The positive effects of simply being outdoors are widely known. Over the years, there have been countless studies and surveys released about the benefits of being outside.
And while it might seem as though summer is the ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors, autumn and winter are arguably the perfect seasons to enjoy the fresh air, wonderful nature and stunning scenery. This is especially true in the Lake District, as we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful views and great walks in the area.
It’s widely accepted that just taking a gentle stroll has a positive impact on your health and goes a long way to fending off those pesky ‘winter blues’.
Incredibly, as well as reducing your stress levels, walking has actually been proven to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s. A recent study found that people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s who walked more than a quarter of a mile a day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
But as well as the benefits for your mind and mental health, there are of course numerous physical benefits to getting outside and enjoying a winter walk.
Exercise can help you tone your muscles and walking in particular helps tone up your legs, bum and stomach (as long as you’re not slouching over). It also helps you stay mobile and independent in later life, as walking keeps your joints moving so they don’t seize up, therefore reducing the chances that you might suffer with knee and hip pain later in life. Walking can even assist in weight loss, as a brisk 30 minute walk can burn up to 150 calories.
We think burning calories with a long walk around the Lake District is the perfect excuse to enjoy a delicious Cumbrian meal, a cosy hot chocolate or a nice glass of red wine in front of the fire.
As part of the Lake District Hotels Association, there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to food and drink… how about a piece of the world famous Grasmere Gingerbread? Or the perfect pint at Hawkshead Brewery? Or if you’ve really worked up an appetite, how does a 10 course tasting menu at Forest Side Hotel’s Michelin Star restaurant sound?
We’d love to know what your favourite walk in the Lake District is (as well as your favourite treat afterwards!)
(Image - Autumn sunset over Derwentwater, Credit to Terry Abraham).