Time spent outdoors has many health benefits – from improving overall wellbeing to giving us a much needed boost of Vitamin D.
But, according to new research which we conducted with 1,035 UK residents, over a quarter of people aged over 60 (26%) spend less than four hours outdoors each week – that works out as fewer than nine days a year! Are you guilty of spending too much time indoors?
To inspire the nation to make the most of the outdoors, whatever the weather, here is a range of activities suitable for all ages and interests:
Zumba was a fitness craze that rose to popularity during the 1990s and is still one of the UK’s most popular forms of exercise nearly two decades later. The people behind the aerobic dance craze have recently released, Zumba Gold, a modified lower intensity version of Zumba for the over 60s. Although this is primarily taught in dance halls and gyms across the UK, during the summer some companies opt to have classes outside.
Find classes near you here: http://www.classfinder.org.uk/fitness-class/listing/zumba-gold
Volunteering is a great way to make the most of your spare time and meet new people whilst helping others in your local area. There are plenty of volunteering groups that cater for different interests and skills – from helping out at a charity fair, to conservation volunteering which is great for anyone who enjoys gardening and looking after local wildlife.
Find out about local volunteering opportunities here: https://do-it.org/
Cycling is a great way to boost your cardiovascular health and improve your stamina, whatever your age. There are hundreds of cycle paths throughout the UK for different cycling abilities, so chances are there will be one near you! Although cycling may be harder in your sixties than it was for you in your twenties, it is a great way of keeping your body active, and if you shop carefully, you can pick up a bike, helmet and lights for less than £300.
Find traffic-free cycling routes across the UK here: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/national-cycle-network
Gather up a few friends and make the most of the numerous free tennis courts across the UK. Tennis is a fun way to socialise and you can exercise at your own pace with an equally-matched tennis partner. A study by Oxford University revealed that as well as offering many health benefits, the social aspect of racket sports like tennis also help us to live longer!
Find a tennis court near you here: https://www.lta.org.uk/play/venues/
If you are keen to explore somewhere new, taking a walk in the countryside could be the perfect option. Not only is it a great way to spend quality time with family or friends, it is also free, and could help you to make the most of warmer weather. There are numerous National Trust sites in the UK with different length walks and landscapes to choose from, so you can really enjoy the great British outdoors!
Find National Trust walking sites here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/walking
To help you to get a breath of fresh air this summer, we are running a competition to win a joint National Trust yearly pass (worth £108).
All you need to do is submit a picture of yourself enjoying the best of the outdoors via the entry form below. Entries must be submitted before 31 August 2017. Terms and conditions apply.