Fancy breaking up the mundane with a little bit of adventure? Here are five ways to make daily life a little more daring…
Plan mini expeditions
Preparing for and tackling Everest can take years. If a few hours on a Sunday is all you can spare, don’t let that stop you enjoying some outdoor adventure. Why not look into nature hotspots or walks in your local area that you’ve never explored before?
“There’s nothing I enjoy more than walking with my wife and young kids through the magnificent woods near where we live in the Chilterns.
There are mighty oaks and magnificent beech trees, and we play a game to try and spot the herd of deer that freely roam. It’s a particularly special place this time of year, as the leaves start to put on a magical display,” says Simon Barnett, director of walking development at the Ramblers.
“Everywhere has something special to offer when you’re on foot - whether that’s a secluded tiny urban park offering a respite from the stresses of daily life, or a magnificent vista from the top of a Scottish Munro that is the just reward for the effort of climbing it in the first place.
"Simply by putting on a pair of shoes and going for a walk almost everyone can experience this sense of adventure and excitement.”
Cook your way around the world
Jetting off to South America or Southeast Asia might not be an option, but you can still explore far-flung lands - through your taste buds. Ok, eating a country’s cuisine is not quite the same as actually visiting the place, but being a little adventurous in your cooking could really spice up the week (literally, if the dish calls for it!) and help break up that rut.
After all, who says that you always have to stick to ‘pasta Tuesdays’ and ‘fish Fridays’? Try something exotic and totally out of your comfort zone.
Picnic like a rebel
And while we’re on the food theme…Picnics are one of the joys of summer - so now summer’s over, it’s back to drab TV dinners and staying indoors moaning about the weather, right?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Yep, a ‘cold weather picnic’ might sound daft at first, but it could also be a little bit thrilling and – what with all the walking expeditions you’re going to be doing – you’ll need to refuel with something warm and filling, like a flask of soup or vat of stew. (Or yes, you could just find a pub.)
Go ‘extreme’ with your fitness classes
These days, when it comes to exercise classes, you’ll find so much more than plain old aerobics on offer. From British Military Fitness to CrossFit, fitness classes now provide the chance to escape reality and train like the pros.
“While our more traditional classes are still very popular, we have definitely noticed a shift towards people wanting to try more adventurous, unique and even seasonal workouts recently,” says Andy Birch, head of fitness at Virgin Active.
“Our new, more adventurous classes, such as Mudder Maker and The Grid, have had an overwhelmingly positive reaction. To meet this demand, we’ve actively been looking for innovations that allow members to keep discovering new ways to keep fit, such as the brand new Apex Altitude Studio in our Walbrook club, where you can train at 3,000m [with simulated altitude].’’
Sign up for a challenge
Everest is probably a step too far for most of us (just slightly!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the rewards of taking on a challenge.
Whether it’s a 5k fun run, half marathon or something more gruelling like a Tough Mudder, there are endless opportunities these days. It’s just a question of finding the challenge that appeals to – and is right for – you.
Committing to training could bring new focus and purpose to everyday life, not to mention the satisfaction and sense of achievement you’ll gain.
“A big motivator for me is to experience the pure exhilaration of crossing the finish line and completing a long-term goal. Life is for living and I firmly believe in this,” says Matt Tomkin, director of Vo2 Sportswear, who has completed four Ironman challenges and will be part of the support team in the Arch to Arc challenge with Help for Heroes starting later this month.
“Everyone has a dash on his or her tombstone, and I intend my dash to have been ‘truly lived’!”