Molly Miller from Bewl Water talks about the best ways to shrug off those New Year winter blues…
Research by Decathlon has found that physical activity improves wellbeing more than money, socialising, or new hobbies, in a study conducted with 2,000 UK adults.
Tracked against 14 different markers, including thinking clearly, feeling relaxed and having energy to spare, results showed that active lifestyles have 24% higher wellbeing scores than those doing little or no exercise.
The study comes in what has been defined as the ‘most depressing month of the year’.
According to The Samaritans, January sees 20% of Brits experience low moods compared to 4.5% at any other time, but Decathlon’s research has shown how we can best pick ourselves up and lift our mental state.
Physical activities such as brisk walking and riding a bike have been proven to release chemicals in your brain that make you feel good – boosting your self-esteem and helping you concentrate as well as sleep well and feel better.
Those finding themselves face-to-face with the blues can put this research to the test at Bewl Water in Lamberhurst, which is encouraging its visitors to embrace the world around them and stay active this January.
Home to southeast England’s largest body of open fresh water, the reservoir has some glorious places to explore and they are not just reserved for the summer.
The site welcomes more than 140,000 people from around Kent every year and has said it wants to make it easier than ever for people to get outside and feel good throughout 2023.
Boasting 800 acres of picturesque landscapes, the grounds are made up of woodland walks, cycle paths, as well as many activities fit for the whole family and while car parking costs £6 for the day, most activities are free to enjoy.
Designed for little adventurers with the most imaginative of minds, there are two outdoor playgrounds that are free to visit. They are open from 8am to 5pm every day and help small children enhance their balance and agility skills.
The largest of the two, the adventure pirate ship features large slides and sweeping timber structures, while the smaller play area is packed with climbing frames, a rocking boat, and a basket swing.
Families after something for older children and adults can take advantage of the 12-and-a-half miles of bike-riding paths which surround the lake.
Made up of woodlands and meadows, you can cycle the paths using your own bike or hire one and enjoy 50% off until February 2023. Bewl says it hopes the discount will make getting outside and staying active easier for everyone.
Other free activities include the family-friendly self-guided walking trails and the bird hide and nature reserve which are just a short walk from Wards Lane.
And for those who visited Bewl Water’s Magical Christmas Elf Trail in December, a new adventure has opened this January which the reservoir says will continue to be free to enjoy.
The trail, which features Bewl Water’s new mascot, Ranger Bear (who made his first appearance over Christmas) encourages children to explore the magical woodlands and find Ranger Bear’s missing friends by collecting clues along the way.
Maps for Ranger Bear’s Winter Quest can be collected in the Waterfront Café, where colouring sheets for a new competition can also be found.
To be in with a chance of winning a special prize, children will need to colour in the new mascot and show off their best creative skills before posting their entry via ‘Bear Mail’ into the post box.
All colouring sheets will be featured on the ‘Wall of Fame’ and entries can also be sent via Instagram (@bewlwater) where the winner will be announced on March 17.