National get outside day – 29.9.19
Tomorrow is national Get Outside day. The first one the UK has had and it is being organised by the Ordinance Survey. Their aim is to encourage over 1 million people to get outside and be active. We may be preaching to a largely already converted clan of campers and adventure enthusiasts here but there are still many of us who like to only participate in fair weather adventures.
The Ordinance Surveys get outside campaign is led by a picture of a child, in a yellow waterproof, asking “Will you go out with me?”. Not a tag line that I would have chosen perhaps… but its sentiment of asking someone to come and join you in your outdoor time is something that even us seasoned adventurers can get behind.
It doesn’t matter whether you are going camping for the weekend, taking a hike up Mount Snowdon or a gentle stroll at a local park. There may be someone you know that really wants to start being more outdoorsy – if that’s a word – but don’t know where to begin. By inviting someone to join you, you could be the catalyst in helping someone to get more active, to help boost their confidence and to start their outdoors journey.
Activities for everyone!
The Get Outside campaign aims to get people moving in many ways and events are being held across the country to encourage this. From organised walks, runs, water sports and bike rides, you can find an event near you or you can do something on your own. If you log on to their website you will be able to see all the information they have put up for you, from beginners guides, information on mini adventures to have in London, Dog friendly parks and 50 outdoor activities you could try.
“A good walk always ends at a pub” – My mother!
We have had so many great outdoor adventures, our most entertaining one was when we got lapped by two pugs when climbing the Sugar Loaf in the Brecon Beacons. Those little dogs managed to get up and half way back down when we were still huffing and puffing our way up! It really doesn’t matter what your fitness level is – its about taking those first steps. We have kayaked in Lake Bala, cycled in Pembrey, walked through fields of lavendar, and visited lots of castles across the UK with our Cadw passes.
Being outside has so many health benefits. Did you know that sitting outdoors for 20 minutes in the sunshine can give you an energy boost equivalent to a cup of coffee? Being outside allows you to breath cleaner air, absorb vitamin D, lowers blood pressure, boosts mental health and releases endorphins making you feel energised, motivated and creating a healthier immune system.
In a shocking video on the GetOutdoors website, we meet Kayleigh, a young child. The video tells us that her generation could for the first time, have a lower life expectancy than the one before her. Citing blood pressure and diabetes as major concerns to her generation, the video also shows adults that wish they had more time, didn’t feel lonely or could quiet their mind.
If not for ourselves then for our next generations, we need to set the examples of leading a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Ways you can become more active
If the thought of scheduled exercise brings you out in hives, why not find a local arboretum and take some time to just spot those colours changing as we come into Autumn. Take your camera and just play around with taking some pictures you will walk further that you think!
Volunteer as a dog walker or to walk for charity
If walking on your own feels a little uncomfortable, why not walk a friends dog OR dog walk for charity? Volunteer at a local rescue centre and assist with exercising the dogs. They love the company and stroking pets also has added scientifically proved benefits for your health.
Join a charity walk such as Cancer Research or Alzheimer’s – Sometimes having a reason or a target to hit can be a real motivator, especially where money and keep up appearances is concerned. once you have booked your place and told everyone you are doing this event it is harder to let yourself back out of it!
Make small Changes to your daily routine
You don’t have to spend a fortune on running shoes and lycra. In your lunch break, go for a short walk. It is great to get out of a stuffy office and just take 20 minutes to change the air and your location. A short walk around the block at lunch or look at getting off of the bus a stop earlier to increase your daily exercise just a little will have benefits.
Investigate your garden
From building a fort, making a fairy house, planting and tending to vegetables or stargazing, your garden can allow you lots of outdoor time. It doesn’t have to be a large garden, or one with grass, a balcony will do. Stand outside barefoot – if safe to do so – and connect with the earth. Take your first drink outside and smell the morning air. Plan your day in a calm environment and take a moment to look at the beauty around you. You may not like spiders but you can still marvel at a dew covered web! Perhaps take your evening hot chocolate outside and try to learn the constellations of the stars.
Book yourself on an outdoor course
You don’t need to paint your face and book on to a bear grills survival course if you don’t want to. There are plenty of other outdoor courses you can go on. We booked ourselves onto a foraging course when we first started exploring and learnt so much from Kerry. You can read about all the amazing things we learnt here!
There are so many ways that you can start to spend more time outdoors. Ultimately it has to start with you. Whether you know someone who wants to start, or you know someone who is active and want to learn about what they do, ask them and invite them along.
As we mentioned above, we have had some amazing adventures outdoor this year and we are not the only ones. Some of our readers also sent in their pictures to show how much fun it can be and what they have been up to!
Our friends at 2born2travel have had some amazing adventures, from sleeping on an inflatable bed outside – with no tent, to this stunning picture, they are ones who walk where others dare to fly! If you haven’t checked them out yet, watch this video about when they slept on this and woke up in the middle of the lake!!!
Natasha and Jon from Life Beyond Bricks, are currently travelling the in their camper and have witnessed a variety of weather! Check out these amazing pics from Snowdon and the Preseli Mountains!
Catherine on facebook got in touch to share this picture of her husband in Whitesands on the Pembrokshire coastal path.
Mandy went to Stonehenge for the Autumn Equinox AND also was the captain of a narrow boat for the first time!
Fi had lots of fun this summer walking around waterfalls in Wales and flying Kites with her family
Thank you to everyone who sent us pictures of themselves today!
BUT WE WANT MORE!
WE WANT YOU TO GO OUTSIDE TOMORROW – 29.9.19 AND TAKE A SELFIE!
Send us your snaps on facebook www.facebook.com/vanlifediary or twitter @vanlifediary.
What do you win? Well, nothing of any value! We will announce on Sunday who the winner is from all the pictures we receive. This will be posted on our facebook account at 6pm! That’s it… no money.
Keep it clean but we need to see that you are outside on national #getoutside day – get your friends to join in to!