Re-ignite your enthusiasm!
Today is March 8th 2020, as the schools open up to more pupils. It is easy to forget that the most of us are still supposed to be following the lockdown rules - working from home if possible, only going out for essential items, and exercise close to home. We are so keen to start travelling again, but we all need to keep being sensible for a while longer to push those figures further down.
As someone who loves variety and change, being restricted to just essential journeys and local exercise has started to become, to be honest, monotonous. Although we have a date in sight, we should still be staying home and exercising locally until at least March 29th. Getting fresh air and exercise is so important, but I needed ways to make it a bit more interesting, so I thought I would share some with you. Most of them are relevant when we aren't in lockdown as well!
1. Find a new route!
That sounds obvious, but it is amazing how easy it is to do the same few walks, runs or bike rides every day. I use online Ordnance Survey, and street map apps and have found roads I had never walked down, and footpaths I didn’t know existed, all within a few miles. I used these to plan lots of new routes for a different outlook.
2. Set yourself a challenge. The goal can vary depending on whether you live in a town, city or countryside. The goal could be simply a distance to cover, or Turn 30 corners before you can come home; Walk past at least 3 pubs, (sadly no chance of popping in!); How many different species of bird can you spot? Then change, or increase the challenge next time.
3. Turn your exercise into a Charity Fundraiser. Many Charities are really short of cash, and online they have ideas for converting your exercise miles into virtual goals, and getting sponsored while you do it. Virtual challenges supporting charity include:
MIND have lots of ideas, including a Move for MIND challenge,
Macmillan caring locally have a Lace Up challenge where you set your exercise goals,
Julia’s House Children's Hospice invite you to walk to the Seven wonders of the World
Age UK have a Go the Distance plan, and a cycle challenge.
Many other Charities are doing this, and knowing you are helping someone else can be a great motivator.
4. Vary your walk to walk past the house of a friend or someone who might be particularly lonely or stuck indoors. Give them a wave or a chat from the pavement, and at the same time you can check if they are OK or need anything.
5. If you have children, add in a spotting quest, or Treasure hunt. How many different red items can you spot? Green Front doors? Living creatures? primaryplayground.net is a good source of scavenger hunt lists.
6. Treasure Trails is a company that sell printed routes around many areas, with clues to solve. We have used them as a family, and like them. All are available online at www.treasuretrails.co.uk . Local Tourist information offices or history societies often have suggested walks online.
7. Geocaching is a hobby where you use GPS to find hidden clues. I discovered that there are 28 geocaches within 2 miles of my house! Entry level play is free using the App at www.geocaching.com , and the map function is a great way to plot new walking routes, and add a bit more interest to your exercise.
8. Take your camera or a sketch book out with you and record your walk, or if you are good at crafts, bring some nature back with you and get creative with flowers, leaves and pinecones!
So, just a few ideas there, and of course many of them can still be used when lockdown restrictions are lifted. If you want to follow the blog, do click the button below and register your email, and I would love to hear your ideas too in the comments section.
Keep smiling Anne x