Named after Maia – the ancient Roman Goddess of springtime, warmth and growth – the month of May brings a celebration of spring and the warmer temperatures of summer ahead: a month of rebirth, nurture and flowers.
Flashes of colour from bluebells and daffodils pop up to remind you that life keeps moving and lighter times are just around the corner. Wood anemone blooms and embraces the warmth from the sun, sending reminders of the ancient and incredibly special habitats that surround us.
There is no other time quite like it in the year, and it’s definitely one to be enjoyed.
1 May this year also highlighted the start of National Walking Month, presenting new opportunities to be active outdoors and to prioritise our own health and well-being.
Walking is an easy and accessible way to improve physical and mental health and a 20-minute walk can help reduce the risk of a number of preventable health conditions, including certain cancers, depression, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. By swapping a short drive for a short walk, you can also help reduce air pollution and congestion, saving our planet, while saving yourself some money and getting active in the process!
Whether you are walking half the way to work or around the shops, every little helps. Maybe this May you will reach out to a friend and see if they want to join you for a walk and talk? Or maybe you will join us in the National Park to try one of the routes from our app? Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, see if you can make time for the wonderful and incredibly underrated form of movement – walking.
Walking just two and a half hours a week, or just under 22 minutes a day, might reduce your risk of heart disease by an impressive 30%Harvard Medical School, 2021
Supporting family groups to enjoy the Dales
Walking isn’t only enjoyable on your own, it can also provide huge health benefits and bonding opportunities for families. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is therefore supporting those who might otherwise find it difficult to access the National Park to walk with us this May.
Five walks will be running for specially-invited family groups who have never visited the National Park before. These walks aim to support the families to be active in green, open space and to enjoy the numerous health benefits that walking in the National Park has to offer. Hopefully these walks will inform, inspire and help the families we host – and those they go on to talk to about their experience – to feel more able to visit again.
If nothing else, I hope reading this blog has inspired you to go outside and hit the reset button, tune into the buzz of the bees and the singing of the birds and look ahead to warmer, sunnier days. Enjoy a new found optimism and set goals for what you want to achieve in the rest of the year.