The New Year has officially arrived!
With another year ahead many of us will be faced with hectic schedules and increased stresses. Our routines risk falling by the wayside as staying active moves further down the priority list.
Forests are a great place to escape the noise and redress the balance. Being active outdoors in a natural environment is scientifically proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and strengthen the immune system. Here are six activities to help you start a healthy, active 2022.
1. Get your steps in
Those feet are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do. Did you know that Nordic walking burns up to 46% more calories than regular walking and uses all your major muscles? Head to your local forest and stroll through the winter season in style. Simply enjoy the peace and tranquillity on offer.
Top tip for advanced walkers: Bring a pair of binoculars to spot winter wildlife along the way. Robins, woodlarks and owls will be cheering you on to reach that step count.
2. Dust off the bike
Do wheels give you the feels? Get back into cycling and choose the forest as your playground this year. From winding family-friendly trails for beginners to thrilling slopes for experienced mountain bikers, there’s something for everyone. Be inspired to try something new for 2022 with e-bikes.
Top tip for advanced riders: Escape the busy roads and test your skills with our red and black trails, or explore our range of orange bike parks.
3. Start running
Stopwatch at the ready. Hitting the forest trails and running through nature beats pounding pavements any day. Blow away the cobwebs and go for a run on one of our waymarked trails. Ditch the headphones and let the soundtrack of the forest motivate you to keep moving.
Top tip for advanced runners: Progress through the variety of different distances and grades, and you’ll be breezing through 10k routes in no time.
4. Join Superworm and friends on their brand-new activity trail
Discover the small but mighty creatures in the much-loved story and learn about the everyday heroic feats of minibeasts in the forest.
The new self-led trail features brightly illustrated panels and a trail pack full of fun activities, including your very own mask.
Set off with Superworm and become a forest superhero!
5. Travel on horseback
Saddle up and enjoy a peaceful horse ride through the forest. From meandering valleys and mature woods to shady streams and beautiful open heathland, our forests offer some fantastic riding opportunities.
Top tip for advanced riders: Keep your eyes peeled for the fantastic trees and wildlife that surround you. Up on horseback, you'll have a great vantage point to view undiscovered wildlife spots!
6. Try forest bathing
No snorkel needed. Instead of bathing in water, try bathing in the senses of the forest during the colder months. Dive into the Japanese relaxation practice of shinrin yoku. This mindful way to get active is the perfect way to de-stress and reconnect with nature.
Top tip for connecting with forests: Share your passion with others with our forest bathing activity sheets. Taking time to encourage children to use mindfulness is beneficial for their health and wellbeing too.