Throughout my Swim Through Darkness campaign, I attempted to promote exercise in the great outdoors. The two combined is a great way to inject energy and positivity into us and they can cost nothing but some of our time. I know from the outside that I probably appear as a super motivated, get up and go kind of person, but I too often struggle to find time to do the things that matter when life is getting in the way. We all live lives in which we often put some of the most basic and simple things that are important to our own wellbeing…last. Getting into a habit of doing something for ourselves is not easy and keeping it up is even harder with the daily pressures that come with life. Often, we see exercise as a chore, kind of like being told to eat your greens when you are a kid, we know we should do it, but we often don’t enjoy it in the form that it is given to us.
That’s why I am a massive promoter of exercising outdoors. I’m not just talking about going out and doing press ups in the sun some afternoon. I’m talking about doing exercise but in a way that is not a chore, a way that gives experiences, teaches new things and improves our state of mind and outlook on life.
That’s also why Discover Northern Ireland have launched their interactive online platform to let you choose the adventure – exercise or relaxation – that suits you when booking your next trip to Northern Ireland. You can find the outdoors, indoors, fast -paced, slow-paced adventure, whatever fits your tastes – it’s out there for you to explore.
Me personally, I advocate for embracing all that the outdoors has to offer. A great example is walking in the Belfast hills into the river valley paths at Colin Glen or up through the old Carnmoney Hill woodland or navigating the magical trails through Slieve Gullion Forest Park or back to the Causeway Coast beaches for a stroll on Murlough Bay, taking in the scenery, filling us with fresh air, embracing the weather and having a picnic along the way. That to me is much more appealing and reaps greater rewards than counting my steps on a pedometer everyday trying to keep tabs on myself. Do you see what I mean? By combining the outdoors with exercise, we get much more than just a physical workout.
I know it is easy to think we have seen it all and done all there is to do in Northern Ireland, but I challenge that thinking! I guarantee if you go onto www.discovernorthernireland.com/ things-to-do/my-giant-adventure you will find things you didn’t know existed here, all the info you need to get started on your next adventure and meet the people willing to show you the ropes. Yes, you might find that amazing experiences happen on your doorstep, but you won’t have seen your doorstep from some of the perspectives on offer these days!
Whatever you are facing in life right now, believe me, some time outdoors doing something that involves moving through the environment in a way you have not done before is a great way of broadening and growing the mind. You can also use the same approach to help others in life by helping them get outdoors and experiencing new things and new perspectives. Little steps can become a giant adventure and before long you may find yourself embracing more and more right here in Northern Ireland!