The importance of the outdoors and mental health

As I stand here in the queue for Tesco I’m reminded that being outside is brilliant for my wellbeing. I’ve been in the house for the last few days working away at my computer and on the phone. Whilst I do take the dog out for a quick walk during the week, it’s the weekends that I relish as I can spend loads of time outside.

My name is Duncan and I’m the sales guy for BXM. I have a degree in outdoor education and I’ve had numerous years in the outdoor industry working in outdoor centres and for outdoor retailers.I think it’s important in times like these that we make the most of our outdoor time. Being outside doesn’t have to involve being in the wilderness to be benefiting to your mental wellbeing, even just eating breakfast in the sun on your doorstep can have a positive effect. 

The outdoor industry is seeing a rise in newcomers to outdoor recreation with flocks of people heading out for their daily exercise either in their own piece of nearby countryside, along an inner city canal route or deep into their local national park. This for me is amazing to see, I love seeing people enjoying our amazing country and discovering the outdoors for themselves.People are getting exercise, increasing their vitamin D intake, finding peace and solitude of being away from the confines of their houses. The Japanese have a phrase for this, shinrin-yoku, or ‘forest-bathing’. I dare anyone to give it a go, head out to somewhere peaceful without any mobile phones or technology and just sit and take it all in. You may be surprised about what you might experience.

But, more people outside can be a double edged sword. Please do it responsibly. If you’re new to outdoor recreation, take the time to do a bit of research. Look at what kit you need and take advice from people who have done it before. You’ll have a much more enjoyable experience! Remember that the countryside is a place for everyone so always follow the principles of ‘leave no trace’ and follow the countryside code.

To all those people that live and work in the countryside already, let’s welcome these newcomers to our industry with open arms and education.

Leave no Trace

Countryside Code