Walking for Wellbeing

How to get the most out of your activity time

Whilst we are all following Government lockdown guidance, here are some suggestions to support households with making the most of the outside world during our exercise time.

Please follow the up-to-date Government advice on social distancing when exercising outside or doing any of the following activities with your household. Remember to wash your hands before and after going outside.

Why getting active is good for you?

Living Streets Walking the Right Way

Sustrans Safe Cycling

Please see our 'Exercise your Wheels' cycling page for bike-specific inspiration and ideas

Hampshire County Council Five Ways to Wellbeing


Government Coronavirus advice

  1. Mental Health and Wellbeing
  2. Following the Countryside Code
  3. Staying Alert Outdoors with Megan Hine

Hampshire Police Education Partnership Team

  • Safe4me Covid-19: Supporting Education and Safeguarding Children


Stuck at home? Spring into life!

Download our new Spring into Life toolkit and enjoy this brand new collection of activities put together by the My Journey Travel Planning Team to give inspiration to the time being spent out walking. 

Themed around the NHS's 5 Steps to Wellbeing, these activities are suitable for use in spring and summertime. When out on walks near to your home, why not try some of these ideas to make the experience a little richer? There are lots of ideas including games to play, art to create and heart rate-increasing activities.


Wellbeing activity fliers

It's really important to continue to enjoy the outdoors.

Download our Primary and Secondary Wellbeing fliers here or at the foot of this page. They give lots of suggestions of activities you can try out and other sources of information for you to consider.

You can also colour in our "Keeping active on the trail of rainbows" flier and put outside your home. See how many rainbows you can spot during your exercise.


Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

To support this year's MHAW, our act of kindness to you is a present of this original film production which was created by our fantastic friends at Histrionics.

It is themed around kindness, mental health and exercise for wellbeing, woven together using brilliantly humorous storytelling magic into the true tale of an English cyclist, James Moore, who was brought up in France in the 19th century.

Supported by the kind acts and generosity of his blacksmith neighbours and friends in the circus, Moore trained for and then won the world's first ever cycle road race in 1869 from Paris to Rouen.

As well as a continued successful career in cycling, Moore also performed many acts of kindness himself, including being an interpreter for his English family and running errands on his vélocipède (boneshaker) bicycle.

We hope you enjoy it and can share the film widely within your school communities.


Ideas for indoor and outdoor learning and activity

Being Active

Whether at home or whilst out try Sport England Workouts and perhaps set up an inter-family challenge? Or try PE with The Body Coach? Energise Me have also come up with some great workout ideas including videos to follow at home. Try out Brightkidz fun blog ideas on keeping busy during lockdown or the NHS's Change4Life page which has loads of great ideas including The Great Indoors.

Sustrans has also created this 'drawing challenge' asking you to draw objects used while walking, cycling or scooting - but with a challenging twist!

Planning your walk

Planning your walk? Search out local maps, use the My Journey planning tool, OpenStreetMap or another mapping website and plan a circular route you've not tried before. You could try to plot out a Golden Mile route like at school - if you find a good local trail, why not share it with other local families? Or just do one around the garden if you have one? Take photos along the way and then map out your journey, noting any points of interest and fun had along the way. Why not learn some scooting skills whilst you're out and about using our scooting toolkit? Check out Living Streets weekly Walking from Home activity sheet too.

While you're walking

Here's a great new Urban Scavenger Hunt hot off the press from the My Journey team for you to try out.

Sustrans has created this 'Walking Bingo' resource to help you make the most of your walks out and about; think about road safety; and identify potential improvements that could be made to support active travel in your local area. 

Our walking partner Living Streets are doing weekly activity ideas. Check out their Walking from Home pages. There are also a couple of great #try20 Walk This May idea sheets to download in celebration of National Walking Month this May.

Also, check out the Woodland Trust's Spotter Sheets, Scavenger Hunts and Making a Nature Trail.

You could write some letters or make pictures for local people in isolation or a care home and drop them off as you pass. They will be delighted to know you are thinking about them. Don't forget to spot as many rainbows as you can!

Getting crafty at home

Why not watch this great BBC film on making a rainbow to display in your window? You can then start spotting others when out exercising locally. Here's our My Journey rainbow for you to use as a template if you like. You could even leave a nice message on it for your friends or the NHS and other people working on the front line.

Also, see the Woodland Trust's Wildlife Garden fact sheets and Friends of the Earth's Look after the Bees.

Having to teach children at home?

Why not start off your home-school lessons by jumping around to a Super Movers curriculum-linked film from the BBC? There's lots of active learning ideas including maths, science, English and PHSE ... as well as some which are "just for fun" of course!

Need some new books? Hampshire Libraries have launched a list of books to lead you to wellbeing in nature. In particular, A Breath of Fresh Air by Rebecca Frank looks of interest. There are some specific mental health reads for children too.

There's also an information book on coronavirus illustrated by Axel Scheffler and 'Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus', an on-line book written by a Southampton intensive care nurse to help reduce anxiety in children caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Outdoor ideas for indoors: Try the World Wildlife Fund's Wild Classroom daily lesson plans or outdoor learning activities and the Woodland Trust's ideas and isolation activities. There's lots to learn about leaves - and here's another leafy idea! Here are some gardening ideas and gardening activities. There's rewilding activities too.


Other fun ideas during lockdown

Why not follow our friends at Histrionics Entertainment and encourage your kids to brush up on their active history?

Or read our Susie the Childminder books, some which are about active travel and some which have classroom activities with them. There are also KS1 and KS2 air quality books available online, along with our other air quality resources including a new "Clean Air at Home" page to inspire you, with tips on how to make the air you breathe in your home as clean as possible.

There is also a free David Walliams story every day for you to enjoy - perhaps you could dress up as one of his characters for one of your walks to make them come to life?


Air Your Views 

The annual Air Your Views competition is currently postponed but why not make your own film on air pollution with your family? Here's a BBC Programme to give you inspiration and some Into Film Activities and an Into Film Director's Mood Board to help you on your way. There's a great example of a short film on air pollution on BBC's Newsround website. 


Finally - remember that even in lockdown, we can do it!

Enjoy this fantastic, uplifting and inspiring short film made by some other children in Italy in the same position as you. We hope you are all safe and well and we look forward to bringing more sustainable challenges to you very soon.

Icons made by Smashicons from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY