After getting such a fantastic response to my One Hour Outside campaign back in November, and hearing from lots of people saying how much it helped them get outside more in what is normally a dark and difficult month (thanks so much for all your comments, by the way!), I am bringing it back for what I think is the second most difficult month of the year – February.

We all know that getting outside is good for us. There are so many reasons why we should be making an effort to spend as much time outdoors as possible – fresh air and natural light is good for our body, our mind, and possibly most importantly, our soul.

But how good are we at making sure we get time outdoors every day? Even speaking as one of this year’s Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champions (read about that here), I don’t always manage to spend more than a handful of minutes without a roof over my head in each 24 hour period. It’s hard, thanks to the dark, damp, cold, and endless list of things to do that involve being sat at a computer.

February does at least have one important thing going for it; the days are getting longer by a minute or two each day. Twenty-eight days of getting outside in February should therefore be easier than the 30 days in November, at least by a little bit. Are you with me?!

Your challenge, no, your mission (should you choose to accept it…) is very simple:

Spend at least one hour outside every day in February

Sounds easy doesn’t it? I’m rather hoping it will be. Although I suspect some days it might be way harder than any of us would like it to be. Which is why I think it deserves the commitment of a challenge.

Walking in the Lincolnshire Wolds. You don’t have to go far!

Here’s the deal:

One Hour Outside is about spending at least one hour outside every day in February. While some of you may already find this super easy thanks to your line of work or the fact your dog insists on really long walks each day, the vast majority of people have to decide to go out, and it’s often easier to not bother. This challenge asks you to bother.

It would be best for our personal wellbeing if we could manage that hour outside in daylight hours, I realise that could be next to impossible, and so I’m not going to specify that (maybe later in the year!). I also don’t mind if you have to split it into two, three or four smaller bits of time – four lots of 15 minutes will do fine if you can’t manage a whole hour in one go. Just as long as you spend at least one hour without any kind of roof above your head, then I’m happy.

I don’t mind what you do in your hour – walk, run, cycle, skateboard, rush around town running errands (but time in shops doesn’t count – ha!), go geocaching, climb trees, chase butterflies (someone tell me if they are around at this time of year?!), get out on a lake in a boat, go fishing, sit and drink a flask of tea while your kids play in the park, sleep under the stars, or anything else that takes your fancy. There are SO many activities to choose from,

Oh and there’s no storing of time… we won’t be spending seven hours outside on a Saturday and then nothing for the next six days. By all means do that full day hike at the weekend – awesome – but it’s still only one day ticked off. Mean? I don’t think so.

There are waymarked paths all over the country… and world… find one near you.

I’d love it if you were to use this challenge as an opportunity to make a habit of getting outside every single day. Do it at lunch time, do it on your commute, go for a walk after dinner in the evening, or maybe you’re one of those people who can fit your hour in before breakfast (you’re mad!). It doesn’t matter. As long as by bedtime every day for a whole month you can answer that important question “did you spend an hour outside today?” with a positive YES.

You’ve even got a few days to work out how you’re going to fit one hour outside in every day as it’s not February until next week. So plan a few fun things in for the weekends so you’re not just walking around the block every day just before bed time because you didn’t manage to fit it in beforehand again.

If you’re taking part in the challenge please let me know in the comments below. I’ll be keeping an eye on the hashtag #OneHourOutside over on twitter and instagram, and don’t forget to tag me @Splodz to let me know how you’re getting on.

If you need some extra inspiration, I blogged my three key reasons to get outside and a huge list of 50 ways to get outside in November, and of course pretty much all of those are still valid so it would be a good place to start.

I’d love it if you’d make February your month of the outside, to see what a difference it makes to your body, mind and soul. Let’s turn what could be a dark and difficult month into one full of fresh air, clear heads and lots of energy. I’ll do my best to remind you throughout the month, but don’t forget this is as much a challenge for me so please drop me a line and encourage me too! February can be really horrible weather wise, so get your coat and boots ready by the front door and let’s just get on with it.

Life is all about the journey. Spend it outside, one hour at a time!

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