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Could Getting Active Help Your Mental Health?

It can’t have escaped your notice that it’s Mental Health Awareness Week and there is certainly plenty being discussed about how to help people who are suffering from mental health issues, as well as things we can do to ensure we take care of our own mental health.

This is something that we should all be dedicating time to, with Mental Health Foundation revealing that in the past year 74 per cent of people have had times when they’ve felt so stressed that they’ve felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

The organisation’s report Stress: Are We Coping? highlights not only the prevalence of stress within the UK’s population, but also explores how it affects us physically as well as mentally, and offers suggestions on how to deal with stress.

Among the recommendations of things we can do to help ourselves is to be physically active and spend time outdoors.

“Physical exercise can be an excellent initial approach to managing the effects of stress,” the report asserts, noting that you don’t always need to do a lot to feel the benefits.

If you want to spend more time outdoors you may be interested in taking up new outdoor pursuits in Derbyshire, or wherever you live. Reconnecting with nature and spending time in beautiful locations while doing exercise can do wonders for your mental health.

From walking and orienteering to kayaking and climbing, there’s something for everyone regardless of whether you’re looking for something gentle or something a little more adrenaline-fuelled.

The Knutsford Times recently highlighted the Wellbeing Group established by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, which encourages people to volunteer for the charity and spend time surrounded by nature. Since starting in 2016, the group has helped many people with mild to moderate mental health conditions reduce their stress.

Why You Should Try SUP This Summer

The scorching bank holiday weekend that much of the UK experienced at the start of May might have put you in the mood to get outside and make the most of what will hopefully be a long, hot summer.

If you’re keen to try new outdoor pursuits in Cheshire this year then stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is definitely one you should put on your list.

This is a great activity whatever your age or ability, and it appears that more and more people are discovering the joys of getting on the water on a paddleboard.

Last month Yachting and Boating World revealed that 190,000 more people tried SUP in 2017 than in 2016, while canoeing also grew in popularity, with an incredible 345,000 more people engaging in this activity in 2017 than a year earlier.

One of the things that makes SUP such a great choice for a day on the water is its versatility. You can have a relaxed and sedate paddle, simply enjoying being out on the water, or you can make it more strenuous by getting involved in SUP racing. If you are on the coast you can even try SUP surfing.

If you’ve never tried SUP before and want to have a go, it’s advisable to have lessons initially to help you get your confidence on the board and to learn the correct paddling techniques. This will mean that you enjoy your time on the water that much more.

Just remember that conditions vary from place to place. Inland bodies of water, like the lake at Trafford Water Sports Centre, are the perfect place to learn because they are calm and enclosed.

Once you’re comfortable paddling in a range of conditions, you can take your new-found skills to other places for more adventurous paddles, exploring rivers, lakes and coastlines all over the UK.

Top Outdoor Ideas For The Bank Holiday

The first May Bank Holiday is nearly upon us, which means mums and dads all over the country will be thinking hard about how to keep their kids entertained on the extra day off school.

Here are some great outdoor activities the whole family can get involved in that they are sure to enjoy.

 

  • Archery

Archery is loved by lots of children, with the sport steeped in history and legend. Kids who love to role play can imagine themselves as knights with their bow and arrow, as they learn the proper technique to emulate historical figures.

It is also great for those who may not be good at typical sports taught in schools, as they can take up another skill and develop their control, concentration and aim this way.

 

  • Kayaking

Kayaking is great no matter what your age, and it is lots of fun to head out on to a lake or river and splash about in the water. It is ideal for kids who do not like getting too wet, as they can stay safe and dry in their seat, as opposed to many other water sports.

What’s more, families who really begin to love the hobby have the opportunity to buy their own kayaking equipment and enjoy kayaking every weekend should they wish to do so.

 

  • Horse riding

Riding a pony (or, in some cases, make-belief unicorns) is a dream for many girls, but horse riding can be fun for everyone. There are many important skills to be learnt by doing this sport – from balance and co-ordination to working closely with animals.

Indeed, it has huge mental health benefits, as well as physical ones, as spending time outside and taking care of horses raises levels of serotonin in your body, leading to much more relaxed and happy children.

If you like the sound of these ideas, take a look at lots of other things to do in Staffordshire for your kids this Bank Holiday Monday.

Money Donated To Repair Peak District Path

If you’re always on the lookout for things to do in the Peak District, following the hike that takes in Mam Tor and Lose Hill could be on the cards once path repair work is completed.

Grough reported that members of the Ramblers Group have donated £10,000 to contribute to path improvements on the Great Ridge. This path has a particularly strong connection to the group, as it finishes at Ward’s Piece, which was named after the Clarion Ramblers’ founder GHB Ward.

Terry Howard, the group’s vice president, told the news provider that the group wanted some of the legacy it received to benefit everyone.

“The Great Ridge is an iconic route, loved by walkers, so it’s fitting that our donation will help to fund vital path repair work,” he asserted.

In total, the Peak District National Park is aiming to raise £140,000 for works to the Great Ridge, as well as a further £70,000 to be used for work on the Cut Gate Bridleway, which runs across the Derwent Moors.

Mike Rhodes, access and rights of way manager at the national park, explained that the most popular routes, such as the trail on the Great Ridge, can become worn quickly and in wet weather the paths can become a “boggy mess”.

“This can have impacts on the wider landscape and wildlife habitats,” he explained.

Earlier this month, Left Lion described the Peak District as offering “the perfect mix of history and hiking”. The website pointed out that this is the UK’s oldest national park, adding that it boasts “an abundance of wildlife, natural beauty and culture”.

How Will You Be Enjoying The Heatwave, Then?

If you’re into spending as much time as you can in the great outdoors, then it doesn’t really matter what the weather does. You’ll be out and about having a fab time, rain, shine, tidal wave – whatever! But outdoor activities can be a lot more fun if the sun is shining and the good news is that the UK is about to be hit with something of a mini heatwave… and we’re wondering how you plan to spend it!

Apparently, we can expect temperatures of up to 28 degrees C over the next few days, with the good weather potentially lasting right through to the weekend… so make sure you have that sun cream at the ready just to be on the safe side.

We can thank the Azores islands (just off the Portuguese coast) for the lovely weather we’re expecting and warm air coming in from the Atlantic over the next few days or so.

If it is going to be scorching, what could possibly be better than getting involved in some kind of water sports. Canoeing and kayaking could be a fun way to spend some time with the family and the best bit is that no experience is necessary so you can just turn up and try your hand at it.

Or what about trying to learn to sail? An introduction to this fun sport will see you learn how to use a sail and the wind to move a single hulled boat around on the water.

And then there’s always stand-up paddleboarding, which is fast becoming a very popular activity indeed. It takes a bit of practice but you’ll soon get the hang of it – and have the time of your life!

To get involved with outdoor activities in the Peak District, get in touch with us today!

Parents Resorting To Bribery To Get Kids To Play Outdoors

With so much cool stuff in the digital environment and so many more gadgets in our homes, it’s easy to see how children can get stuck in front of a screen for hours at a time. But we’re all also aware of the need to spend time away from electronic devices.

It seems that for some parents though, it’s easier said than done when it comes to getting the kids away from the TV or tablet for a few hours. The Mirror recently highlighted a survey by Little Tikes, which found that one in ten of the 2,000 parents they surveyed frequently used bribery to get their kids to put down the devices and get outside.

What’s more, 45 per cent of those questioned said they sometimes had to “get persuasive” to encourage their youngsters to spend some time outside.

 Psychologist and spokesperson for the organisation Emma Kenny told the newspaper that it’s important for children’s development that they play outside.

“Outdoor play can lead to great opportunities for learning and discovery as well as being a fun family bonding experience,” she asserted.

If you’re not particularly outdoorsy yourself, you might not know where to begin. Booking the whole family in for a day of outdoor activities in the Peak District could be the ideal way to try a few new sports and find something you all love.

A few top tips to help your children become fans of being outdoors from a young age include going on family camping trips and signing your youngsters up to school educational trips.