We all know that feeling. Sat in the office or wherever, on a beautiful day wishing we were elsewhere. There’s just not enough time in the day to work and then you’re too knackered to do much in the evening that the default is to crash on the sofa and leave it all to Weekend Dave to keep me fit. But there really is enough time in the day, if you think a bit differently and you really, really want to #getoutside.
1 Steal Time – The commute is wasted time. Use it to run, walk or cycle! With good preparation, it’s an option for almost anyone. Think out of the box and use public transport to get somewhere to run home to. I can get a bus into Snowdonia and run home via Drws y Coed, it doesn’t get much better than that!
2 Take up Running or Cycling – This isn’t a popular one for purist walkers, and that’s understandable. But the advantages of taking up running or cycling during the week leaves you fitter for the weekend walk. Not only can you enjoy it more, but you can also fit in a lot more over those precious few days! Improving fitness was the most important thing for my increased enjoyment of the outdoors. Who knows, you might actually enjoy them as well!
3 Get Outside Locally – While we’re based in Snowdonia, and within striking distance of the biggest names in UK mountains, there are some gems outside the main honey pots. The Shropshire hills are nearer to the South East, and might well give you an extra few hours outside. For Snowdonia itself, try the hills near Y Bala, which are about an hour closer to the Midlands than the superstars in the North.
4 Max that weekend out! Travel on the Friday, get a full outing on the Saturday, and a good half day on the Sunday. If you can wangle the time, then try and get to the hills as soon as possible on Friday evening. In the summer months that means you can fit a third walk in! It may be short, but it’s still a hill and you’ll deserve that beer later..
Moel Berfedd, Craig Fach or Clogwyn y Garreg make ideal Friday night bimbles to kick start your Snowdonia Weekender.
5 Note Beer – not the plural… Well, ok, there will be more than one, but it can be really easy for a walking weekend to be taken over by the social side of things. If you think I’m being preachy, I’m usually the most guilty of this!
6 Get the Family out as well! Insisting on you going shopping with them? Get them on the hill as well. Share the time, rather than fighting over it.
7 Embrace the night. Turn to the darkside and make use of those evening hours, even if it gets dark half way. With proper navigation behind you, night walks can be very rewarding, especially if you get to a viewpoint. If you’re near an urban area, then it may even be a bonus as it’ll be city and town lights as far as you can see. In more rural locations, you may spot or photograph the Milky Way.
8 Become a weather Nerd. Seriously obsessed. If you’ve got to struggle out in the wind and rain, then odds on you’ll be more likely to find an excuse not to. Try and plan your activities around what have become the rare gaps between rains of biblical proportions! You might even get your pics featured on TV in the process!
9 Want it, Plan it, Do It. If you want to #getoutside then you’ll need to decide how important it is to you, and what you’ll prioritise over it. You’ll obviously have to prioritise your day job over it, that mortgage needs paying for, and there’s family and all that, but you’ll find a slot somewhere. You may need to choose between a few hours TV or being active, your call. Get up an hour earlier if you have to. You may need to take a long look at how you manage your time, and prioritise your #getoutside time. Like Zammo – you may need to Just Say No to those things that eat into your precious time and not feel guilty about it.
Some may say you need to be slightly selfish in order to get that time, but to me it’s as important to me as eating and sleeping. It’s the time I’m spending now to invest in my future fitness and health so i’ll be able to enjoy my retirement when i finally turn 100 without being too much of a burden on society. So, no, making the time to keep fit and healthy isn’t selfish – it’s just as responsible as paying into a pension pot, and a lot more important!
Whatever you decide, it isn’t going to plan itself!