Back at the end of September, when I was sat at Ordnance Survey HQ being properly introduced to the geeky world of map making (read about my visit), I almost spat my tea out when I was told that a huge number of people will not walk if it will take them more than 15 minutes to reach their destination. Yes, accidental tea spitting, in front of people I was trying to impress. Sorry. But I genuinely found it shocking. And as a result, on the drive home from that meeting, One Hour Outside was born.

We gave it a good go in November 2016 and February 2017, both months that are typically dark and wet and a little bit miserable. It went well; lots of you joined in and many professed to finding the challenge a useful encouragement and motivation to spending a little bit more time outside each day. I mean, it sounds like a very simple challenge doesn’t it? It certainly isn’t a complicated idea. Just one single hour outside every day in amongst the 24 we have been gifted should be easily doable, even with work and chores and family commitments taking up the rest. But as with every challenge, even the little ones, my One Hour Outside campaign is much harder in practice.

One Hour Outside June 2017

I thought we ought to have a summer edition of the One Hour Outside challenge. Getting your hour in June should be a doddle, shouldn’t it?! This month brings the longest days of the year, nice warm summery temperatures (potentially!), and plenty of opportunities for walking and barbecues and play parks and outdoor swimming pools and whatever else you fancy.

It’s also the month that the Wildlife Trusts run their now annual 30 Days Wild project that I’ve been a fan of since the beginning, and it leads up to Wild Night Out on 1 July. June has so much going for it, how could you possibly say no to the challenge?!

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

Spend at least one hour outside every day in June.

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.

The One Hour Outside Challenge

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 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.

This One Hour Outside is about spending at least one hour outside every day in June. 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.

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 going on a brilliant hike 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.

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 June 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.

I’d love it if you’d make June your month of the outside, to see what a difference it makes to your body, mind and soul. Let’s use fresh air and natural light to clear our heads and help give us 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!

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

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