Don’t underestimate the physical effort required on our routes. Our typical 10 mile plus walks are a fair slog on some difficult terrain. Designed to get the blood pumping, lungs bursting and legs wobbling. You’ll know about it the following day.
Rough day at the office? Feeling the strain? One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So lace up the boots and get yourself up those peaks – working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension.
They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Running a business can be a lonely place. Friends and family might not understand the issues you face from day to day. And unless you have a non-executive director to lean on, it can be useful to speak to other business owners or senior personnel.
The blank canvas of the moors, fascinating people to bounce things off and your brain being nudged into higher gears. The perfect breeding environment to get more creative. A new study from Stanford University in the United States has found that walking boosts creativity by an astonishing 60 per cent, on average.
Many people claim they do their best thinking while walking. Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, was known for his walking meetings. Writers like Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were inspired by walking on Dartmoor. It’s simply science.
Combining strenuous physical activity, creative thinking space and an ability to connect with perhaps 15-20 people within a single day is a pretty decent use of time. Instead of whiling away an hour or two in a coffee shop ‘catching-up’ with people, I urge them to join me in the hills and do the same.
Pause the technology. When was the last time you put your phone down properly? In the desolate moors environment, you couldn’t be further away from the rat-race of the city and the loss of signal forces your mind to focus on the conversations and people around you. Guess what? The world copes without your tweets and e-mail replies just fine. We might need some photos though!
There really is nothing like benefiting from some fresh air and the fabulous scenery and vistas the Dark Peak can afford. Yes, maybe it’s just as simple as that. And no walk is complete without LOLs – whether an awkward stumble or myself ending up waist deep in a bog on Bleaklow (back in February). All part of the experience and damn enjoyable! That might have been two reasons?
So far, Freshwalks has had an ability to attract a cross-section of people I’d rarely encounter at traditional networking events. Who would have thought Franco Sotgiu, best known as being the brains behind Solita Restaurants might even enjoy a networking event. Aside from this, we’ve enjoyed the company of entrepreneurs, artists, ex-pro football and rugby players and even special forces. Why? Because this is less networking, more serendipity. Meeting people from unusual walks of life goes beyond a business development remit.
Guilt-free calorific goodness. We love the hospitality at the Wheatsheaf pub in Old Glossop. It’s only a small pub but has a huge heart. Home-cooked pub grub classics like the award-winning bangers & mash and ales from the local brewery never fail to hit the mark. Aside from this we’ve enjoyed our drinking sessions with local legends like Mick “The Fonz” Cox and known the accordion to come out once or twice before. There is nothing quite like that first pint back in the pub.
We usually have a few dogs on our walks. They add real character. No need to ask, they are most welcome. And there is no finer sight than dogs snoozing on the pub floor after a hard day in the hills.
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