • Read
  • Listen to music
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Write – get creative or let some thoughts out on paper
  • Do some art – there’s plenty of places to sit and take in the scenery
  • Do some photography – did you even go if you didn’t Instagram it?
  • Take part in a group session – whether that’s volunteering, fitness or a hobby, it’s easy to find something to get stuck in with
  1. Know where you’re going

I mean, you might want to explore, but it’s better to have a vague idea of where you’re heading if you decide to go outside. A quick google will often tell you where’s good to go and you can tailor it to what you want. Scenery? Distance? Quick walk around the park? If you know where you want to go or what you want out of your trip, you’ll definitely feel more motivated to do it. Think of how good you’ll feel afterwards!

 

  1. Make it a habit

The more you make time for yourself, the more you’ll get out of it. If you try and set aside the time at first and stick to it then it’ll become like second nature to you.

For example: every lunchtime go on a ten/fifteen minute walk. When you get back to the office think of how refreshed you feel, how many extra steps you’ve done or calories you’ve burned and how you feel before, during and after spending time outdoors.

Before you know it this will be a regular part of your routine and the impact it has over the course of the year will be brilliant.

DID YOU KNOW? If you walked for just fifteen minutes every day you’d burn around an extra 13,000 calories in a year.

Walking group in action (13)

  1. Don’t give up

We’ve all been there. We make these grand plans and think about all of the things we’re going to do in the New Year and by April it’s all forgotten. However, the feeling you get when you realise you’ve stuck at something and are feeling better for it is so worth reaching for.

There’ll be times when you can’t be bothered and yeah, you might stay indoors for a few days, weeks or even months, but make sure you get back to it. There’s no shame in starting again. What matters is that you’re trying.

With the tips above, you should be able to make spending a bit more time outdoors work for you. It’s always best not to make excuses but if you don’t like the cold or don’t always have the time, you can get back on it when you feel ready. I’m sure the best time to get outdoors is when the evenings are lighter and the weather is warmer, but the benefits of being in nature at any time are proven.

You might not have considered getting outdoors more but why not try it, eh?

We’ve got over 70 green spaces across the UK and there’s events and activities happening on them nearly every day. Have a look here to find the closest site to you and let us know how you get on.

Good luck!


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