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Learning new skills, gaining new hobbies and trying something different that takes you out of your comfort zone, can be really fun and fulfilling and it's certainly not just for kids. As adults, we sometimes forget that we too are curious and deserve some fun and you never know you might fall in love with a new sport and past time. I am passionate about making the most of my days and wanted to share a few adventure activities I have been enjoying the past few years and encourage others to also give them a go, of course in the post-lock down world we live in you need to do your research before you do anything to make sure your equipment is safe if you're having lessons that they are socially distanced.
1. Stand Up Paddleboarding
I've done a fair bit of Stand Up Paddleboarding over the years and the first time I ever did a taster day the guide said he taught people of all ages from 5yrs to 85yrs and that it was one of most fast-growing sports and I can see why. SUP is much easier than it looks, the boards are very buoyant and all you need is basic balance and a sense of adventure. I've been able to see Bath from the River Avon and Cardiff from the Taff River and I've enjoyed it all so much that I know have a Bluefin SUP board and can't wait to take it out as much as possible. SUP is a great way to explore rivers, lakes and the UK coastline but do take a taster or beginners course to get to grips with things before going out unsupervised.
I love to surf, it's something I started when I was growing up in South Africa but after moving to the UK I struggled to find the time but I've picked it up again in the past few years and it's fantastic seeing so many women and men of all ages in the water giving it a go. Surfing is an amazing sport that is great for both physical and mental wellbeing and is fairly low impact as well. Again taking a taster day to see how you get on is best and don't be surprised if you're hooked from the first time you ride a wave. There are some great Women run weekends to help get you started, I recommend Women and Waves.
Skateboarding is one of those sports that carries a bit more risk as failing over is fairly common but can be avoided by focusing on a cruise board or longboard when you start. There is something really fun about cruising down a hill on a skateboard and it's great to see both men and women picking up this sport later on in life as it really is for everyone. If you're looking to connect with women who skate in the UK or just want more information about the growing scene then do check out Girl Skate UK.
What I love about hiking is that you don't really need any specialist equipment to start, just a decent pair of walking shoes, a sense of adventure and your good to go. With so many free apps likes the Ordnance Survey app, which shares local walks and hikes, there is no reason to not get outside and the more you do the more energised you will feel. Of course always tell someone where you are going before embarking on a hike and if your unsure do research your walk beforehand.
Cycling is another great activity to help improve mental and physical wellbeing and it's something you can start out slowly with and build-up in your own time. Cycling is also perfect for the whole family to get into and is the most sustainable form of transport. Despite what you may think, you really don't need to spend a fortune on expensive bike equipment. I bought a second-hand bike from Cardiff pedal-power a few years back and it's still going strong.
Yes this is a bit more on the expensive side but saying that you can still get the basics at your local dry Slope in the UK with most places being around £20/25 for a 1hr lesson. There are also some indoor "real snow" centres such as the Snow Dome in Tamworth if you can't get to the real slopes anytime soon. The last time I went proper snowboarding was as part of a University trip (so cheaper than usual) but I would love to rent a luxury chalet in Courchevel and take the kids skiing and snowboarding as it's a great family activity.
|Wouldn't it be great to own a piece of Courchevel real estate so you could snowboard every winter?|
What I love about bouldering is unlike rock-climbing you don't need any special equipment to get started and no ropes are involved. Of course, you do need to do a taster and health and safety session at your local bouldering centre but for those who don't like heights but love being active, this is also suitable as you don't climb very high. Both my boys and I love it and it's a great way to stay fit, problem solve and challenge yourself.