9 January 2019
This month, the Lake District National Park Authority is encouraging members of the public to ‘Get fit in the Lakes’. However, finding time isn’t always easy, especially for busy professionals who often feel they need to prioritise their business and clients over their own wellbeing. Sound familiar?
Enter Freshwalks, where business and wellbeing meet. And did so last October when a group of 24 businesspeople descended upon Ambleside for an inaugural Lake District trip. A weekend of walking, talking, networking (ugh, there’s that word) and some fine food and drink in the evenings too.
Having met in the centre of Ambleside on Thursday lunchtime, we hiked up Loughrigg Fell on the most perfect of Autumn days. With blue skies above and the crystal clear waters of Grasmere and Rydal glistening in front of the colourful autumnal landscape, the constraints of the office couldn’t have been further away.
Friday saw the main body of walkers take on the superb Fairfield Horseshoe loop. A full-day hike and some of the finest views anywhere in the UK – even given the misty day which lent an ethereal vibe to the mountain views. An amazing challenge for all and our weary walkers were then able to take advantage of Ambleside’s wonderful hospitality options in the evening as we celebrated and reflected the day’s achievements.
So here’s why walking and fresh air worked for us:
Numerous studies have created a link between regular exercise and improved cognitive ability. Aerobic physical activity stimulates the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus region of the brain, which leads to memory-enhancing, productivity-inducing and mind-focusing abilities. And walking even makes us more creative too.
Exercise, particularly in green spaces, is a vital part of mental wellbeing and a great way to cope with the stresses of daily life. Physical activity produces a chemical in the brain called norepinephrine, which moderates the body’s response to stress, and endorphins, which create feelings of calm and wellbeing. Tiring your body through exercise also helps you have a great night’s sleep. It’s all good.
Sometimes a change in scenery is all that’s needed to provide a fresh perspective on a personal or business challenge. Better still, why not share it with some like-minded folk who’ll help you solve it. The Lake District is the kind of place where you can make those game-changing decisions.
The natural environment helps to break down barriers that would ordinarily exist within a formal networking setting and nothing builds relationships like the shared sense of achievement in a group conquering a route like the Fairfield Horseshoe.
So we’d definitely suggest that stepping away from your office and into the mountains is time very well spent and will fuel your business in a number of ways. And finally, if the battle of a hard slog on the highest Lakeland fells can’t build the kind of resilience you need to lead or manage a business, what else will?
You can find out more about Freshwalks at www.freshwalks.co.uk