Spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on your mental and physical wellbeing; those that spend time outdoors each day have been proven to have lower stress levels and better overall health than those who spend most of their time inside. The fresh air and vitamin D we all get from being outside often immediately lifts our spirits when we are feeling low. There are thousands of activities and sports that can bring us outside on a regular basis. Whether it is a short morning walk or a long evening run, even a short trip outdoors can help you feel healthier this autumn and winter.
This article will discuss some of the reasons why it is important for us to spend time outdoors, and what time spent exercising and enjoying the outside can do for our overall well-being.
With the stress of the pandemic as well as other pressures, we can often spend so much time worrying that it can be difficult to take care of ourselves. Taking breaks from work, enjoying your hobbies, or even just taking some time to yourself in the evening, are all good practices to ensure you maintain your mental health.
It has been proven that those who spend time outside in green spaces can see improvements in their mental and physical well-being. The act of taking the time to calm yourself down outside, away from the causes of strain, can make you feel much better.
- Reduce stress –The stress of a difficult work environment or simply the home stresses of everyday life can cause issues. When you are filled with emotional tension, stress can elevate your blood pressure, heart rate and even cause issues with your mental health. Spending time outside in nature can help you regulate your stress and help you to cultivate feelings of enjoyment and happiness.
- Helps with insomnia –We are genetically programmed to find the outdoors soothing, and as such spending time outside can have a calming soporific effect. When meditating or attempting to sleep in the evenings, many will listen to the sounds of nature such as birdsong, the wind in the trees, or waves crashing. This can often help those with trouble sleeping drift off without any problems.
- A natural antidepressant –Spending time outside and exercising regularly stimulates the release of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin in the brain. These hormones are related to your mood and monitor your feelings of happiness, and are often referred to as the ‘happiness hormones’. Behaviours which increase the level of these chemical compounds in your system can increase your feelings of happiness and wellness.
- Natural beauty –The awe-inspiring beauty of nature cannot be underestimated. From photography and painting to music and architecture, the natural world is mimicked, reshaped, and recreated. However, these imitations often pale in comparison to the world we see around us. It is inherently pleasing to spend time in a place with beautiful surroundings, and can help reduce stress.
While your mental wellbeing is certainly of prime importance, spending time outside can also help you ensure your physical wellbeing. The outdoors is open to everyone and doesn’t require a gym membership for you to exercise and spend time enjoying the scenery. While the gym is an excellent way to get back into shape and will often have a helping hand on call, the environment can become rather boring over time. The rooms and equipment are fixed and often not particularly interesting. Exercising outdoors, either by running or cycling, on the other hand, can help you clear your mind – and the scenery is far more interesting.
If you are visiting similar routes you can keep an eye out for wildlife on your daily run. Varying where you train can help keep your regular workouts interesting. Exercising outdoors, unless you are renting specialty equipment such as a paddleboard, is also free to use, while a gym membership is costly to maintain. Outdoor sporting events, such as the triathlon and the dragon boat race, are regularly carried out around Bewl Water for those who are interested in participating. These events can be a fantastic confidence booster, as they allow you to measure your progress as well as to meet people with similar hobbies.
Outdoor exercise is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors, but it does mean you should prepare for potential bad weather. Bringing a coat with you and wearing running shoes that fit well can help ensure that your time outdoors is pleasant rather than soggy.
Ideas for Outside Activities
For your continued wellbeing it is crucial to spend time outdoors enjoying the autumn air and sunshine. While simply taking a trip down the road to your local park can be invigorating, there are many outdoor activities that can help ensure your time outdoors remains engaging for you and your family.
Here at Bewl Water, we have the facilities and equipment for our guests to use for a variety of different outdoor activities, some of which are listed below. Any one of these activities can help you enjoy your time outside and get your daily dose of fresh air.
- Cycling – At Bewl Water there are bicycles for hire as well as space to park with a bike rack on your car, creating opportunities for a wide range of people to enjoy cycling around Bewl Water. Cycling is a fantastic way to enjoy the outside and spend time in a natural environment.
- Canoeing – Taking a canoe out on the water can be a very calming experience, allowing you to enjoy the reservoir from a new perspective. The sound of the water is often soothing, and canoeing as a sport is an extremely satisfying way to enjoy the beauty of the reservoir.
- Sailing – Sailing is a fantastic experience, and lessons can be booked in order to train and gain experience during the autumn and winter months. The reservoir is a brilliant body of water for practice, as the water is calm and certainly less dangerous than practicing out at sea. This ensures you are able to enjoy sailing without the dangers of open water.
- Hiking – A favourite of those visiting Bewl Water, taking a walk around the reservoir gives you time to take in the sights and view the habitats found around the reservoir.
If you are interested in booking a class or equipment such as a paddleboard from the Bewl Water facilities, please contact us here. Our staff will be able to inform you of everything you need to know.