Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The outdoors is good for you, reveal new studies

Anyone who walks or gets out in the great outdoors every now and then will know the benefits to their physical and mental health. Now two new studies reveal more about the good that comes from time in the open air.

Essex University has found that as little as five minutes of "green exercise" can have significant mental health benefits. Green exercise is outdoors exercise, including walking and cycling. Of course, most of us will want to be enjoying our green exercise for a lot longer than five minutes but it just goes to show that even a short time outdoors in sunlight being active each day is good for our minds.

This study, as well as many others, show that a daily walk in daylight can boost feel-good emotions that keep the blues away.

So it's now wonder that a National Trust survey produced such startling statistics about nature and happiness. Trust survey, which was commissioned as part of the National Trust's inquiry into public access and enjoyment of the outdoors, asked 1,294 UK adults about their connection with nature.

Some 80 per cent of the happiest people in the UK said they have a strong connection with nature, compared with just 37 per cent of the unhappiest.

We're feeling spring in the air - and more time for making the most of our fabulous Scottish outdoors playground. If you're stuck for ideas then give Glentrek a call. We have a wealth of walks, both guided and self-guided, on offer in 2011.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The rise and rise of people walking in the UK

Two websites that offer downloadable walks in the UK are reporting a huge increase in interest. In our opinion, this confirms what we have been seeing over the last couple of years, that walking is now even more popular than ever before.

According to National Trust figures, more than 350,000 walks have been been downloaded from the charity’s website in the last 12 months. This represents a rise of almost 40% when compared to 2009 and it means that a walking route was downloaded every 90 seconds.

Meanwhile, leading Scottish walking website Walk Highlands reports a 70% rise in the number of walks downloaded over the last year, and an even bigger rise in the numbers of people coming online to share their adventures.

In particular it's the walking routes that are most suitable for families that are the most popular.
At the National Trust, a spokesperson said: "We've seen a remarkable growth in the popularity of walking in the past couple of years.

"We’re finding that more people want to get out into the great outdoors but often need to be pointed in the right direction. You don’t have to be an expert to go walking, you just need to enjoy getting outside."

At Glentrek, we're delighted to see this rise in popularity of walking and we have certainly been seeing a greater demand for our guided and self-guided walks.

We are keen for more people, especially families, to make the most of Scotland's stunning countryside by walking further and across a range of terrains. We have blogged before about the benefits of walking. These include improved physical fitness and mental well-being.

So where will you be walking with your family this spring? We would love to hear from you.