In order to improve your wellbeing and mental health it is important to spend time outdoors. When you finish work and walk outside into the fresh air it always feels wonderful. For the majority of human history, we have spent most of our time outside, whether for work or entertainment. While we now spend far more time inside, we still enjoy the outdoors, engaging with different activities available to help you maintain your wellbeing.
Wellbeing is defined as how happy an individual is, their overall health, and ability to function well within their current lifestyle. With so many of us having increasingly little free time, finding ways to enjoy your day and boost your health is important to ensure your ongoing health and happiness.
Mindfulness is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors, although you can practise indoors as well. The principle of mindfulness is to ensure that you are in touch with what your body is feeling from taste, touch, sight and sound. This grounds you in the present and allows you to let go of stress and anxiety and simply focus on the world around you.
When you are spending time outside, try being mindful and focus in on the sights and sounds around you. The sound of the birds in the trees, the wind blowing past you and the smell of wet leaves can all conjure up a very vivid experience that can help you step out of auto pilot and exist in the present moment. Taking a step back from your current thoughts and considering your surroundings can give you a lot of insight into your thought patterns and how to make them more productive. Trying to spend some time practising mindfulness each day can help you to improve your emotional wellbeing, and if you practise while exercising outdoors you can improve your fitness at the same time.
From bird watching to identifying the plants and animals that are seen around Bewl Water, nature spotting can be another fantastic boost to your wellbeing. There are many British species that stay in residence around Bewl throughout the seasons, and many that make it a winter residence. We have a very well-developed bird watching community in the UK, with many online forums that help those interested in bird watching discuss sightings and good places to spot.
With many ancient trees around Bewl, you can get in touch with nature and learn about the local species you see as you walk. Enjoying nature to the fullest is a great way to boost your wellbeing and health.
With a wide community of runners who head out in groups to support each other, as well as many avid runners throughout the country, this sport is considered a fantastic way to boost your wellbeing and health. When engaged in activity the brain releases dopamine, which is the hormone associated with happiness. Improving your fitness and general wellbeing leads to a great feeling of achievement.
When running, while it is good to push yourself it is important to keep in mind that it is better to be kind to yourself. If you go for a really long run right of the bat, you may get injured or feel terrible afterwards. The key to enjoying a run is to stop when you still feel as if you could carry on. This way you build up a tolerance while taking care of yourself. Bewl Water is a long 12 ½ mile route for runners, with many facilities such as the visitors’ centre and café where runners can stop and have a bite once their run is over.
Cycling regularly is also a fantastic way to boost your wellbeing. Cycling allows you to exercise while exploring new routes and trails. Many walks are far easier to traverse on a bicycle, and if you rent or own an electric bicycle this can help you tackle longer routes while not completely exhausting yourself if you are not a regular cyclist.
To enjoy cycling with your family is another great way to spend a weekend as you enjoy interacting and exploring. Here at Bewl Water we have cycling equipment available to hire for those that need safety kit or a bicycle that fits them. Our circular route is perfect for cycling, with well cared for paths and roads.
Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK, with many renting boards to take out for the weekend, or just a day to see what paddleboarding is all about. With stable boards and a slow pace, this sport is an incredible way to enjoy the landscape from the water.
Many of the more competitive water sports such as sailing or canoeing tend to be hard work with many finding it difficult to travel long distances. In comparison paddleboarding is easy to learn and arrange, with many shops renting out paddleboards for the day. By moving at a more leisurely pace, paddleboards allow you to take your time and admire the scenery as you enjoy the outdoors.
Wellbeing and creativity are intrinsically linked, whether you explore this aspect of wellness through music, painting, dance or even poetry. In order to explore what we feel and express, art can be a key outlet for both positive and negative emotions. When you create something or indulge in a hobby it can have a very healing effect.
While art is often considered an indoors pursuit, taking your pad and pencils outdoors to sketch can be a great way to improve your wellbeing. You can even combine different activities with artistic pursuits, such as taking your sketch book out when you go nature spotting to capture a snapshot of the world around you, listening to music while running, or even writing a poem about your natural environment.
If you are considering coming to Bewl Water to improve your wellbeing by running, sketching or practising another activity that is close to your heart, then please contact us here. Our staff will be happy to discuss the best viewing spots and areas for exercise.