As mental health becomes an increasingly important topic in the post-pandemic world, residents are looking for ways in which they can improve their wellbeing. One of the most effective ways in which this is being accomplished is through outdoor activities, an endeavour that many discovered when trying to remedy their various periods of isolation during national lockdowns. Eager to immerse themselves in nature and socialise in outdoor, safe spaces, individuals discovered new passions for outdoor activities that have led them to overcome mental health issues.
For those looking to take on a new outdoor activity but are unsure which might be right for them, we are sharing five of the most widely-enjoyed activities that have been championed for their wellbeing benefits.
Running remains one of the most important outdoor activities for improving wellbeing solely because of its accessibility. Whether you are in an urban or rural area, old or young, or unsure about your physical capability and endurance, running can be picked up easily and affordably, all while being measured to an individual pace.
The endorphins released help to bring a mental elation often referred to as a runner’s high, and the physical fitness that comes along with it will also boost your confidence.
For those interested in seeking a physically demanding sport, one that will help them to set and achieve amazing goals, quite literally summiting new heights, rock climbing is a great way to go. As you start off, little equipment is needed, although it is always worth seeking out a group until your find your confidence on the rock face. Then, once you feel ready, you will begin looking at your local environment differently, seeking out new spots to challenge yourself, gaining an amazing sense of achievement.
While some may turn to windsurfing or jet skiing, many prefer a slower-paced watersport. This is why paddleboarding has become one of the most ubiquitous outdoor activities across every coast, enabling people of all ages and abilities to take to the water, undergoing a low impact activity that puts them in touch with the waves. There’s a focus to be found on the water, not only as you concentrate on each stroke but as you begin to drift away from the land and forget your stress too.
A great way to improve your personal wellbeing is to change your diet. By itching more fresh, organic, and local foods, we can improve our body’s health and our mind along with it. A great way to tick all these boxes, while also immersing yourself in nature and learning a new skill, is to begin foraging for wild foods. As you get familiar with your local environment, your diet will improve and you will find yourself drawn to create new dishes inspired by your local landscape too.
While many will be familiar with the many benefits of swimming, fewer have taken to leaving the swimming lanes of their local leisure centre and, instead, dipped into a nearby lake or ocean. Doing so can be immensely liberating, with the immersion in nature reducing stress and boosting confidence. And, as wild swimming becomes more popular across the country, it is easy to find friends and groups to join you too, turning the hobby into a fulfilling social activity.