Oh the dreaded New Year resolutions. Do you make them? Do you keep them? How about challenging yourself to GetOutside for just one hour each day.
Sometimes I set myself year-long goals and challenges, other years I don’t. You’ll not be surprised to hear that the most common theme in resolutions when we do make them is health and wellbeing – we all seem to take a moment to reflect over the Christmas break and realise we really should spend more time and effort looking after our own minds and bodies. There are so many themes within this; lose weight, get fit, get strong, walk a certain number of miles, try new things, take up a new hobby, eat better - you know the kind of things.
How about something that will give you time and space to look after your body, mind and soul in one simple daily challenge? Spending time outside, regardless of the activity you are actually doing, hits all three. I happen to believe that the simplest ideas are often the most effective, and so this year I want to encourage you to make spending time outside every day part of your year.
Many people will tell you that you never look back on life and remember the time you spent in the office looking at the computer screen, or the time you got up early to do the ironing, and especially not the time you spent all day watching whatever must-see television series was on at the time. It is the time spent outside in the fresh air, the big views, the adventures, the experiences outside that we remember more than anything else.
With One Hour Outside I want to help you get more of those memories by encouraging you to leave the comfort of your desk or sofa and go outside for a little bit of time every single day. That’s it. Simple but effective. We know that spending time is good for the body, mind and soul, so let’s make sure we do it every day.
It might be before work, at lunch time, or in the evening. It might be walking, cycling, or even sitting. It might involve running errands, it might involve eating, you may combine it with a concerted effort to spend time more time with friends or even more time on your own. It might even involve going on an expedition, playing a team sport or doing something you have never done before. Whatever it is, it always involves being outside.
Through this I am trying to say two things; first, that we all have time to get outside into the fresh air and natural light. And second, that spending time outside is something we can all do, regardless of fitness or ability, life goals, or perceived level of adventure.
It’ll be really easy for some people. Maybe you work outside or have a dog that needs walking a couple of times a day? But for most people I would argue that it isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Simple, yes; easy, no. We are very good at staying indoors, where we can’t feel the weather. But since I started One Hour Outside I have absolutely learnt that making time outside is the key to a lot of things – it’s my time for relaxing, making decisions, getting some exercise, clearing my mind, relieving stress, and smiling.
For me, getting outside, spending time in the countryside – whether it be hauling my somewhat unfit body up a big hill, removing my shoes and socks for a paddle in the cold ocean waves, or finding a quiet spot to enjoy a moment to myself and a flask of tea – is all about seeing views with my own eyes. Rivers and trees and rolling hills and the ocean, especially the ocean, and cloudy skies and wildlife and everything else, look great in the photographs. But they’re even more amazing in person. And I live to see as many views with my own eyes as possible.
Zoe Homes has always been a lover of the outdoors. From a very young age she has enjoyed playing outside, hiking with her family, camping, and generally spending as much time outside of her house as possible. She is a huge advocate of the benefits of regular fresh air, and does her best to encourage others to make the most of the world outside their own front door. She is also a co-founder of the Outdoor Bloggers network.
Zoe loves to hike, and has done a number of hiking challenges in recent years, including the Yorkshire Three Peaks and the Lyke Wake Walk (Zoe adds that if you've not heard of it, look it up, it's a brilliant but quite challenging stroll in the North Yorkshire Moors).