Outdoor activities are a great way to beat the January blues and keep active. Are you familiar with Red January or Red Together? Since 2016, the community’s aim has been to inspire people to ‘move every day, to beat the winter blues away’, while encouraging everyone to enhance their mental health by simply adding more movement into their lifestyle.
Whether or not being more active is your goal for January and the rest of the year, there’s always an opportunity to give an outdoor activity a go while we’re away. Or if there is an activity you get passionate about, you could make it the focus of your trip?
If you’re looking for ideas to be more active throughout a holiday, we’ve shared a selection of outdoor activities which can enhance your health and wellbeing. Some can be enjoyed during solo holidays. Others can be experienced while away with friends and family.
Outdoor activities for solo travellers
Embrace the fresh air during a solo cycling holiday. Discover easy rides, immerse yourself in the best scenery in Europe, follow off-road cycle loops, or find a flat, traffic-free track along a river, before stumbling upon a welcoming watering hole. While cycling with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, this low-impact outdoor activity will boost your wellbeing. Also, you’ll return home with an improved level of fitness. Once you’ve booked a trip, you have the perfect excuse to prepare beforehand – learn how here.
Coastal walking holidays can be achieved around the UK and Irish coastline. For instance, Crawfordsburn Country Park in Northern Ireland has many accessible pathways and two blissful beaches to picnic upon after a ramble. If you want a more challenging walking holiday, a hike in the Cotswolds along the Cotswolds Way could be for you. On balance, you could combine walking with wildlife watching and forest bathing. You could be forgiven for thinking the benefits of walking are minor. Read our previous blog on the benefits of walking, where we go into the many advantages you can gain from such a pleasurable pursuit.
January is dog walking month, which may encourage you to remain active alongside your furry friend, and socialise with other walkers. Plus, the mental health benefits of walking with your dog include reducing the symptoms of stress and keeping the January blues at bay. Read our previous blog on dog walking for inspiration if you travel with a furry friend.
Outdoor activities for friends and family
Football and Frisbee
Taking your family on holiday? Remember the frisbee and football for an after-dinner game. These physical activites are not just fun but hugely beneficial to all members of your party. You can engage and bond with family members you’ve not seen in a while and receive a good workout – you may not even be aware of the effort you are putting in! Plus, physically, playing football can help muscle development and enhance bone health, as well as improve sleep quality, coordination and balance. Frisbee is another fun option to improve flexibility, strengthen your limbs and increase bone density.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Canoeing and kayaking holidays are a great family activity and best when the sun’s out, so you can top up your vitamin D. Just remember to put on plenty of waterproof high-factor suncream. Some of the best can be found in Spain, Greece, and Croatia – just book into a beach club beforehand. You may even find that you enjoyed kayaking while away and wish to do it more often. This site will help you find your nearest paddling club in the UK, many of which support all abilities. Plus, the activity itself will improve your hand-eye coordination, agility, and confidence on the water overall. For more adventure holidays to keep your family energised view our activity holidays blog.
Want an activity that is sure to delight the whole family? Horse riding holidays are accessible for all abilities and disabilities, from the New Forest in the south to Perthshire, Scotland. Book into a B&B, log cabin or cottage, near the stables and slot in some guided lessons. With the appropriate footwear and clothing, you’ll be ready for an adventure holiday on horseback. The benefits of horse riding are both physical and mental. They include an improvement in posture, balance, and coordination. Mentally, confidence is given a boost from becoming a successful rider. Also, everyone will feel a sense of achievement after learning how to control a horse when walking, leading, and dismounting.
There are many family golf holidays and short weekend breaks that you can book in the UK and abroad. Just find a course suitable for beginners or if your party is more experienced. There may even be more outdoor activities for children to enjoy too, for instance, a swim in the pool or a visit to the spa. That said, relaxing in a spa after a game of golf is very beneficial to the body. For example, while bathing in a jacuzzi, your muscles and central nervous system will relax due to the heat and massaging impact of the jets. Any stress in your joints will be relieved too.
Enjoy Outdoor Activities with Free Spirit Travel Insurance
Whatever outdoor activity you try, remember that over 100 – including those above – are included as standard with a Free Spirit policy to ensure you stay active with confidence. There are also a further three activity packs available to add to your policy for an extra premium on both Super and Super Duper policies. A great addition, if you’re holidaying with energetic children, grandchildren, and or even more adventurous travelling companions.
View all the outdoor activities we cover and each activity pack here. Plus, you can find all the benefits of getting active by downloading our infographic.