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Could Adventure Activities Keep Winter Blues At Bay?

If you are prone to feeling a little blue or depleted at this time of year, when the clocks change and the evenings get dark earlier and the days get colder, then you might be a SAD sufferer.

SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a type of depression that is triggered in winter due to reduced light and affect between three and five per cent of the population, according to the Medical Express.

If it sounds like you might bet affected by SAD, pull on your trainers and get involved in some outdoor activities in Cheshire, because anything that raises your heart rate is good when keeping the winter blues at bay.

Medical psychiatrist Angelos Halaris told the online medical news resource that just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can help SAD sufferers feel better and more energised because exercise releases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals to create a sense of wellbeing.

Moreover, getting as much natural light as possible is a definite bonus, so if you can’t get outside as much as you would like, throw open the curtains.

If you still feel like you aren’t getting enough light, high intensity light boxes are available to buy and just half an hour of time in the morning and evening exposed to its light can help.

If you plan to take on SAD with an outdoor activity, bring a friend along for the ride. A study by medical researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently found that having a biddy encourages you to take on physical activities – because those with a fitness pal benefit from mutual encouragement.

Children Should Be Encouraged To Do Outdoor Activities

A new report from an all-parliamentary group has highlighted the growing problem of inactivity in children in the UK and stressed that they need to be encouraged to get involved in more outdoor activities.

The Telegraph revealed that the document states parents and teachers should “treasure the young child’s natural inclination to be physically active”, rather than telling them to sit still and encouraging them to have prolonged periods of physical inactivity.

Those involved in producing the report on a fit and healthy childhood are urging the government to rethink its childhood obesity strategy to promote exercise much more. Research conducted by the group found that three quarters of parents in the UK state that their children spend less than an hour playing outdoors each day.

Head of ukactive Kids Jack Shakespeare told the newspaper that we’ve spent too long telling children to be quiet and sit still.

“Children are born to move, but today’s youngsters are instead fed a staple diet of sofa play and screen time, while being starved of outdoor activities,” he stated.

If you want your youngsters to be more active, take a look at the wide range of outdoor activities they can try in Cheshire, or wherever you live. There are dedicated outdoor ed centres up and down the UK, so there’s no excuse not to introduce them to something different like rock climbing, kayaking or even just walking more.

You could pop over to the Trafford Watersports Centre at Sale Water Park this October half term where children can get involved in everything from kayaking and archery to bushcraft and raft building.

How To Keep The Kids Busy This Half Term

The October half-term break is almost upon us and with it comes the age-old question: how best to keep the kids occupied?

Heading into the great outdoors may hold the solution, allowing youngsters to experience the changing season and enjoy nature while having fun with a range of adventure pursuits. Of course, if it rains, heading indoors to continue the fun is preferable.

Here’s our rundown of some top adventure activities to keep the kids entertained during a week or two away from school, come rain or shine.

 

Climbing

Enduringly popular thanks to relatively recent developments such as the clip and climb style, climbing can be a fun activity for all the family. Scaling hills and mountains can burn off some energy, build coordination and provide amazing views over the landscape. If it’s wet outside, there are plenty of indoor climbing opportunities, too.

 

Canoeing and kayaking

Water sports like canoeing and kayaking can be fun even for children with no previous experience, enabling youngsters to explore new environments and spot wildlife they may otherwise rarely see. In the colder months, many canoeing and kayaking activities transfer from outdoors to an indoor swimming pool for a warmer but equally as fun experience.

 

Bush craft

Nothing makes history as interesting as getting hands on and experiencing life as our ancestors would have. Bush craft involves elements of survival skills – finding food, water and shelter and making fires are the focus of surviving out in the bush. Learning these skills can help boost self-confidence and encourage confidence.

For fun adventure activities in Derbyshire this half term, come and see us at Peak Pursuits – in the meantime, check out some more half-term inspiration here.

Outdoor Activities Best With A Buddy

If you already enjoy the best outdoor activities Staffordshire has to offer, then you may already know that having a buddy helps encourage you to take part in physical activity.

Now a study has determined what we knew all along; people with a partner for their physical activities do more, than those without one.

A recent study showed that families who used a fitness tracker with a gamifying aspect to it, achieved their daily fitness goal a whopping 27 per cent of the time more often than those who did not.

The study by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University School of Medicine, showed that families in these groups achieved individual daily step counts of more than a mile more than people without them.

“Our social connections – family members, friends, and even colleagues – can be powerful motivators, but most programs target individuals instead of leveraging these social networks,” said lead author Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS, an assistant professor of Medicine and Health Care Management, and director of Penn Medicine’s Nudge Unit.

Ninety-four families were included in the study, which covered a 12-week period. These people were giving tracking apps which included gamification in their targets, which was also shown to have a positive benefit on the levels of activity the participants achieved.

The study was one of the first to look at how digital health interventions can help improve activity levels overall.

Team Outings Help Improve Performance

As any manager will know, it can be a challenge to get everyone on your team to work together – and even more difficult to get multiple teams to collaborate across a single project.

But taking your team members into the great outdoors for a day of team building in Derbyshire could be just what you need to help develop trust and encourage greater collaboration.

Boss Magazine has highlighted five things that are vital for improving the performance of your team in the workplace and one of them is to go on team outings that are well and truly outside the office environment.

“Anything that gathers your team and prompts them to start thinking differently is good for team building,” the publication states.

That might involve tackling an obstacle course, going kayaking, or even visiting an art gallery – the point is to take people away from the daily grind and encourage them to interact in a new setting.

Other advice on developing a closer-knit team include designing your office to encourage collaboration, and getting your staff to interact face-to-face where possible rather than simply firing off emails.

HR expert Liz Ryan recently wrote a post for Forbes where she explained that tackling fear and trust are both key to having a successful team building day. That said, she recommends choosing activities that everyone will be comfortable to participate in.

Forcing people to go on a team building day won’t have the positive impact you’re looking for from this kind of time out of the office, she added.

Tackling Fear And Trust ‘Essential To Team Building’

If you want to pursue a successful day of team building in Cheshire, the key to success if tackling the twin issues of fear and trust.

Liz Ryan, a former senior vice-president of Human Resources for a Fortune 500 company, and now a contributor to Forbes said that too often a team building exercise misses the real issues affecting the harmony of a group of colleagues.

“It’s much easier to get everybody together and make them play games than to talk honestly about fear and trust,” she said, adding that when a team building day is being organised, it is important everybody is happy to participate and work together.

Choosing an activity everybody will be comfortable with is an important starting point for selecting your team building activity. While abseiling and the zip line might be well-suited to a very energetic and adventurous team of like-minded people, it’s not for everybody.

If a team is more diverse in ages, personalities and abilities, something like orienteering or bushcraft is more likely to be fun for everybody, resulting in a successful day of bonding and understanding people’s strengths and how they like to work.

“Team-building activities are only useful when everybody who participates wants to be there. There’s no such things as effective, forced team-building,” Ryan stated.

A team building day is also a treat for employees and a fun way to say thank you to a cohort that is working hard and getting results. To plan your next team building day to suit your workers, Peak Pursuits can help you pick the right activity.