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Outdoors for wellbeing #2 – Walk with purpose

Posted March 1st 2021 by Dani

Outdoors for wellbeing - walking with a purpose

Outdoors for wellbeing #2 – Walking With Purpose

Lockdown walking motivation

Walking and spending time outdoors has been a lifeline for many of us during lockdown. Getting outside and getting some exercise has so many benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing, but are you starting to get bored with your usual routes? Struggling to get motivated when the weather is cold and wet?

Why not try giving your walk a purpose? It doesn’t matter if you can’t go far, spending time outside of your four walls is what’s important. Here are some suggestions:

Ideas for walking with a difference

“Just for ten minutes”

If you really don’t feel like going out, but know it will do you good, tell yourself it’s “just for ten minutes.” Chances are, when the ten minutes are up you won’t want to go home.

Spot Winter Birds

A lot of people think there isn’t much going on in nature in the winter, but this isn’t true. Plenty of birds will be out looking for food. If you’re out at dusk you may be able to see a starling murmuration – where they flock together and swoop around before roosting for the night. Even a small one is quite spectacular!

Try a “story walk”

The Story Walk app by Echoes has content triggered by GPS or Apple iBeacons. It could be music, a fictional story or some history of the area you are walking in.

Reverse Your Route

Tired of always walking the same paths? Why not try them in reverse? It can be surprising how different they look. You may discover things that you just can’t see from your usual angle.

Try Mindful Walking

Mindfulness is really just concentrating on the here and now. Listen to the sound of your footsteps. Linking your breathing to your steps really helps you to focus – try breathing in for four steps and then out for four steps.

Learn While You Walk

Do you ever walk past a tree and wonder what kind it is? If you have any books on wildlife then take them out with you and identify what you see. There are also really useful apps you can use: British Trees by the Woodland Trust, Birdtrack by BTO and Wildtime by Fieldwork (activities for children) are some good ones to get you started.

Do More Than Just Count Your Steps

If you use a fitness tracker you probably know how many steps you do on local walks – but do you know how long it would take you to walk The Great Wall Of China? The World Walking app tracks your progress against famous routes all over the world. One walking group that signed up early have almost reached the moon!

Share your outdoors wellbeing ideas

Let us know what you do to give your walk purpose, or if you try any of the suggestions! If you’re on Twitter, you can tag Outside the Box or use the #OutdoorsForWellbeing hashtag to get our attention!

Check out the other blogs in our #OutdoorsForWellbeing series 😊

Thank you to Amy Fleming in the Guardian for the inspiration for this blog.

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