It’s fantastic for your physical health

Being physically active is good for your health wherever you do it but taking your activity outside brings additional benefits. Studies have suggested that walking or jogging outdoors can bring down your blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Fresh air helps promote good sleep, while sunshine gives you essential vitamin D. Children and adolescents with access to nature also tend to enjoy more physical activity and more engaged in learning. So, building some outdoor activity into your routine can help you feel good and stay healthy during the COVID pandemic and beyond. Our experiences in the great outdoors, connecting with nature, whether in our villages, towns cities or coast, makes us happier and healthier.

It supports your mental health and wellbeing

Numerous studies have found that spending time in nature has a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing at all ages. Stepping out into green spaces for your walk or run gives an extra lift to your mood and increases your feelings of self-esteem. And woods, fields, and parks are great places to practise mindfulness – taking some time out of your busy schedule to relax and use your senses to reflect on your natural surroundings.  Our  green access not only support a range of health and wellbeing  benefits, but can also foster social cohesion – connectedness and belonging.

Missing meeting up with friends at work, the gym, or coffee shop? Being active together outdoors is a great way to reconnect with people, build relationships and reduce feelings of isolation.

It’s easy to maintain social distancing

Essex is blessed with thousands of square miles of open space, you are never far from a quiet spot where you can safely exercise while sticking to social distancing guidelines.

It’s for everyone!

You don’t need to buy a ticket to get outside and be active, or any special equipment apart from comfy footwear and clothing suitable for the great British weather! Whether it’s a stroll with the kids to the local playground, a sunny afternoon on the beach, or a jog around the block with a friend, it’s all free for you to enjoy whenever you want to.

Essex has many easy access paths which are accessible for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility, as well as families with pushchairs. For more information on accessible countryside for everyone visit the Accessible Countryside website.

Find your local park or green space here! Or visit our Activity Finder to explore the opportunities in your local area!

Other websites to find information

Essex Outdoors

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Visit Essex

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Essex Wildlife Trust

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National Trusts Walks

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Essex Walks

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Essex Highways

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Visit Essex Walks

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Visit Epping Forest

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Cycle routes from Essex Highways

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Cycle routes from Visit Essex

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Love to Ride

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Apps that can help you exercise outdoors

Couch to 5k

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Street Tag Basildon

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Better Health

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Active Essex
Two people playing catch

Activity Finder

Discover what physical activity and sport opportunities are available near you.

Find Your Active here