The daily exercise became an important ritual for a lot of people during the early days of the covid-19 virus pandemic.  Having that hour of freedom away from the home helped to for many to give something to look forward to each day.  But now the daily one hour of freedom has gone and replace with as much outdoor time as you like are you still exercising? How did you take that exercise?  Did you cycle, run or walk?  Did you find a new passion?  How are you going to keep it up now it’s easy to say I can do it later?

This year we have been blessed with a wonderful spring, long sunny days with hardly any rain.  So while we are still enjoying this period of unbroken sunshine how are you still going to take that exercise?  It’s important to keep it interesting. If you’re a walker and have a dog then it’s quite easy as your dog will need their daily exercise.  But what if you don’t have a dog?  How about mindfulness?  Mindfulness isn’t just about sitting still it’s about engaging fully with what is happening right now.  So how can we apply this to taking day exercise to help retain the interest?  Become aware at what is happening on your cycle, run or walk.  You could even keep a journal of what you saw, experienced or felt while pursuing your exercise.  Let’s look at walking.  You can apply this to running and cycling too.

As you start your walk you leave your home.  What’s happening just outside the door?  Is it early morning, midday, evening? What’s the atmosphere like?  Dry, damp,  smells like summer?  Are the birds singing?  Is there traffic or other people around?  How do you feel at the start of your session?

As you walk notice what’s happening around you.  Looking at gardens or in the park have flowers come into bloom?  May be you can smell the new flowers or if there has been rain, you can smell the dampness of the soil or road.  Is it busier than normal or may quieter.  By talking note of what is happening around us enriches our lives.  Do you remember see that tree before did you know it flowered?  How about new extension to the neighbour’s house.

Become more aware of our surroundings helps to become more connected to our landscape whether that is urban or rural.  The better connected we are the greater the importance of a place becomes and we are likely to value it more.

It may take a while bit give it a go.  Slow down your bike ride, take the run at a less frantic pace and you may be amazed at the richness of you local area.   If you journal each session take a look back over the weeks and months to see what has changed.  May be you’ll change a little too!