Your monthly digest of health and wellbeing information that matters to you!
April: Step into Spring!
As we begin to enjoy warmer days and lighter evenings this Spring, we are looking at the many benefits of getting outdoors.
Whether it’s utilising those green fingers in the garden, taking advantage of the local Peak District, or simply walking to work in the morning, getting some fresh air can help to lift our mood, boost creativity, restore focus and improve our physical and mental health.
In the modern world, appreciation of nature has definitely been pushed to a back burner. Take a walk or a bike ride through your local park and focus more on the journey than your destination. By reacquainting yourself with the great outdoors you give yourself time for quiet reflection and meditation. On your journey, try to leave behind the pressures of the day and concentrate on calming your own mind. If you find background noises distracting, select a soothing playlist to accompany you.
Are you looking for ways to get out into the local community and give something back? There are lots of great opportunities both here at the University of Sheffield and in the local area to get involved in volunteering and conservation projects, whilst enjoying some time outdoors.
The Juice Lunchtime Litterpicks involve an hour circular walk from the University campus to pick litter in nearby residential areas – they’re a great chance to help keep our local area clean and tidy, get some exercise in the fresh outdoors and get to know colleagues from across the University. To book your place on the next litterpick, please click here.
For more volunteering opportunities in the local area, why not join the Sheffield Conservation Volunteers? The group meets every Sunday to work on practical conservation projects in the community, with projects including dry stone walling, tree planting, cleaning ponds and lots more.
It is widely believed that spending time outdoors and connecting with nature can have huge boosts on our creativity and focus. Whether it is a problem at work that you cannot solve or a personal conflict or concern, walking can be the solution to solve an issue that has arisen. Taking time out can give you the space you need to resolve a problem, and spending time in nature can slow you down and help you to find the inspiration you are looking for.
Next time you are suffering from a creative block or are struggling to focus on a task, try swapping your desk for the park and let nature help you.
Taking a lunchtime or weekend walk with a friend, colleague, partner or neighbour can be a great opportunity to catch up and reconnect. Why not take your next meeting outside and enjoy a walking meeting in one of our local parks?
For many, joining a local walking or ramblers group can be a great way to get outdoors, meet new people and enjoy a new hobby. Our Juice Walking group meet fortnightly on Monday lunchtimes for short walks around the local area – book your place on the next walk here. For walking group opportunities outside of work, take a look at the Sheffield Ramblers website: http://www.sheffieldramblers.org/
Friday 5th April is Walk to Work Day! We are encouraging all TUOS staff to leave the car keys at home and choose to #StepIntoSpring. Share your photos and stories of Walk to Work Day with us on Twitter - @JuiceSheffield!
The benefits of exercising on a regular basis are well known, but few people realise that even more benefits come when doing it in the great outdoors…
1. It’s good for your mind and body. When we exercise it’s safe to say that most of us do it for the physical benefits, but what about the psychological boost? Studies show that outdoor exercise is associated with increased energy, as well as a decrease in confusion, anger, depression, tension, and many more, when compared to indoor exercise. Outdoor participants also reported that they enjoyed exercise more and said that they would be more likely to stick to it.
2. You may feel better about yourself. When people go to the gym, in particular those going for the first time, it can often feel like all eyes are on you. We assure you that they aren’t, but the thought often makes people feel uncomfortable. What we can promise you though is that the rabbits and squirrels don’t care if you’re struggling on your run or can only do two press-ups. Exercising outdoors has been shown to have positive effects on self-confidence and self-esteem.
3. It’s easier to stick with. Creating a habit of exercise can be tough, but finding something that you really enjoy can make it much easier. Maybe it’s meeting new people at Bootcamp, going for a group run, or doing it solo, the opportunities around you are endless.
4. Soak up the goodness. Whilst unprotected overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can be bad for you, we shouldn’t overlook the many benefits that being outside can bring. When the sun hits our skin it creates vitamin D3, which is important to bone health and metabolic function. In addition, exposure to sunlight during the day can help you sleep better, improve immune function, and increase endorphin production.
5. It’s cheaper than the gym. There’s no two ways about it, if you’re exercising outside and not paying a gym membership, you’re saving hard earned brass. Once you’re stocked up on sun cream, some decent footwear, and weather-friendly clothing, you’re good to go all year.
The Big Walk 2019
The Big Walk is back on Friday 28 June 2019 and YOU choose whether to walk or run 23 or 37 miles through the Peak District.
The 37 mile walk starts at the University, going out to the Peak District through Endcliffe and Ringinglow, down into Fox House through the Longshaw Estate, through Hathersage and across to Hope. It’s here that the 23 milers join in and continue up through Ladybower, Bradfield and back down to the University for a celebratory finish!
This year’s walk will be in aid of student scholarships. In 2019 we are fundraising to give as many students as possible the opportunity to come and study at Sheffield. To find out more and sign up to the walk, please click here.
Have some brilliant outdoor stories to share? Join the conversation on social media using #StepIntoSpring, we’d love to hear from you!