Getting out into the crisp fresh air and kicking through crunchy leaves can be the perfect way to blow the cobwebs away, particularly if you’ve got children. And, according to The Mental Health Foundation, even a 10 minute brisk walk can increase mental alertness, energy and positive mood. It explains that taking part in regular physical exercise has many different benefits including reducing stress and increasing self-esteem. The Foundation publishes a free-to-download report ‘How to Look After Your Mental Health Using Exercise’ which suggests that a low-intensity aerobic activity such as walking, for 30-35 minutes three to five days a week can work wonders for our mood.
You may have your own favourite Autumn walks already, but if not, we love some of these suggestions, taken from Wanderlust’s website:
To find Autumn walks closer to home, why not try the National Trust website where you can search for the best places to walk in your locality? The site also includes information about nature in Autumn and the wildlife to look out for including deer and overwintering birds. If you love wildlife, the site allows you to search for Autumn wildlife walks.
The Woodland Trust have some great suggestions for outdoor activities for children this Autumn. As you walk through an Autumn woodland, for example, keep your eyes peeled for the many different colours of leaves, as well as falling seeds and fungi on the forest floor. You might want to collect natural materials like conkers, leaves, twigs and seeds to take home to make pictures and crafts – although only take fallen natural items and never take anything direct from the tree.
Wildlife is busy at this time of year preparing for the cold Winter months. Why not give each child a notebook and get them to note down when they spot creatures like squirrels, birds or – if you’re lucky – deer? And then, of course, there’s the activity that all children love – jumping in fallen leaves! Take photos and add them to a photographic memory board at home.
Even if you can’t get out into the countryside, a trip to your local park will allow you to enjoy the beautiful colours and scents of the season and fill your lungs with crisp Autumn air. What’s not to love?
Read our Becoming a Foster Carer page to see how you can start your fostering adventure and make a difference today!