I suppose I have always just loved being outside. For me, nothing beats the feeling of getting out in the fresh air. And yes, whilst the Scottish weather can be somewhat unpredictable, that makes the excitement and variety of experiences always new, different and so unique even within one sport.
The great thing about outdoor sports, or getting physically active outside, is that the options are almost limitless: it doesn’t need to be prescriptive or set. Accessing the “Great Outdoors” doesn’t require booking a specific slot or paying a weekly fee. From kicking a ball about with your mates, to team sports or individually, there are just so many ways to get outside and be active.
Even combining it with busy daily routine or integrating physical activity into commutes: cycling or walking to work or school. An amazing initiative for outdoor activity is “The Daily Mile” targeting people of all age groups to take 15 minutes out of their day to walk or run- the benefits of which are vast!
I find that if I’ve had a busy day, even just going for a walk helps to clear your head and make you feel better and ready to rebound with a bit more enthusiasm than before.
During study leave this year, I found it so helpful to go out for small walks or cycles with my friends giving me a chance to “re-charge the battery” away from the books.
As with all sports, the benefits of outdoor sports: physical and mental, are almost endless making us fitter and happier. For me, getting outside further boosts these benefits whilst also giving us the chance to appreciate the natural beauty of our country: from city parks to the most remote parts of The Highlands.
I think that outdoor sport is an essential part of life. Whether you’re outside playing in competitive sports, out for a casual game with friends or even just out yourself. The time spent getting fresh air has incredible benefits to our health and wellbeing; improving our mood and reducing anxiety. Modern life involves us spending huge amounts of time indoors, from spending the day at school or work but also thanks to the British climate. Making the time for yourself to get outside is crucial.
In Scotland we also have the added benefit of being able to access some stunning outdoor locations for walks, runs or cycles; such as the Cairngorms.
The landscapes are world renowned and are sure to clear even the most clouded of minds.
For me personally, I love outdoor sports. As a rugby player I’ll be out for training wind, rain or shine. Being able to de-stress in the open air has been a huge help during my time at university as well.
The benefits of outdoor sport are also one of the reasons I have been such an advocate for the Daily Mile while I have been at university studying to become a primary school teacher as well as during my time on the panel. Recently some members met in Edinburgh with the Scottish Government and other bodies to discuss Scotland becoming the first Daily Mile nation. Bringing schools and workplaces together to help encourage everyone to put aside a time in their day to get out, get active and reap the benefits of outdoor sports!