Outdoor and Green Activities
There is a significant evidence base for the range of individual and wider social health and well-being benefits that can be achieved through outdoor activity and contact with nature. Key benefits include: better physical and mental health and guarding against future illness; therapeutic and restorative qualities which enhance recovery; reduced social isolation, greater community cohesion and opportunities to establish lifelong healthy behaviours.
Green health activities includes any nature based activity that gets people outdoors and benefits their physical and/or mental health. It can include a wide range of activities such as:
- Walking and running
- Outdoor learning and play
- Recreation and sport
- Practical conservation
- Gardening / Food Growing
- Active travel
These activities can be built into our everyday lives or it might be something someone participates in in order to prevent poor health or aid recovery from a specific illness.
North Ayrshire is rich in assets and opportunities for people to be physically active and engage in the outdoors.
Walking with others can turn exercise into an enjoyable experience. Walking is simple and free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
Gardening can build self-esteem and is good for your heart. Gardening can also reduce stress and make us happy
Contact with the environment is thought to have a positive impact on our health and Wellbeing.
Sport and Recreation
Outdoor Sport and Recreation brings people together. Exercise outdoors is good for your physical and Mental Health.
Jogging and Running
Jogging and running helps you maintain a healthy weight, strengthens your Immune system and boosts your mood.
North Ayrshire Green Health Partnership
KA Leisure is working with a wide range of organisations in the health, social care, environment, leisure, sport and active travel sectors as part of the North Ayrshire Green Health Partnership. There are four pilot Green Health Partnerships making up a key element of Scottish Natural Heritage’s vision for a Natural Health Service in Scotland. Find out more about Our Natural Health Service here.
The Senior Project Officer of the North Ayrshire Green Health Partnership, David Meechan, is employed by TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) and based with KA Leisure in Irvine. David is working with health and environmental professionals and community groups across North Ayrshire to mainstream approaches to increasing physical activity and improving mental health through engagement with the natural environment.
For more information about the work of the North Ayrshire Green Health Partnership please get in touch with David Meechan:
Senior Project Officer – North Ayrshire Green Health Partnership