Enjoy Pembrokeshire

General Health Benefits

"Increasing your physical activity level is the single best thing you can do for your health. There is indisputable evidence supporting the benefits of physical activity in enhancing both your health and wellbeing, such as significantly reducing your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression to name a few.

"These benefits can be enhanced by taking your exercise outdoors, and where better to enjoy your exercise than within the Pembrokeshire National Park. We're designed to be active - so get out, get active and enjoy the best that Wales has to offer!"

- Dr Rhodri Martin BM BSc MRCP DipSEM MFSEM(UK) - doctor to; Welsh Rugby Union, Scarlets RFC, Football Association of Wales and Sport Wales.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

  • Exercising regularly can reduce risk of many diseases including some cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.
  • Being active can really boost your mental health. Researchers base this on the theory that humans are naturally active and that being active in carrying out everyday tasks can promote a sense of well-being.
  • Feeling fitter and healthier also helps boost self-esteem, improves confidence and helps harness a positive attitude.
  • Being fitter later in life is a real guard against social isolation and the associated problems with it.
  • Studies show that people who take part in outside activities get happier as their physical fitness improves. Research shows that people exercise for harder and longer when outdoors than they would indoors. Research shows that people who take exercise outside have higher scores on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside.

Maximise benefits of exercise and activity

  • The longer, faster and more intense your exercise the greater the benefit, including calorie burn, will be. The key is to increase your heart rate.
  • The great thing about building muscle is that muscle mass boosts your metabolism as muscle needs more calories just to keep it going whilst fatty tissue does not!

Rehab and Recovery

  • Exercise can help prevent and treat many medical conditions.
  • Always discuss any rehab or recovery plan with your health care provider, especially if you have a health condition or concerns about what physical activity will be best for you.
  • If you feel that you may not be physically fit enough for a particular activity, think about what you can do to improve your fitness before taking part.
  • You can build up your fitness through other less strenuous or technical activities such as walking, cycling, swimming or other muscle training such as yoga or gym based exercise.
  • If you have a low tolerance to aerobic activities, and suffer from dizzy spells, breathlessness or have a history of heart problems, be sure to start all activities slowly and work your way up. Although this may take weeks or even months, take heart in the fact that you are doing something positive to improve your health and well-being.

Be Prepared

  • Some activities may involve you getting both cold and wet. If this is a concern then think about having a hot drink and warm dry clothes to ready for when you are finished. If you can take these things with you, remember Pembrokeshire’s weather can change at the drop of a hat!

Sunlight and Health

  • Provided you take care to protect yourself from the sun, some sunlight is known to be beneficial to health. It is especially important in helping the body make Vitamin D, essential to bone health, as well as helping your body keep generally healthy
  • Sunburn - ouch! Too much sun can really ruin your day out, and getting burnt isn’t good for skin health. Take sunblock and suntan lotion with you and remember to put it on!

Group Activities

  • These are great for positive mental health and well-being because group members can help others by giving encouragement and praise.
  • Groups are also great ways to share unique and inspiring experiences with others and to help build a sense of belonging and purpose.
  • If you find that you are really enjoying taking part in outdoor exercise, why not think of training as a group leader or instructor? This is a great way to volunteer your skills and share the joy with others.