9 top tips for enjoying the outdoors this spring

Spring is here, and we can all enjoy more daylight hours. Try these ideas to use the extra daylight to help you feel better in body and mind.

1. Make the most of your local park

Playing frisbee in the park

Now that we can exercise outdoors, and restrictions on meeting others outdoors are starting to be reduced, why not plan a lunchtime walk with your friends and family?

If the weather allows, you could even enjoy a healthy picnic before or after a relaxed game of bat and ball, Frisbee, boules or short cricket? 

2. Organise a regular evening walk

Hiking feet

Make the most of the lighter evenings, and catch up with friends at the same time, by going for an evening walk. Why not put a date in your diary for a regular weekly walk with a friend who lives nearby? 

Or if you want to meet new people, why not join a walking group when group walks are allowed again? The walking charity Ramblers has more than 500 rambling groups in England, Scotland and Wales. Group walks have now restarted in England and Scotland, you may need to check the latest guidance if you live in Wales.

The Ramblers also run a Get Walking Keep Walking programme for people who want to become more active. You can also find walking routes at walkit.com.

3. Try some outdoor photography

Photographer

There are many free or inexpensive photography walking events across the UK

Photographers call the last hour before dusk the golden hour because of the soft, photo-friendly light. To work out when this falls, you can download a golden hour calculator app on your phone, and then march out with your camera in search of beautiful views and wildlife. There are many free or inexpensive photography walking events across the UK.

Or if you fancy a short break away, Ramblers Holidays (not to be confused with the charity Ramblers) organises Walking With Your Camera trips that teach you to be a better photographer, while discovering British landscapes. 

4. Get gardening – at home or in the community

Lawn mower

Spring is the perfect time to plant seeds for many summer flowers, as well as summer-flowering bulbs. You can also cut back shrubs, do a bit of weeding and mow the lawn if you have one.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a garden or allotment to get stuck into, just find a community gardening organisation near you and check to see when they’ll open up again. 

5. Get on your bike

Urban cyclist 

Aerobic activity such as cycling is good for your heart, and you’ll also save on transport costs

Aerobic activity such as cycling is good for your heart, and you’ll also save on transport costs. More and more people have been discovering the joy of cycling, but if you don’t already have a bike, you can buy a cheap one second-hand or get a tax-free one through the Cycle to Work scheme.

You can find local routes at cyclemaps.org.uk and cycle-route.comCycleStreets is another very useful cycle route planner which also has a free app for navigating on the go.

Remember to stay safe by wearing reflective accessories such as an armband and make sure you have lights. You can buy both of these items from our online shop or by calling 0845 246 4050.

6. Discover more about your local wildlife

Owls

Many animals and birds are more visible (or audible) in the spring. Owl watching, for instance, is easier in the lighter evenings. You can make it a fun exercise – try to count or name the insects, birds and flowers you spot when you go out. You can also listen for the birds and try to guess which species are out and about in your area.

7. Get your creative juices flowing

Grandparents sketching with granddaughter

Spring can be a beautiful time of year, so why not try your hand at drawing the view from your garden or balcony, or in your local park?

It could be fun to get your children and grandchildren involved so you can build a collection of homemade art and fond memories to look back on in the future.

If you’re not the artistic type, you can try writing poetry based on what you see around you.

8. Have a housework workout

Man vacuuming couch

A good spring clean increases the heart rate and burns calories. For example, an hour of heavy cleaning, such as vacuuming, burns approximately 250 calories.

Brighter days and evenings make dull windows more noticeable, so this is a great time to clean your windows, if you can do so safely.  

9. Have a spring clear out

Donation box

Have a spring clear out, to reduce clutter and raise vital funds for research at the same time.

If you have good quality items that you don’t need any more, why not post your donations to the BHF for free? Although some of our shops and stores are temporarily closed, depending on where you live, our freepost donation service is still available across the UK.

Get more information and see what you can donate. If your local store is open (depending on where you live) you can take donations to stores, or if you need a collection, call 0844 334 1414 to arrange a collection free of charge.


Published on the BHF website 9 April 2021

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