A walk in the woods could be just what the Doctor ordered
Strange as it might seem, sometimes it’s easier to get in the car and drive to the swimming pool or the gym to take exercise than actually get around to carrying out a plan to go and walk in a wood, or a country park. I think the reason for this is that there’s a feeling of purpose and achievement linked to gyms and swimming pools, but walking in the woods…
Now of course, there’s going to be at least one person reading this who takes immediate issue with what I’ve just written, because for some the walk in the woods is far preferable and not necessarily associated with the raising of heartbeat and blood flow through brisk walking.
Walk slowly to connect with nature
To get the best from a walk in the woods, to benefit wellbeing, you need to walk slowly, easing your pace back to where the senses have time to take in the environment. That’s harder than it sounds for most people, because we don’t usually have time to be contemplative, so deliberately walking slowly can feel a bit out of the ‘comfort zone’.
If you’re feeling over-burdened and stressed by life’s demands then consider coming along to one of our Woodland Wellness Walks that run once a month -. it’s not as ‘airy fairy’ as it sounds.
How was it for you?
You can listen to feedback below from two people who’ve taken part in a Woodland Wellness Walk in January. I did the interview afterwards, in the comfort of a warm dry place, but the woodland had been far from that on a particular blustery and fairly chilly January day.
Why a woodland walk is good for wellbeing
Wellbeing could be described as being about having a positive physical, mental and social state. This state is gained through having a sense of purpose, enjoying supportive relationships and having basic needs met. Having access to natural environments is also important, as is actually experiencing and connecting with the natural world.
There’s a growing body articles being published about the benefits to be gained from taking time to walk in nature, helping to quieten the mind. I always find a walk in the wood promotes a feeling of calmness, whatever the weather.
What happens on a Woodland Wellness Walk?
Each Woodland Wellness walk session is 2 hours, not all of which is spent walking. We provide all participants with a bowl of vegetable soup and some crusty bread at the end of the walk, giving people time to share their thoughts with others or just relax and enjoy the soup! It’s a great, healthy lunch-out opportunity, all for £5.00. We hope you’ll decide to come along.
If you think you’d like to try a Woodland Wellness Walk, we run them once a month and you can visit the Outdoor Tribe Events page to find out when the next date is planned. Groups are small, so don’t feel anxious about coming along alone – we’re a friendly bunch and will make you feel very welcome.
Interestingly, one of the comments in the feedback interview featured above, “feeling safe” was mentioned. Great to hear and hope you’ll seriously consider joining in.