Are You Taking Part In Naturally Healthy May?
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
You may have spent the first few days of this month peering out of your office window or twitching your bedroom curtains to see if the Great British Summer is on its way. The frequent bursts of rain and sudden shyness of the sun might have made you grumble a little, but hey, there’s a reason Devon is so green, right? Regardless of the unreliable situation of the weather, Naturally Healthy May is upon us and the question is, are you taking part?
Naturally Healthy May is a campaign which encourages people to improve their wellbeing through being outdoors in the natural environment. Together, Active Devon and Natural Devon have organised a range of events to get people out in the Great Devon Outdoors.
There is no doubt that we live in a unique and beautiful part of the country, with plentiful wild open spaces and rugged coastlines. Devon even topped a recent quality of life survey from The Guardian, so we clearly have very few excuses to prevent us from enjoying the Devon outdoors.
In a series of Lunch Alert articles I wrote for Grow Talk, the evidence of the benefits of getting active and doing so outdoors was plentiful. Stanford University found that a walk a day can reduce your risk of depression and a further study found that walking for just ½ a mile can reduce brain fatigue.
Dr James Szymankiewicz, North Devon GP and Chair of the Devon Local Nature Partnership, explained:
“It is not a pill or potion but consider connecting with nature as a prescription. One that works, costs nothing and has no side effects. It is so easy to do, just take that step outside to start with. The most important thing is you enjoy it. Think of it as an opportunity to invest a bit of time in looking after yourself, your family and this place we call home.” (Active Devon)
In addition to what the experts have to say, engaging in new outdoor activities as part of the Naturally Healthy May campaign is a great way to make new friendships, discover more of your local area, spend quality time with your family and friends and de-stress after a long working day or week.
There are many ways that you can engage in the Naturally Healthy May campaign; go for a paddle in the sea, discover plogging or get your colleagues out on a lunchtime walk.
For those less keen on walking, Natural Devon have been surprisingly inventive, offering a real range of outdoor activities that aims to engage even the most reluctant, weather-doubting Devonian. From the relaxing art of Tai Chi to a Waggy Walk that you can conduct with your four-legged friends, there are a great range of activities taking place all over the county for the month of May. The Introduction to Watercolours at Toronto House in Exeter caught my eye in particular; art meets nature sounds like the perfect afternoon to me!
So what are you waiting for? Take a look at all of the activities on offer this Naturally Healthy May and celebrate the beauty of our county, while feeding your Fitbit.