The May Challenge

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How can it be May already?  How fast is this year going! May is always a busy month.  It is both National Walking Month and Mental Health Awareness Week.

The theme for Mental Awareness Week is the Outdoors and being with nature which seems relevant to everything that we offer.

As you are all aware, from participating in our walks.  Being outdoors has many mental health benefits as well as improving our physical wellbeing.   Spending time in nature is actually used as a form of treatment to help individuals suffering with anxiety and depression.   It can improve your mood, help with relaxation and to destress, gives opportunity to make new connections, and builds your confidence and self-esteem. I can’t think of any better reasons to get outdoors.

 

With this in mind, we have decided May should be a walking challenge month for us all, to participate in both National Walking Month and Mental Health Awareness Week.

 

We challenge you to walk more this month then you normally would.  Let’s clock in the steps. We would like you to take an average distance or number of steps you do per day and try increase this by 20%.

 

And why, you may ask… For all the reasons above!

 

By the end of the month, you will feel great for it.

 

It may sound like a lot, but it won’t require much change.  Here are some examples to guide you:

 

  • If you normally walk 8,000 steps per day, try achieving 9,600 per day.
  • If you normally go on a dog walk for 20 mins, could you increase it to 24 minutes?
  • If you have the same route of 1 mile to the shops, could you increase the walk to 1.2 miles?

 

Small changes can have a big impact on your wellbeing.

 

If the whole month seems too overwhelming, why not follow the challenge for Mental Health Awareness Week only, from the 10th to 16th May.

 

We have devised a list of easy tips to fit into your daily lifestyle to get you started on your way:

 

  • If you have the opportunity to work from home, could you convert your desk into a stand-up desk? Being on your feet more, will naturally improve your posture, health and will clock in some steps.
  • If you are visiting the shops, could you park in the furthest away parking spot to walk further to and from the shops?
  • Maybe take the stairs instead of the lift.
  • If you find you are sitting down a lot in the day, watching TV. Why not stand up and do some marches on the spot when the adverts are on.
  • If you enjoy the radio on in the background, spend time dancing each time a good song comes on. Let’s enjoy the challenge.
  • Another one should you work from home… Still go for your morning commute, getting an early walk in for 20 mins before logging in.
  • If you have opportunity to work with others, could you suggest a walk and talk meeting? Discuss on your feet.
  • Now the days are longer, and the weather is warming, could you spend more time in your garden? Pottering around all counts as movement.
  • Can you get the family involved? Spend time with the family outdoors, enjoying picnics you can walk to or playing in the park with the grandchild.
  • When in the waiting room for an appointment, could you stand and transfer your weight side to side for small steps rather than take a seat?

 

Let us know what works for you.  Let’s add to the tips list.  How will you get in the extra distance?

 

Should you want to know more about each event, please check out the following links.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week Mental Health Awarenss Month

 

National Walking Month National Walking Month

WORKING