Being active has a whole range of benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing. According to Walking for Health, being active outdoors improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.
To get involved in Fresh Air Friday, you don’t need to be going for hikes or runs. There are lots of simple things you can do to get outdoors and start feeling the benefits of fresh air. It’s important that you try what feels comfortable for you and give yourself time to find something you enjoy if you want to make long term changes and boost your wellbeing.
Whether it’s just opening the windows to let in some fresh air or enjoying your morning coffee in the garden, why not start by making small changes to your routine that allow for more fresh air in your day.
Walking or Cycling
There are so many amazing trails across Cardiff and RCT that you can enjoy. Whether you need something that is accessible for pram or wheelchair access or if you want to try out something a little longer and more adventurous, below are a list of web pages packed with walking routes for you to enjoy*.
Follow Sport RCT’s videos along walking and cycling trails across Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Cardiff’s free walking and cycling map is ideal if you would like to plan your walking and cycling journeys in Cardiff. Cardiff Council also has a handy page with information on their Nextbike rental scheme and lots of walking trails around the city.
Visit RCT has lots of information on walking trails as well as the history of some of the paths across the county on its dedicated walking trail page.
The RHS says the benefits of gardening run much deeper than just exercise, with research studies showing significant reductions in depression and anxiety when people give it a go.
We’ve teamed up with local gardener, Roger Crookes, for our ‘Can You Dig It?’ Valleys magazine feature. With tips on everything from looking after house plants to planting your own vegetables, why not give gardening a go for Fresh Air Friday.
It’s so important that the whole family can enjoy fresh air so why not try one of our top 5 tips for getting the little ones to enjoy the great outdoors, too:
- Try a scavenger hunt: Base it on certain objects or even as simple as colours, a scavenger hunt is a great way to keep minds active whilst enjoying some fresh air. Counting how many of each object you see and writing it down will also help with the development of writing and mathematics, too.
- Have a garden picnic: Make some sandwiches or whatever you fancy, wrap up warm and eat lunch in the garden.
- Jump in muddy puddles: Young minds need to explore and discover using their senses. Why not put on your wellies and go and find some muddy puddles to jump in? It’s not just for little feet either, adults can give it a go and feel the benefits of being more in the moment.
- Pebble painting: When out on a walk, why not pick up one or two pebbles and take them home to paint. Not only will you get some fresh air when collecting the pebbles, it makes for a great, creative activity to do at home.
- Cloud/Star gazing: Look up! Whether it’s day or night, the sky offers all kinds of natural beauty for us to enjoy. Why not give cloud or star gazing a go and try and make shapes from what you see – you could even draw/paint the clouds or stars you see to make some nice artwork for your home.
Please adhere to the latest Government guidance at all times.
If you or someone you know is struggling with your mental health, you are not alone and there is help and support out there to access. Reach out to someone you trust, a family member, a friend, a doctor or get in touch with a mental health charity to discuss how you are feeling and to get the help you may need.
If you are a young person or have a young person living with you at home who is struggling with their mental health, there are lots of services available that provide help and support, here.
If you need support from Trivallis, please contact us.
For more wellbeing advice and support, check out #TrivallisWeekofWellbeing on our website and social media.
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