Back at the end of September, when I was sat at Ordnance Survey HQ being introduced to the world of map making (read about my visit), I practically spat my tea out when I was told that research showed that a huge percentage of people will not walk if it will take them more than 15 minutes. Shocking. Learning this fact lead to setting myself – and you – the challenge to spend at least One Hour Outside everyday in November.
Brayford Pool and Lincoln Cathedral in the bright November sunshine.
It sounded hugely simple when I typed it. The premise certainly was, there wasn’t anything complicated about it for sure. And one hour is a very short period of time; we have 24 of them a day and even with working and chores and other things, it still doesn’t sound like a big deal. But as I and many of you anticipated, my One Hour Outside campaign was much harder in practice.
And of course that was why I set the challenge. I wanted to provide some kind of inspiration and motivation to actually leave the comfort and cosines of the indoors during a month that is notoriously grey and miserable, and get some actual fresh air and natural vitamin D. It has been scientifically proven (read about it here) that getting outside is good for us – our body, mind and soul all benefit from spending time outside. Even though I already know I love to get outside as much as possible, setting a challenge was a very simple way to make it into more of a habit and less of an occasion.
I’ve had some great outdoors experiences this month. I was very fortunate to have a week off early on in November and was able to really make the most of the challenge by heading off to the seaside for some proper outdoors time. There have been some beautiful autumn days and a few heavy frosts, turning the scenery blue and sparkly and even eerie at times. But I’ve also struggled on long busy working days when it’s been very wet and windy outside; I hate it when the weather saps all energy and motivation from my being.
Santa on a Boat in Lincoln. Yes.
I have to say I think the best bit of running One Hour Outside for me is that many of you also thought it was a good idea and joined in. I have really loved getting your updates on twitter, comments on my blog posts and photos on instagram. Your comments and updates have helped keep me motivated, and it’s been fun to converse with you on something I feel so strongly about. I hope you’ve enjoyed the community of One Hour Outside; please feel free to put your final thoughts now the month has ended in the comments below.
The “official” challenge might have ended, but I do hope you’ll take something from this month long experiment and keep up with your daily dose of the outdoors through December and into January. Keep using the hashtag #OneHourOutside and tweeting me with your updates, it’s fun to hear what you’re getting up to. And you never know, I could reprise the challenge in February, another notoriously difficult month for time outside. Watch this space!