Tag Archive for: tips

being in your parks and green spaces

Making the most of our parks for our health

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have sought refuge in their local parks and green spaces as part of their daily permitted exercise, as spaces to safely meet friends and loved ones, and for children to play. Research is beginning to show that people who live in neighbourhoods with greater amounts of green infrastructure tend to be happier, healthier and live longer lives, and some studies have found that as little as 2 hours a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. That’s less than 20 minutes every day!

However, you may now be asking yourself what can I do in my local park or green space that counts towards my 20 minutes a day? Well, this could be as simple as taking a short walk every day round your local park or green open space. Many of us on the Future Parks team make sure to go for a walk round our local park straight after work to stretch our legs after a long day. Some colleagues prefer to break up the working day with a quick jog round their local park during their lunch break. Although, for those who prefer a more relaxed lunch break, try taking your lunch outside into the sunshine and have a mini picnik.

For the avid gym goers among our readers, there are a wide variety of activities you can do outdoors to keep fit, from running, sports, to making use of your local outdoor gym facilities and gym classes such as body exercises, yoga, Thai Chi. If you are looking to try something new, meet new people, and spend more time outdoors, it is worth finding out more about your local volunteering opportunities, events and activities, local walkers or ramblers clubs, or community gardens.

For the nature lovers out there, some studies have shown that connectedness to nature is linked with a more positive mood and increased life satisfaction and wellbeing. Connectedness to nature is a sensory experience and initially sounds like it might be difficult, but simply listening to bird song, noticing nature, your local wildlife and their habitats is enough to start feeling more connected to your natural surroundings.

There are just a few ideas you can use to spend more time in your local green space. The mental health charity Mind has even more ideas and tips you can use to bring yourself closer to nature, not just in your local park, but also in your garden and even inside your home.

At Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Future Parks, we want to learn more about the activities, events and groups active in local parks and green spaces across the county to help people access their local green space and find out more about what they can do there. To help us keep up to date with some of the fantastic activities and opportunities in your local parks and open spaces, please follow us on twitter @CPFutureParks!