Category Archives: Community

How to Celebrate Senior Health and Fitness Day

Raymond Go Ape Crathes Castle

As the world celebrates Senior Health and Fitness Day on 31st May, we explore five ways we can all keep our minds and bodies on their toes (so to speak).

1) Try something new

Aristotle may have been one of the first philosophers to make the distinction between happiness we feel in the moment (hedonia), and the satisfaction that comes from constantly developing and living life to the fullest (eudaimonia). Slightly more modern research has revealed that the sense of purpose that comes from eudaimonia is associated with lower cortisol levels, increased immune function, and better sleep.

Have you thought about open water swimming? A brilliant choice for confident swimmers, swimming in cold water burns more calories, works every single muscle, and is a great way of meeting people. There are lots of opportunities to get involved – visit SwimEngland for more tips.

2) Spend time with lots of different people

Mixing with people of all different ages and backgrounds introduces us to different perspectives – which can sometimes make us challenge our own outlook.

Have you thought about dancing? Thanks to a certain celebrity dance show that we’ve all heard of, dancing in the UK is experiencing a boom, with popularity growing among people of all ages and cultures. Why limit yourself to the ballroom when there’s Latin, Flamenco, Bhangra, Street…

3) Reconnect with nature

We’ve all heard the benefits of exercising outdoors. Research by Professor Jules Pretty of the University of Essex has revealed that green exercise is associated with increased feelings of revitalization and decreased feelings of anger, confusion and depression.

Have you thought about dog agility? A lot of clubs take classes outdoors in the summer, and little Rufus doesn’t have to be a prime athlete to join in –classes are usually open to dogs (and owners) of all shapes, sizes and ages. Contrary to popular belief, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks…

4) Embrace technology

Video communication apps like Skype can be a big help in bringing people closer together. Social media channels such as Facebook can also be a handy way of organising or searching for events in your local area. There are also lots of fitness games and apps on the market, designed to improve health and wellbeing, from sharpening mental agility to improving balance and core strength.

Have you thought about a Forest Segway adventure? A novel way to explore the forest floor, our Segway adventures allow you embrace technology and nature at the same time.

Raymond Goes Ape5) Take inspiration from others

Here at Banana HQ, we’re often reminded that adventure really doesn’t have any limit. Take one of our favourite Silverbacks, Raymond, who leapt into the limelight this Autumn by becoming the oldest member of our Tribe.  At the tender age of 93, Raymond joined his granddaughter’s 21st birthday celebrations on our Tree Top Adventure at Crathes Castle. Speaking of his adventure, Raymond said, “I don’t think age should ever be a barrier and I am always keen to try something new.”

There you go. We should all be more like Raymond.

 

Move over Hygge…Hello world!

Zip, Zip, Horray

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or in the middle of a forest with no connection to the outside world), you’ve probably heard of Hygge.

Hygge is associated with cosiness. It’s that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re cuddled up on the sofa reading your favourite book, cocooned in a fluffy blanket in front of a crackling fire. It’s a feeling of comfort and contentment; it’s indulging in all the good things and good people in your life, check out how we like to embrace Hygge.

Now, it’s never our aim to upset readers of our blog, and the amount of press Hygge’s received can only mean that there are plenty of devotees out there.

But, we’re kind of over it.

We embraced Hygge for months and loved every second, but those days and evenings spent inside has got us yearning for some time in the great outdoors! We’re sure it wasn’t its intention, but too much Hygge led us to develop a serious case of cabin fever!

Half-term at Go ApeWith the days getting longer and lighter (finally!), Mother Nature is calling out our names (can you hear her?). We want nothing more than to wrap up warm, head out and explore! It’s still a winter wonderland out there, but that’s not a bad thing. The great outdoors is beautiful this time of the year, sure it’s cold, but dress right and that won’t even matter!

It’s hard to explain. Unlike Hygge, there isn’t a word to describe the feeling you get after spending a day in the great outdoors. It’s a mixture of feelings, we guess. We feel positive, revitalised, content, accomplished and connected (to nature, that is).

We can’t summarise is with a single word perhaps we should make one up? (Answers on a postcard, please!).

Outside, there’s no limit to what you can do. Got kids? Organise a scavenger hunt, build a fort or supervise a campfire, where you can all keep warm, toast marshmallows and sing songs. Hanging out with your other half? Drive out to the countryside for a winter picnic, complete with blankets, sarnies and a flask of hot chocolate. Spending the day with your friends? Cruise a forest trail on your bikes, and stop off at a pub en route back home.

If you’re looking for an outdoor activity that will get your adrenaline pumping, then why not take to the trees at Go Ape? Embark on a Tree Top Adventure and you’ll clamber high up into the canopy to crawl through tunnels, wobble across bridges, swing from stirrups and leap off platforms! Oh, and whoosh down zip wires, too!

We’re officially on countdown…Go Ape’s forest doors open on the 11th of February – and we can hardly contain our excitement! Book before 10th February and save 20% off your half-term adventure, and so that you have something to get excited about!

See you very soon!

The Adventure Fund in action: apes versus wolves

wolfrun-winter-16-adventure-fund

Here at Go Ape we’re all for celebrating adventure and stepping up to new challenges. So much so, that we offer an adventure fund for our staff that are looking to live life more adventurously. This year, one of our instructors at Go Ape Cannock, Rebekah Florence, decided to step up to the plate and take on not one, but TWO physical challenges. In part 1 of her story, Beki tells of her experiences with the Wolf Run 2016.

 

Here’s what she had to say:

“A few years ago, I remember seeing an obstacle race on TV and thought to myself I’d love to be able to do that, but quickly convinced myself I’d never be fit enough.

Since turning 30 last year, I decided I was fed up of feeling unfit and avoiding activities because of low confidence so found myself a great gym as well as taking the plunge to apply to join the Go Ape tribe.

The combination of my new levels of fitness, and working alongside some greatly supportive and adventurous people, my personal confidence grew buckets. Because of this, I have been getting involved in more and more activities that I never thought possible.

Fast forward to this autumn. My fitness is still a work-in-progress, but I decided to set myself a pretty big goal of participating in the Tough Mudder challenge next May.

As part of my preparation, I wanted to get to grips with an obstacle style event, and thanks to the amazing Adventure fund provided to Go Ape staff, I was able to participate alongside some friends in The Winter Wolf Run that was held at Stanford Hall, in Leicestershire.

The concept behind the Wolf Run was to re-create the feeling of running in natural terrain – a wild run that would allow people to experience natural, raw running conditions as far as possible whilst also presenting runners with a challenging, interesting and enjoyable event.” – Wolf Run, 2016.

Adventure awaits

wolf-run-go-ape-teamWhen we arrived, the temperature had taken a nice little dip to about 6°C which meant we were pretty cold before even starting.

In total there were 37 obstacles – both natural and man-made over a 10K distance. A lot of these obstacles involved water including a short underwater swim in the river, and a lake swim.

I have never felt cold like this, but was so proud to complete these obstacles as I have previously struggled with a fear of water.

The cold really battered our motivation and will, but I was determined to complete this challenge. Once we crossed that finish line, I felt an immense sense of pride and achievement (although it took longer to feel my fingers and toes again).

 

Although I still have a long way to go with my training for Tough Mudder, I really feel that this event has worked wonders for my grit and determination to push myself further – Beki Florence”

 

We’re looking forward to seeing how Beki progresses in her training over the next year or so. We may be biased, but we’re sure that Beki will release her inner Tarzan yet again and swing through it like a breeze. GO TEAM CANNOCK!

Go Ape for Trees for Cities

Trees for Cities and Go Ape

One tree, two tree, three tree, four – let’s plant some more!

Winter Activities for KidsAt Go Ape, we’re all about the trees. They’re the foundations of our business (literally – our Tree Top Adventure couldn’t happen without them and our Forest Segway Experience would be pretty forest-less without some trees in the mix).

Anyway, last week was National Tree Week (hurray!), and we want to encourage you to show the trees you know and love how much you appreciate them – that’s right, give your favourite tree a hug!

This year, National Tree Week was between 26th November and 4th December. Launched way back when (in 1975), National Tree Week is the largest tree celebration all year and kicks off the start of winter tree planting season.

But why not extend National Tree Week?

If you’ve ever wanted to plant a tree, or you just want to help out, then this is the time. Until 18th December, when you treat your little monkeys to a Tree Top Junior experience we’ll donate £2 from every booking to our friends at Trees for Cities!

Winter is a wonderful time to explore the tree tops with your kids no matter how frosty it is outside. Grab those coats, wrap up with a scarf and pack your gloves for an adventure that will keep you warm as you navigate the obstacles and crossings. As a treat, why not celebrate afterwards with a warming hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows!)

Who are Trees for Cities?

Tree Top Junior in WinterSince 1993, Trees for Cities have encouraged over 70,000 people to plant over 600,000 urban trees in parks, streets, schools and housing estates across the UK, all with the aim of creating greener cities worldwide.

Autumn is a rough time for trees. They dress up their leaves in their prettiest outfits and then they just fall to the ground and get trodden on by oblivious passers-by.

And don’t even get me started on winter – those poor naked trees standing out in the cold. So it’s important that you do everything you can to help the lil (or big) fellas out.

Trees are friends

Trees aren’t just part of the backdrop; they are living, breathing creatures. Trees are part of our wonderful ecosystem. Breathe in, breathe out. We need their Oxygen and they need our CO2. The trees are doing it, too (OK, OK, so trees don’t breathe in the traditional sense).

“One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. So while you might think that tree over there isn’t doing much at all, just busy being a tree, you’d be wrong. Beneath its cool, laid back exterior, trees are working pretty darn hard. They even remove nasty fluff and stuff hanging in the air – from dust to carbon monoxide, they intercept these baddies and then (our friend) the rain washes them away. Wahoo! Go team!

So be a friend and enjoy an adventure like no other to help out your local treescape, book a Tree Top junior experience.

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