National Take a Walk in the Park Day
30 Mar 2021 11:36AM
Over the past year, nearly everyone has become a walker. Since the pandemic started, getting outside in the fresh air has been one of the daily activities that has been largely restriction-free and it has proved an excellent way to spend time with family and friends in a safe environment. But there’s so much more to walking than that.
National Take a Walk in the Park Day is a day to help people reconnect with nature and take in the calming benefits of a stroll in the fresh air. This week, we caught up with Virgin Active’s Head of Wellbeing Chemayne to tell us a little more.
“Instinctively, we know that getting outside in the fresh air and having contact with nature is good for us. The last 12 months have proved difficult for many and nature has provided an outlet, offering relief from the monotony of lockdown.
“Walking in nature is a vital supplement, however making it a habit can prove difficult when navigating the ‘new normal’ of working from home. For many the time spent walking to the train station, taking time at lunch to stretch your legs and grab a coffee with a colleague has been ‘absorbed’ into a longer working day (or hitting the snooze button one too many times…).
“For this National Take a Walk in the Park Day, why not take back your commuting time and drink your morning coffee while taking in the brisk morning air, walking around your local park, common or another green space? With over 27,000 parks in the UK*, there should be a few options to choose from!
“If you aren’t already convinced, walking is also a great form of exercise. It counts towards your NHS recommended 150 minutes of weekly activity and can help build your confidence to try other forms of exercise. We all need to take time out of our daily lives for self-care and to enjoy the things that positively impact our mental health and wellbeing. I find listening to the nature around me on my walks really soothing: the rustling of the trees, bird song and the footsteps of joggers running around me. Importantly, this allows me a portion of my day disconnected from my phone and laptop. However, for others listening to a podcast or music while walking is part of what makes that time enjoyable. The main thing is to make the time!”
How will you spend your National Walk in the Park Day?
* (House of Commons, Public Parks Report, 2016-17)