The benefits of physical activity
When we stop to consider what really matters to us in life, many of us share similar priorities. For a lot of us, it’s likely to be achieving the sort of lifestyle that allows us to spend time with our families, and to do our level best to secure their health and their happiness. For anyone looking to take steps towards a healthier and more family-centred lifestyle, Stubbers is a great place to start. We offer fun and adventurous activities, so that families can spend quality time here together. But it’s also a place where just about anyone can develop a real enthusiasm around physical activity – and grow happier and healthier as a result.
Why is exercise good for you? Well, the benefits of physical activity, are pretty well established. Doctors and scientists agree that regular exercise is an important part of maintaining our health and fitness. But beyond the physical benefits of exercise, at Stubbers we are firm believers in the social and emotional benefits of exercise and activity here in the great outdoors. Here are 10 of the benefits that physical activity gives us that we’re totally grateful for!
Find energy you never knew you had
The kids always seem to have endless reserves of energy, don’t they? Maybe you can grab a bit of that vitality for yourself. Ironically, with regular exercise, most people find they are actually less exhausted during the day-to-day! You may not feel like getting physical when your energy levels are low, but getting the blood pumping and the oxygen flowing will often give you the shot in the arm you need.
One of the big long-term effects of exercise is that your fitter, healthier body will cope better with daily tasks and fight illness more efficiently, leaving you feeling better and brighter all-round. An invigorating walk around Stubbers’ 130-acre site is absolutely free, and provides a beautiful, natural backdrop for your first steps into a more active lifestyle.
Aerobic exercise – the regular exercise you do over longer periods of time – will vastly improve your stamina, helping you to feel fitter and not get out of breath so easily. The immediate effects of exercise of this type are that they get the heart and lungs working harder than normal for an extended period. This strengthens their performance in the long term and helps to keep them healthy.
For a lot of folks, it means walking, running or cycling, as we want to be using large muscle groups like the legs. But rowing is a great example of aerobic exercise that uses the upper body too, as well as adding a fun element to the regime!
Building your endurance can seem daunting, but the long-term benefits of exercise are certainly worth it. The NHS recommendation for adults aged 19 to 64 is for a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. The good news is that just a brisk, daily 30-minute walk, 5 days a week, is enough to hit the target.
Going from strength to strength
We all know pumping iron can result in an increase in muscle mass, but the benefits of working out are not just about bulking up. As we get older, our musculature begins to degenerate in size and strength. If you want to keep on top, you’ve got to use it or lose it! As well as the muscles, strength exercises also help to keep our bones tough and solid, whatever our age.
Another by-product of building muscle strength is an improvement in the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This helps your body process carbs, maintain energy levels and manage your weight. Strength training can help you to remain flexible too, allowing you to stay lithe and mobile into old age.
Tackling weight gain and losing weight
One of the most important advantages of exercise is that it helps to control your weight. The more energy you can burn off through physical activity, the less your body will store as extra weight.
And why is physical activity important in relation to keeping an eye on your weight? Coupled with a sensible, balanced diet, exercise is the best way to keep your weight in check. Weight problems can lead to all sorts of physical issues as we get older. Becoming overweight can expose us to the risk a number of serious diseases – so it’s best to limit that risk as much as we can through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The mental health benefits of exercise
Physical activity has been shown time and time again to help relieve stress, anxiety, depression and any number of mental health challenges. Stubbers has some great activities like paddle-boarding and sailing that allow us to get active in a mindful way, centre our attention and improve our mental well-being in a natural setting.
Physical activity also gives us a great sense of achievement as we work towards and accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. As a result, getting fit and healthy is a great way of building your self-esteem and tackling low confidence, especially if you start feeling happier about your appearance as a result.
Preserve your brainpower
In addition to helping your mood, other mental benefits of exercise are that it also helps maintain brain function and help to ward off the degeneration of the brain that can occur through ageing or dementia-related conditions.
That’s because getting plenty of exercise promotes the production of brain chemicals that are essential for maintaining the area of your brain called the hippocampus. Keeping it healthy and functioning helps your verbal memory and supports your capacity for learning as you get older.
Get longer good-quality, restful sleep!
Wouldn’t we all benefit from sleeping sooner, deeper and longer? And for the kids, it can mean better performance at school. Well, that’s just what you and the family could stand to gain from regular aerobic exercise! Grown-ups can find stress and anxiety to be a barrier to drifting off at night, but people doing exercise on a regular basis report that it helps clear their heads, relieve their anxiety and help them get a good night’s sleep.
Fun family bonding
Exercising as a family has many fantastic benefits. You get to spend the time together, instead of sweating it out down the gym with a bunch of other grumpy grown-ups, while the kids sneak in some extra screen time at home!
If you’re together, the kids get to see your shining example, helping to instil in them a healthy living culture and an awareness of physical activity and health that will hopefully stay with them. Trying something that’s new to all of you is a fun adventure too. Why not check out the huge array of activities on offer at Stubbers and pick something none of you has tried before?
For families, that could mean coming along to on a bank holiday and trying selected activities as many times as you like. Alternatively, you could try out for the full residential experience!
Setting the kids on the road to a healthy future
It’s easy to assume that kids will just naturally get the exercise they need by, you know, just being kids! But the reality is that children are leading less active lifestyles than previous generations, largely thanks to the technology available to them. That’s why it’s so important that they come to understand the health benefits of physical activity early on in life, so that they can avoid falling into poor lifestyle habits further down the line.
By getting out into the open and getting active with your kids, you set a great example and give them a work out at the same time. You’ll be preparing them up to enjoy the social benefits of exercise, as well as the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, for years to come. Many of the activities that kids can try out at Stubbers can lead to lifelong passions that they pursue and enjoy for years to come. After all, exercise is never a chore when it’s an activity you love!
Our work with schools and youth groups, as well as the accreditations we have received, are a testament to Stubbers’ commitment to getting kids fit and healthy. Through our Education and Youth Groups division we’ve always worked hard to help make sure kids from all backgrounds get the opportunity to come to the centre and discover new and adventurous activities and develop a love of getting active in the great outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Visiting a gym can be comfortable and convenient especially in cold weather. And while the fitness benefits of working out are clear, the benefits of nature shouldn’t be overlooked, either!
Some folks just love the gym, and good luck to them! But if you’re not a keep fit enthusiast, repetitive exercises in an indoor environment can be a pretty dull and joyless enterprise. We may be biased, but at Stubbers, we find the outdoor environment far more appealing.
For a start, a lot of the time, it’s free! At Stubbers, while you can have loads of fun getting involved in our paid activities, access to our 130-acre site is completely free of charge. You can run or walk around our woodland, lakes and fields, enjoying the positive effects of exercise while you check out the splendour of nature all around you.
You’ll also benefit from Vitamin D from the sun (through sunscreen where appropriate, of course) which helps your body’s uptake of calcium for strong teeth and bones and it’s thought that it can also help with depression.
Fun and fitness at Stubbers
So why is exercise important? There are of course many benefits of living a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy living, exercise, a balanced diet, drinking moderately and refraining from smoking. But if you can manage all this and have fun too, that’s quite a bonus. For families, we really do think we’ve got it all here at Stubbers, the activities and exercise, the bonding and camaraderie, and the beauty of nature. Being in the great outdoors, enjoying physical activity so much that it becomes a passion, not a chore. With over 30 adventurous activities here at Stubbers, you’re bound to find something you’ll love. And the more you love it, the more you do it – and the fitter and healthier you’ll be!
So for families, we have all sorts of opportunities to visit and try out our activities here in Upminster. Stubbers Adventure Centre offers a taste of the beautiful Essex countryside that’s within the M25, so handy for London too! On Bank Holidays, you can come along for a Big Adventure Monday, or immerse yourself for an entire Family Adventure Weekend. If you’d like to just stick a toe in the water, you can come along to Pay & Play and sample whichever activity takes your fancy on the day. Or just come and take a stroll around our lovely site!