With today’s fast pace of life, from looking after grandchildren to a busy work/life schedule, binging on the latest Netflix series or walking the dog around the local park (again) just doesn’t cut it
Instead, how about Vinyasa Yoga on the shore of Lake Windermere or getting the blood pumping with a wild water swim in a remote plunge pool?
Research from the journal Scientific Reports recently found that people who spend just two hours a week or more outdoors reported a greater sense of wellbeing. And what’s more it is not just the fresh air, but green space that is also so good for our health. A recent report from Forestry England studies prove that being around trees improves mood and attention span
Here we have chosen low impact activities that you can do in the great Lake District outdoors that deliver powerful restorative health benefits.
The practise of yoga
The deep inhale yoga breath is energising, delivering much needed O2 to the body, and we know that that feeling of several deep lungs full of fresh Lake District air beats a flat white in its energy-boosting powers. That's why practising yoga outdoors is so restorative.
It is not just the fresh air that you breathe in but also the pace of your breath
When visiting the Lakes enjoy the benefits of outdoor yoga with a ‘Yoga by the Lake’ class from the wonderful Stride and Edge, on a Saturday morning in the stunning outdoor setting of Windermere Jetty.
Today technology surrounds us, we're always ‘on’, which isn't always good for our mental wellbeing. Periods of lower levels of stimulation are vital for the brain to go through
We also spend less time outdoors, missing out on vital health benefits, like an immune system boost, mitigation against seasonal affective disorder
There are the social benefits of walking outdoors too. Whilst today we are more connected than ever, for many a 5-hour walk with friends or family with no distractions is just what the doctor ordered to reconnect with loved ones.
Walking is also one of the very best ways of reconnecting with ourselves. Escaping on foot to a remote hamlet or a car-free part of the Lakes puts physical distance between you and your day-to-day schedules.
On foot, you can lose yourself in places where there are few people and see views and experiences that only a select few experience.
Plus, here in the Lakes if you walk far enough, your WiFi and mobile phone signal may drop out, giving you valuable restorative breathing space. Read our blogs for some walking route inspiration: Top 4 Short Walks in the Lake District and Reach the Peaks from your Front Door.
18th century philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau was one of the first to suggest that it is easier to meditate when waking. “When I stop, I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.” The great Lake District poet William Wordsworth’s creativity
Wordsworth only wrote when walking, either in and around his home in Grasmere, or pacing his garden with his sister writing his stream of thoughts.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding is relatively new to the UK and the
The trick to successful SUP boarding is to keep your legs apart for stability and to use your hips rather than your upper body to stabilise any wobbling. This is extremely grounding as it focuses your effort to your core, a vital part of a healthy body. You should also avoid staring at your feet, keeping your gaze forward to help with balance. Once you gain confident SUP boarding is about gliding along with your head up taking in the great outdoors. The silence and
Before you get to touring on your board, your first paddle board lesson will involve picking up the basics and here in the Lake District there’s a choice of lakes that offer
For those that are perhaps
Now is also an ideal time to try wild swimming as it is
You can head out yourself for some wild swimming, as long as you are well prepared, or join the likes of Ambleside-based Swim the Lakes, who offer a range of wild swims that are a guided introduction to different
If you’re having a go yourself, when deciding where to wild swim in the Lake District Grasmere and Rydal Water are nice and small for beginners. They offer shelter, are not too deep and are less intimidating than more challenging open water swims in the likes of Windermere.
If you fancy a walk and a dip, then a tarn plunge, such as
The Lake District holds some of the finest water quality in the British Isles and after a few swims you will undoubtably catch the bug and be planning your next restorative wild swimming fix.