Sports & Outdoors Fitness Health

THEGREAT OUTDOORS

‘Active folk have more life satisfaction. That’s according to Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey, which shows that people who exercise feel more able to achieve their goals. So why not do green exercise? A bank of data shows that nature has healing powers – moving around outside not only reduces stress levels, it also ups creativity, increases self esteem and boosts immunity. To encourage more people to get outside more often, Ordnance Survey launched the #GetOutside (getoutside.uk) initiative. This year, two of its ambassadors – adventurer Ben Fogle and climber Kenton Cool – are preparing to inspire the nation by climbing Mount Everest.

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Want to plan an expedition of your own? Here are three tips from the experts for getting outdoors. Make time to go outside: Try to incorporate outdoor activity into your daily schedule. This may mean stealing 15 minutes here and there, but it’s possible. Encourage colleagues to conduct meetings while you walk. Cycle or walk to work. The options are endless. Don’t let the weather stop you: Dress appropriately, take the right kit and keep within your ability. The GetOutside website has plenty of advice on what to wear, what to take and how to stay safe. Encourage others to join you: Be it family, friends or a group, a walk and a talk are stimulating. Outdoor activity can be sociable, plus not wanting to let others down can help you make it a habit.’

Want to give cycling a go but need a trusty steed? A new cycling partnership, free2Cycle (free2cycle.com), could have the answer. Realising that the UK has a growing inactivity and traffic-congestion problem, the people at free2cycle are giving British employees the chance to earn a bike by pledging to ride it at least 20 miles per week. The cost of the bike will then be covered by ‘sponsors’ – they could be an employer or local business involved with the partnership – who agree to contribute 20p (plus VAT) per cycled mile. Cycle 35 miles a week and you could get a bike worth £600! All miles cycled are tracked via the free2cycle app, which will show how far you’ve cycled and the positive impact that has had on the environment. As well as boosting your health and fitness, this opportunity could also benefit your bank balance, with data suggesting that cycle commuters could save up to £1,800 a year on travel. Win-win.

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