Category Archives: Health & Fitness

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.

 

Time to burn off those Easter eggs!

Chocolate
Right, it’s time to confess: how many choccy eggs did you devour over Easter?

You thought your stash would last for weeks, but there’s something about Easter egg chocolate that makes it oh-so irresistible. It has what we call a ‘Pringle effect’ on us; once we take that first tongue-tantalising bite, we’re hooked and find it impossible to stop.

And when someone looks at you disappointedly and questions how you’ve managed to gobble three large eggs in one sitting, you have your reply ready: “Well…they are hollow!”

Which means they can’t be that many calories… right!?

If you believe ignorance is bliss, you may want to skip this section.

We found ourselves wondering how many cals are loaded into those hollow, choccy eggs, so we did some research.

*Gulp*

We discovered a study by Bidvine, revealing the calorie content of the nation’s fave Easter eggs. If you were treated to a Dairy Milk XL Easter egg this year, you may be (unpleasantly) surprised to learn that it packs a whopping 1,758 calories (egg + bars). To burn off that many cals would take either 5.9 hours of walking, 3 hours of running, 2 hours of swimming, or 2.1 hours of squatting.

Cadbury caramel eggs packed the second highest amount of cals (1,683), followed by Mars (1,623), Flake/Wispa (1,562) and Double Decker (1,549). But if you enjoyed a Smarties egg, then don’t feel too bad they only contain 680 cals, although they’d still take 1.2 hours of running to burn off.

Time for some eggs-ercise!

Sorry, we don’t want to sound like Willy Wonka’s dentist Dad, groaning about eating too much chocolate. Besides, we all deserve to treat ourselves every now and then.

But if your egg-cessive egg munching has left you feeling full up and fed up, then some good ol’ fashion exercise will help. If you want to burn off your Easter eggs as quickly as possible, here are some activities to get involved in:

 Tennis
Tennis 

Like any sport, you get out what you put in. If you want to shift cals fast, then you need to push yourself on that court. Keep those legs moving!

Swimming

 

Swimming

The butterfly is a hard stroke to master, but it’s the best for burning fat. An hour’s worth of non-stop butterfly could burn around 1,000 calories and if you can manage that, then you deserve a medal!

Kick Boxing
 Kick-boxing

Kick and punch those calories away! Book an intense one-on-one session with a trainer and you could shift around 1,000 cals in a single hour.

 

 

Bike Ride
Bike ride

No leisurely cruises…if you want to burn cals quick, you need to pedal fast, picking a route with long flats to practice your sprinting, plus a few hills for good measure. If you don’t have a bike to hop on, a 45-min spin class at the gym burns around 750 calories.

Go Ape!

There’s a reason Tarzan was so buff: swinging through the trees is hard graft! Completing one of our award-winning Tree Top Adventure courses burns around 510 calories in women, and 660 in men. And you’ll be having so much fun, you won’t even realise you’re exercising!

Our courses have tunnels you can crawl through, ladders you can clamber up, bridges you can swing on, and platforms you can leap off! So, what are you waiting for? Book your Go Ape adventure today!

Segway polo? What you need to know

UK Segway Polo

You’ve heard of polo, right?

No not the refreshing white mint! We’re talking about the team sport played on horseback, where riders try and score by driving a small white ball into their opponents’ net using long-handled mallets. Know the one?

Well, there have been many variations of the sport over the years. The US invented auto polo, where (as you can probably guess) four wheels take the place of four legs, as players buckle-up and ride around in cars. Then there’s cycle polo, motorbike polo, elephant polo (played in South Asia), and yak polo (played in Mongolia)!

But there’s one more take on traditional polo that we’ve so far failed to mention and this one definitely gets our vote: Segway polo!

We scoured the web (thanks a lot, Wiki!) and found some facts and stats on the sport…

  • Origin: The US
  • Rules: Adapted from a mix of bicycle and horse polo
  • Regulation field size: 61 metres x 39 metres
  • Goal size: 2.4 metres wide x 1.5 metres high
  • Match duration: 4 x 8-minute quarters, known in polo as “chukkers”
  • Countries played: Inc. US, UK, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Barbados, Lebanon
  • Established in the UK: 2014
  • Official governing body: The International Segway Polo Association (ISPA)
  • World championship: The Woz Challenge Cup
  • Our fave fact: The 2017 Woz Cup will be played in London this year, from 27 July to 30 July!

We bet you’re hoping that Segway polo comes up as a category in the next pub quiz, right? We sure are! In the meantime, how would you like to have a go on a Segway yourself?

Forest Segway Wood

In many of our locations across the UK, you can choose to embark on a Forest Segway Experience! You won’t be able to play any polo (sorry), but you will be able to get off the beaten track for an hour’s worth of exploration with your tribe.

Actually, thinking about it, you could always invent your own game of forest polo if you like pick up a long stick to use as a mallet, and a pine cone as your ball. But Segway-ing does require your undivided attention, and we wouldn’t want any passers-by to be struck be an airborne pine cone – ouch!

Segways are a great alternative to walking, running or biking the trails. They’re a chance to put your feet up and enjoy a leisurely cruise weaving in and out of the trees as you go!

A Forest Segway Experience costs just for 60 minutes and includes a safety demo, practice session (so you can master the art of balance), and a truly unforgettable experience in the heart of the forest. When your adventure is over and you roll back to base, you’ll receive a certificate as a memento that you can stick on the fridge.

Who knows, you might enjoy a Forest Segway Experience so much, you’ll want to find out if there are any local Segway polo teams in your area!

If you plan on rolling with us, make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. We hope to see you in the forest very soon!

How to come out of hibernation…the Go Ape way!

Go Ape Hibernaton Blog

Zzzzzzzzzzz!

Although we promote year-round adventures, we know that many people choose to hibernate during the winter months. They escape Mother Nature’s elements by spending their evenings and weekends inside, in the warmth, sheltered by four walls and a ceiling.

Don’t get us wrong, we love the occasional cosy night in or lazy weekend day. But if we spend too much of our time indoors, we start to go a bit stir crazy!

It’s important to resist the temptation to hide from winter by hibernating until spring. Why? Because heading out into the great outdoors this time of year has loads of benefits – such as…

– It improves our mood, helping us to combat the notorious SAD (that’s short for Seasonal Affective Disorder, if you didn’t know)
– It enhances creativity and focus (ideal if you’re trying to think up a brilliant idea or solve a problem!)
– We get to soak up some of that much-needed Vitamin D
– Our immune systems gets stronger, helping us to stave off the dreaded winter lurgy

Now you’re aware of the benefits, just how can you come out of hibernation in style!? We asked the Go Ape tribe to offer some suggestions…

Reach a peak

“Dig out and dust off your hiking boots and conquer a mountain peak or two with your other half. Don’t forget to pack some grub to enjoy at the top!”

Set up camp

“Pitch-up under the stars and spend the night around a campfire with your family, telling stories, singing songs and toasting marshmallows. Don’t forget blankets lots of blankets…”

Take to the trails

“Test your mountain biking skills on some local trails. Don’t worry about a spot or two of rain slippery trails are all the more fun, after all!”

Ride the waves

“Don a wetsuit and head for water go diving, sailing, kayaking, surfing or paddle boarding.”

Get snap happyGo Ape Snappy Rainbow

“Take your fancy camera for a trip to the countryside (or ask to borrow a friend’s). It’s surprising how much more of your surroundings you soak in when searching for the perfect shot.”

Off the beaten track

“Ditch the treadmills and boring roads. Pick a mountain and give fell running a shot. It’s so much more rewarding and the views are always awesome!”

Head deep underground

“Join a group to explore some of the UK’s eerily fascinating caves. White Scar Cave, Peak Cavern and Chislehurst Caves all get my vote.”

Get your adrenaline pumping

“If you’re looking for something to get your pulse racing, try canyoning in Wales. It’s basically white water rafting without the raft!”

Swing through the trees

“Let loose in the forest at Go Ape! You’ll feel like you can conquer anything when you complete one of our Tree Top Adventure courses.”

If you’re one step ahead of us and have already ditched the confines of your humble abode for the great outdoors, let us know how you came out of hibernation! We’re always on the hunt for new adventure ideas…

 

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