Monthly Archives: January 2015

6 Awesome Winter Activities For Kids

Awesome Winter Activities For Kids - Go Ape

Mum, I’m bored” is a phrase all parents dread when the weekend arrives. Kids sulk and sigh as they pace around the house looking for things to do. They want the warmer weather to arrive because to them, that means parks, picnics, water fights, and six whole weeks of playing in the sun with their pals.

But, just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we need to stay cooped up indoors. We don’t need sunshine and balmy temperatures to have fun outside (this is England, after all!). So long as you’re not battling blizzard conditions and you wrap up nice and warm, there’s plenty of awesome outdoor activities you and your kids can enjoy this winter. Here are 6 of them…

1. Mountain biking

(Most) kids love getting dirty, so why don’t you get suited and booted and hit some kid-friendly mountain bike trails? There are some fantastic forest trails across the UK; there may be some slips and slides as you tackle mud, sludge and giant puddles, so don’t forget to pack your helmets. Check out the Forestry Commission for family trails near you!

2. Winter nature trail

Nature trails can be just as fun in the winter, so grab your coat, scarves, gloves, a checklist and pen and head out to a nearby forest. As well as looking for different wildlife, trees and plants, try to include some winter-related items on your tick list, such as icy puddles and frosty branches.

3. Photography

A wintry walk in the countryside will provide you with plenty of picture-perfect opportunities, so equip your little one with a camera and tell them to take pictures of everything they find interesting. And the fun doesn’t stop there: when you get home, you could print their best snaps and get them to make a wintertime collage. Hours of fun!

4. Winter picnic

“Picnics are for summer,” we hear you say. Well, you’re wrong. A winter picnic needn’t be so ‘brrrr’ so long as you’ve packed all the right gear – scarves, hats, gloves, thick coats and trousers, and sturdy shoes (no peep toes please). If you’ve only got one thermos flask lurking in your kitchen cupboard it may be time to invest in another one; you’ll need one for the soup, and one for your hot chocolate.

Grizedale Forest - Tree Top Adventure - Go Ape5. Play in the snow

Many areas of the UK have already received their fair share of snow this year. So if you’re yet to have it, there’s a good chance you’ll be blessed with the white stuff sometime soon. And when it does arrive – think of all the fun your kids (and you) can have! From sledding and skiing to snowball fights and making snow angels, it’s important to make the most of it, because it certainly won’t be around forever!

Here’s our favourite snap of Grizedale Forest in the snow.

6. Go Ape

Do your kids love adventure? If so, then how does an afternoon in the trees sound? After getting harnessed-up and briefed, they’ll climb the high ropes to tackle some tricky obstacles and crazy crossings. And they’ll finish the course by whizzing down our infamous zip wire. What’s more fun than that?

Six of our Tree Top Junior Adventure courses are open for winter: Alice Holt Forest, Black Park Country Park, Cannock Forest, Grizedale Forest, Moors Valley Country Park and Sherwood Pines. Leave boredom behind and book Tree Top Junior online now. See you there!

8 reasons to get outdoors in January

Outside

We love January: It’s a fresh start, a chance to start new things, and most importantly plan your year’s adventures.

So why get outdoors in one of the chilliest months of the year?

1. It’s beautiful out there

Trust us, those frosty mornings and snow capped tree tops make for the most spectacular of walks (or runs!)

2. Fresh air feels good

You feel a little lethargic, it’s nothing that a good dose of fresh air can’t sort!

3. Get that vitamin D inside you

Vitamin D is essential for keeping bones strong and healthy and you can get your fair share just by going outside.

4. It makes you happier!

Getting out of the office when you’ve been cooped up inside is sure to put a smile on your face.

5. You’ll burn more calories

With a chill in the air, you’ll definitely burn more calories outside than in the gym!

6. You’ll sleep better

Fresh air is tiring, so spending time out there will mean that when your head hits the pillow you will get a great 8 hours sleep.

7. You won’t get ill!

Spending time in the great outdoors strengthens you immunity – FACT.

8. You’ll feel less stressed

Away from your desk and with nothing but open fields, you can’t help but feel less worried about life.

So wrap up and head to the great outdoors!

February is just around the corner and that means one thing in our world. Forest doors across the UK will be opening for the 2015 season! Book your next adventure now.

The Unexpected Benefits of Cold Weather

The-Benefits-of-Cold-Weather-Go-Ape1

It’s cold and dark when you make the struggle out of bed in the morning, and it’s cold and dark when you head home from a long day at work. All of this gloom can make you feel incredibly lethargic, what with recovering from the usual bout of colds and flu. The most your exercise regime consists of is reaching for the TV remote, settling down with a mug of hot chocolate and the latest episode of Broadchurch. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this but you could be depriving yourself of some impressive seasonal health benefits!

Cold Weather Burns Calories. That’s right!!

Your body contains ‘’brown fat’’ a type of fat found naturally in parts of the body that, when triggered, can burn off other ‘’white fat’’. Researchers discovered in 2012 that cold weather appeared to have set the brown fat into motion, simply put- being cold could be responsible for significant calorie burn, watch those Christmas pounds make their overdue departure!

Exercise could put SAD to bed

Are you affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? Exercise can release endorphins and combat depression. Plus, exercising outdoors helps boost your mood even more: One study found that people who exercised outdoors reported ‘increased energy, decreased feelings of depression, and were more likely to repeat their workouts’.

Watch your skin glow and hair shine!

Winter can leave your skin feeling tight and chapped – BUT exercising on a bitterly cold, and rainy day has surprising beauty benefits. For example, moving between hot and cold areas can mean better circulation, as the change in temperature pushes the blood around the body. Good circulation is great for the body because it prevents problems like hypertension and hardening of the arteries, as well as reducing the appearance of varicose veins. What’s more, cold air can mean healthier hair. Ever thought why is there is a ‘cool’ button on your hairdryer? Cool air makes your hair shinier and cold water closes the cuticle which makes the hair stronger.

The ideal climate for running

Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist, sports performance coach, and author of The Marathon Method, whole heartedly encourages people to run in the cold weather stating; “The colder the weather, the less heat stress on the body, which makes it significantly easier to run. Running in hot and humid weather is extremely taxing on the body.”

Out in the crisp, circulation-boosting air, a Go Ape adventure provides the perfect balance of a workout and exposing yourself to the winter elements, however harsh they seem, they are actually giving you that much needed well-being boost. Forget sinking in the sofa and start planning your next wonderful winter adventure.

Add years to your life

TreeTopAdventureWalk

There’s heaps of benefits to getting out and going for a walk, but researchers have found that just twenty minutes a day will add years to your life.

It’s the January rush and crowds have been flocking to the gym, but walking is a refreshing alternative. Not only is it free, but you can also make it part of your everyday life. There’s no place better to walk than in a crisp beautiful forest wrapped up from the cold winter air.

The research, undertaken at Cambridge University, found that twenty minutes of brisk walking daily reduces the risk of premature death by a third.

So why not hunt out your gloves and a bobble hat and head for the forest? You’ll find getting out in the fresh air and spending time with loved ones leaves you feeling happier. Our Go Ape adventures are set in some of the UK’s most beautiful forests and country parks, all offering tantalising trails and stunning scenery.  Find out which one is nearest to you!

#LoveAdventure

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