Well everyone, here we are, in the midst of dreaded Blue Monday – the third Monday in January is officially termed as the most depressing day of the year. With the festive period but a distant memory, and the promise of brighter Spring days still a long way off, January can be a tough month for a lot of us. One way to beat the January blues and make some positive lifestyle changes is to get out into the great outdoors, embrace the brisk winter weather and get the endorphins flowing.
It may seem much more sensible to action your New Year-inspired exercise regime from the comfort of a warm gym. But, if like me, the idea of seeing yourself in a mirror whilst you exercise (oh the red cheeks!), or finding yourself next to a buff gym-dweller as you struggle through your reps does not appeal, then exercising in the fresh air could be right up your street.
Rather unoriginally, as we headed into another year I earnestly vowed to get fitter. This is a vow I make every year and, whilst I start my campaign enthusiastically enough, I find my zeal wanes rather quickly when left to my own devices. So this year I decided to join a group outdoor running course. So far, this year has seen me running 3 times a week in the pitch dark in blizzard conditions with a group of equally committed but slightly crazy “new year resolutioners”. This might sound like the worst kind of torture but I have found a level of good natured camaraderie with my fellow runners which I love and I finish each exercise session with a big smile on my face and a great sense of achievement. The January blues have not hit me and I find I have more energy and more focus. With this in mind, and in light of today’s depressing reputation, I thought I would bring you some ideas of outdoor activities in our local area to get the blood pumping and the heart racing.
British military fitness in Westminster Park, Chester
British Military Fitness classes take place in parks across the country. Our local one takes place in Westminster Park and caters to people of every ability from absolute beginners to exercise veterans (don’t worry you will be placed into the appropriate ability band).
Focusing on cardio and strength training, expect hour long sessions during which you will be asked to undertake exercises such as:
- Push ups
- Star jumps
- Competitive games
The trainers will challenge and motivate you and BMF promotes a great sense of fun and team spirit. For more information look on the britmilfit website
Fitness classes in Delamere Forest
Delamere Outdoor Fitness offers something for everyone, from pilates and yoga classes to running and cycling classes; from high intensity training to boxercise and everything inbetween.
They also offer sessions specifically designed for groups (such as my running course!) or you can book an activity Hen or Stag do! Trust me, there is nothing quite like doing your training in the forest environment – simply great! Delamere Outdoor Fitness
Zip World, in the Conwy Valley
OK so this is more about a feel-good adrenaline rush than a fitness campaign! But in January I think we are all entitled to a bit of indulgence to ease the tedium of winter.
Just over an hour’s drive from Chester you will find some of the most amazing zip wire adventures nestled away in spectacular settings at one of three Zip World sites. Zip World offers a host of adrenaline-fueled adventures from the zip safari through a canopy of trees, to Velocity which is the fastest zip line in the world (reaching speeds of around 100mph!) to the spectacular under-ground cavern adventures. Just note that Velocity is currently closed until 9 February for exciting new developments apparently – will it be steeper and faster than ever?! One thing is for sure, a day spent at Zip World will guarantee to have you grinning from ear to ear and any thought of January blues will be well and truly banished. Zip World website
Yes, I know, this is not an activity that any of us are likely to do more than once or twice in a lifetime but we had to include it as Tim, Rickitt Partnership’s MD, says it is one of the best things he has ever done. And I refer to my previous sentiment about embracing indulgence – if you fancy it, why not do it – it will certainly blow the cobwebs away!
In Cheshire we are lucky as we are within close proximity to both an indoor and an outdoor skydiving site. Whatever your ability you can enjoy a great experience at Ifly World’s indoor wind tunnel which is located in the heart of Trafford City. For more information check out ifly’s website
If you are looking for an authentic “jump out of a plane, see the earth hurtling towards you” experience then head to UK Skydiving Adventures based near Whitchurch. BPA skydiving instructors offer tandem skydiving courses for the ultimate in exhilaration.
Now if you have read the Meet the Team - Danielle blog, you will know that my major passion in life is horses so a blog about outdoor activities was never going to be complete without me urging you to hop on a horse! Whether you are a regular rider or don’t know one end of a horse from the other, there are plenty of places in Cheshire to suit you.
Check out the BHS website to find BHS approved riding schools in Cheshire. For me the ultimate way to banish the January blues is a glorious canter through the woods on a crisp, misty morning – truly special….
The RP Team X
About the author
Danielle comes from a marketing and media background, with over 20 years experience in her field which includes tenures at a number of distinguished Cheshire-based magazines and marketing agencies. Danielle has responsibility for marketing at Rickit…
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