Sometimes it can be hard to motivate ourselves to get outside in January. Daylight hours are less and the weather’s not always on our side. Recent research commissioned by Ordnance Survey revealed that 48% of us say it’s too cold to be outside in the winter months. The research also found that 1 in 10 of us never go out for a walk between December and February; that’s approximately 6 million people not walking during winter!
We know that the great outdoors does wonders for our mental and physical health and in January we can all do with a boost.
To help you stay motivated and benefit from some fresh air this January, we’re challenging you to beat your previous week’s outdoor activity levels. The rules are simple, choose an outdoor activity and do more of it than the previous week. After four weeks of continuous improvement, you should have now set yourself up with a new habit (research tells us that it takes on average 21 days to form a habit) and make it part of your routine. What’s more, if you manage it in the hardest month, continuing throughout the rest of the year will be a doddle!
Three simple steps to join our Beat Last Week challenge:
Choose anything you like as long as it gets you out outside. We have some great beginner’s guides if you are looking to try a new outdoor activity. From trail running to mountain biking, there’s something for everyone.
If you’d like to improve in an activity you already love, then why not take it to new places or try routes that you haven’t explored before? Have a look through some of our best places across Great Britain to ride your horse, ride the waves (yes, surfing even in winter!) or take on a long-distance walk.
Set yourself a goal that challenges you but is still achievable. Think about what your aim for this challenge is – is it to get outside more often? Is it to smash one of your PBs? Is it to make the most out of one of your Christmas presents?
The goal you set is personal to you and it can be as small or as big as you’d like it to be. You can choose a time goal, a distance goal or a frequency goal, such as cycling once per week one and increasing it to four times per week by the end of January. Another example is to challenge yourself to walk for 10 minutes per day in week one and then slowly increase this time. You can also choose to run a total of 10 miles in the first week and increase this by 5 miles each week – it’s entirely up to you!
Our advice is not to go all out in week one! Remember you need to keep beating your week so start small and keep pushing yourself to go further, longer or more often.
The key to this challenge, and exercising in the wintertime, is to stay motivated! Our top tip would be to keep track of what you are doing each week and give yourself a reward when you beat it. Keeping in mind why you want to do this will also help you achieve your goals. Is it to improve your mental health? Are you looking to go further in a month than you have before?
You can also motivate yourself by incorporating a reward into your outdoor exercise. One idea is to choose a great route for coffee and cake or to round up your friends and family for a weekend pub walk.
There’s no denying that spending time with friends and family has never been more important, so recruit some of your friends and family to join in the challenge too!
If you are unsure at all about the current advice surrounding Covid-19 you can double check the local guidance online so you can GetOutside and enjoy the outdoors safely.
There is something special about making memories in the great outdoors with loved ones. So, let’s all make the most out of what Great Britain has to offer!
This challenge is down to YOU! You set your goals and get outside in your own time and in your own way. Share your experiences by joining our GetOutside community group on Facebook and by tagging us and using #BeatLastWeek across social media so we can see how you’re getting on and share your success with the rest of wonderful OS Community.
Let’s beat the blues, beat your goals and BEAT LAST WEEK!
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