For a long time when I was on crutches with my knee injury, I didn’t get out half as much as I would have liked to have done, but I did find ways to spend time outdoors that filled the gap and helped me to build my confidence to do more outside. (I’m all good now though, but swear that little steps help you get a long way, I know it helped with me back then!)
It is not always about taking a huge hike, visiting far away places or going on an expedition to the rain forest. Sometimes something as simple as walking to the shops, getting off the bus a stop earlier or playing in the garden are a great start to getting you outdoors!
With the weather getting cooler and the nights getting darker, it is no secret that lots of people start to go into hibernation mode and tend to walk or get outside much less than in the warmer sunnier months. Seriously, my challenge groups on Fitbit have dropped by over 65%. It is pretty much just me and Jit going for it at the moment. We had a great bunch (really competitive and challenging to the group) over summer which has drifted as the weather has changed.
So in order to try to counteract you going into hibernation mode (seriously, it is so much easier to stay active during winter than it is to try to get rid of a ‘winter body’ for the summer! Plus, you’ll be fitter, healthier and have had fun along the way!)
Here are ** simple things that you can do to get outside more often during the cooler months.
Walk to the shops – most of us have some kind of shops nearby. Instead of jumping in the car, wrap up and take a walk instead. It helps you to get to know your neighbours too.
Find a park or green space to explore – there are so many parks and hidden green spaces just waiting to be explored, check out a local map to find one to explore.
Collect some leaves (while you’re in the park) – to take home and decorate your home or create a craft project to bring the outdoors in.
Go on a picnic – every Saturday morning, Jit and I head out for our brisk early walk with a warm picnic in hand. There is always somewhere you can settle for a picnic even in the rain (think shopping centres, libraries etc) For warm picnic ideas, check out my food blog!
Go on a quest to find something new – we all miss things where we live because we are so close to them that we over look them. So take a quest to find something new, walk down a different street, side alley or path or check a map for something to discover.
Do some gardening – for something closer to home, you ca nip outside and do some gardening or plant up some pots for some winter or spring colour. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can do something outdoors that can help you bring the outside in with you.
Hunt out some history – one of the things on my bucket list is to hunt out all of the heritage plaques and sculptures in Manchester and learn about them. Check what you have in your local area and start out to collect them.
Check out a National Trust – there are National trust estates and properties all over the UK and many have acres of land that you can explore, hike, walk and ride (all for the cost of parking – which goes to keeping them maintained) There are loads around Manchester! (check here)
Walk from museum to museum – for the very wet days, walking between museums is a great way to have a fun day out while having the balance between indoor and outside. Check out my post for things to do when it rains in Manchester.
Jump on the tram or train and visit a part of the city you have never been to before – Bury has a great art gallery, places to walk and a brlliant Wetherspoons (it is an old cinema)
Walk the back streets – as you know, I love to wander the back streets of the city as it is where you discover the most interesting things. Go out-of-the-way and off the beaten track where you live to find something new.
Go Geocaching – download the app onto our phone and head out to find some treasure – Tatton Park has an excellent one!!
Splash in puddles – grab your wellies and wet weather gear and get your play on! Jumping in puddles is fun!
Borrow a dog – whether it is a friend’s or neighbours or whether you join Borrow my Doggy (like we have) it is great fun taking a dog for a walk and you have company then too – plus it helps out an owner too. Or you could help out at Manchester Dogs Home – they always need walkers too.
Join a volunteer group – we live by the Rochdale Canal and the Canal and River Trust hold regular volunteer events to help keep the area clean and tidy.
Get off the bus earlier – this is one of those ones that has been flying around for years, but it really is a great way to get outside more often. Jump off one stop earlier, then two and before you know it you’re walking home!
Walk down a canal – there are loads in Manchester and they can take you through some lovely areas and even into town.
Collect some graffiti – there is so much street art out and about in the city, go and find some and collect it by taking some pictures of your favourites
Take part in my Weekly Photowalk Challenge – check out the theme for the week, get out for a walk and snapping your discoveries. This is a great way to persuade yourself to get outside as you will have the fun of sharing it with the others over on Instagram and Facebook. Find out more about the challenge here. This week is ‘spooky’ by the way!
I think that is more than enough to keep you going for now – but please do share your ideas with me too so I can add them to the next round-up!
Autumn and Winter might seem dark and dingy, but when you get outside and have some fun not only do you warm up, you feel better too. I sweat that there is nothing better for a cold than going for a lovely walk in the fresh air, flask in my rucksack and lots of new things to discover, explore and see!
I’m also looking forward to trying out my new bag lights to help me be seen on my walks home in the dark! (kit geek!)
Get outside and enjoy the colours! We only get Autumn once a year!
Which one thing will you pledge to do today? Share it in the comments below!
What do you like to do to get outside in the Autumn? Share your tips!