Many people find that taking part in physical activity helps them to boost their sense of wellbeing and maintain positive mental health, and here at F&P Interiors, we find that these ‘workouts’ are especially powerful throughout the winter months.
But by workouts, we don't mean running marathons or training every day at the gym. There are lots of different things you can do to be a bit more active, so we thought we would share our favourite local activities that do wonders for our health, in the hope that they do the same for you…
Chatty Loves: Walking up Chanctonbury Ring
Growing up so close to the South Downs national park, walking up to Chanctonbury Ring has always been my go-to mood boosting exercise. A challenging muscle burner that rewards you with exceptional views across West Sussex, this hike is an excellent way to clear your head as you slowly make your way up to this magnificent local landmark.
Climbing it solo, first thing on a weekend with just me and my dogs, is my favourite way to walk it as watching them run wild along the ridgeways and up and down the hillsides never fails to cheer me up. This sense of freedom rejuvenates me after a busy working week and the sense of achievement as you reach the top is well worth it… especially if you bring something delicious to enjoy as a reward whilst taking in the views!
Alice Enjoys: Sea Swimming in Worthing
Since moving to Worthing seafront just over a year ago, I vowed that I would make the most of living so close to the coast by taking up sea swimming, and 8 months in I am completely hooked! It is common knowledge that a cold water shock to the system first thing can become very addictive and it is said to boost your immune system, lower your stress levels and improve your circulation.
For me, it also gives me this immense, physical, natural high that is like no other. Whilst I enjoy each and every swim, I will say that taking that initial plunge never gets any easier, however many times you do it. However I have found that a good pair of swim socks and gloves with wrist straps have made the whole thing more comfortable, so make the investment.
My favourite swims are at my local beach in East Worthing, just 5 minutes from my front door (and a hot shower) but I would advise anyone who is keen to head to your nearest coast and you will find a ready-made, friendly sea swimming community who will support you through your first few dips.
Heather Loves: Her 'Mums Run' Along the Seafront
Initially, after a mum friend invited me for a 5 km seafront run, I actually couldn’t think of anything worse, but we were long overdue a catch up so thought I’d give it a go! Running has always been an exercise I’ve dipped my toe into, strictly as a solo runner, and to be honest I’ve never enjoyed it. However, after our first ‘mums run,’ I noticed how our 30 minute session flew by as we discussed the hilarious and frustrating things our children had got up to that week!
Now we run every week, come rain or shine and it’s something we both really look forward to. It is a great motivator to pull on your trainers knowing you have someone relying on you turning up, plus having someone to offer encouragement when you are feeling tired! We are now planning longer runs, but purely for the sense of achievement (and to escape the house / children / chores a little longer) but we have both decided that it is never about how fast we run, how much weight can we lose, or whose the fittest. It is purely time for us, something which I have learnt is so important to my personal wellbeing.
Tilly Loves: Horse Riding Through The Downs
Riding makes me feel instantly relaxed and it is great to have an excuse to spend so much time outside. The bond that I have with my horse is incredible and riding has always been my main source of exercise. I love it as not only does it offer me a physical workout, being on horseback offers you the very best views of the countryside - nothing beats it!
A reason to get outside in the fresh air, every trek is exciting and I see something new on every trail. I am lucky to live at the foot of the South Downs and have access to lots of beautiful bridleways that take you to and into the hills. My favourite is at the top of Bramlands Lane, very close to the F&P Interiors Showroom, as the landscape changes so dramatically throughout the seasons.
Wildflower meadows in the spring transform into burning autumnal scenes, full of bird life and activity come October. The hardest time to motivate myself is after the first frosts arrive, however I am always rewarded with breathtaking wintery views across the hills. Often the only ones up there, together we take in the stillness and enjoy the peace and serenity it offers. Plus an exhilarating gallop across the tops soon warms me and Phoenix up on a cold and frosty morning!
Sophia Loves: Stretching Herself With Pilates
I was first introduced to Pilates by my Physio who recommended it for Injury prevention and rehab, being a professional Contemporary Dancer in my former life! Nearly a decade later, I have not only found so much joy in aligning my mind and body through mindful movements, but I am also now certified in teaching.
Even if you don’t have injuries, the benefits of Pilates are extensive including improved posture, increased bone density, increased muscular strength and flexibility. It gives me space to just focus on my body and not let my mind drift. It makes me feel strong yet supple and I enjoy the challenge each session brings. It’s quantifiable, so if you have a hint of being competitive with yourself, you can. Alternatively, I also use it as a way to relax as the rhythmic breathing taps into my parasympathetic nervous system which calms and restores both my body and my mind.
It’s never too late to get into Pilates, I would recommend going along to a group session to learn the principles and see what your body needs. Local places to do Pilates using equipment are Brighton Pilates Studio and Reach Physio, or if you want a more tailored approach, 1:1 sessions are great.
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