Have the summer's athletics achievements inspired you to take up a new sport? If track and field isn't your cup of tea, grab a flask and head to the hills with a little help from the BMC.
Physical inactivity is grabbing the headlines and the government's attention, with numerous initiatives and campaigns being cultivated. Climbing and hill walking can play an important role in creating a healthier nation. As well as boosting our physical fitness they offer the perfect antidote to the busy world we live in.
To get you off the starting blocks, the BMC has a wide range of courses and online resources to help you get active outdoors. Here are 3 steps to help inform your outdoor choices:
1. Go on a BMC subsidised skills course
Many people have a craving to be more adventurous and get into the countryside but don’t feel they have the right skills or knowledge. The BMC has an Active Outdoors programme offering subsidised courses for people starting out in hill walking, rock climbing, scrambling and winter skills. Upcoming courses include:
BMC Head for the Hills @ Plas y Brenin, North Wales, 20-21 September 2014. A two day hill walking course for beginners in one of Britain’s most spectacular mountain landscapes. Starting from just £60. Book now.
BMC Scrambling Essentials @ Plas y Brenin, North Wales, 23-24 August and 11-12 October 2014. A two day course for people with some experience of walking in the British mountains and wish to learn specialist techniques for steeper, rockier and exposed ground. Book now.
The BMC runs two types of indoor to outdoor rock climbing courses to help people who climb regularly at indoor climbing walls and who want to take their first steps climbing outdoors:
Ready to Rock @ Plas y Brenin. A course to help regular indoor climbers make the transition to outdoor climbing. There’s a two-day course for adults (from £60) and five-day courses for young people and families (from £100 per person). Upcoming dates:
Ready to Rock adult course (18+): 23-24 August, 20-21 September and 11-12 October 2014.
Ready to Rock young person course (16-18 year olds): 20-24 October and 27-31 October 2014.
To book onto any of the above courses go to the Plas y Brenin website.
Rock Out: These outdoor climbing skills courses are run in conjunction with climbing walls across the country to enable people to learn to climb outdoors nearer to where they live. Find out where you can Rock Out.
The BMC is also working in partnership with the National Trust to develop a number of Introduction to Hill Walking courses at various National Trust sites around the country. These one-day courses will be aimed at novice hill walkers and will initially be available in the Peak District, Shropshire and the Lake District. Watch this space.
2. Read up on the skills
There are masses of free climbing, hill walking and mounatineering skills articles on the BMC website and you can download free publications including New Hill Walkers, Young People and Climbing Outside.
Our recently published special edition magazine Get into Climbing is the perfect accompaniment for anyone starting out in this fantastic pastime. It features 100-pages packed with expert advice. Get into Climbing is available to buy from the BMC online shop (£5 / £3) or selected stores of WHSmith (£4.99).
3. Watch BMC TV
Okay, so watching TV isn’t exactly classed as getting active. But don’t worry, we don’t want to turn you into couch potatoes, all our film clips are bite size. They are sure to help you refresh your skills and provide inspiration for your next venture outdoors.
GET THE INSPIRATION:
WATCH: adventurer Will Gadd in the short film 'MOVE' on BMC TV
WATCH: an inspiring short film exploring the question 'why walk?' by Ben Winston on BMC TV
GET THE SKILLS:
WATCH: a simple guide to how to move on rock on the BMC TV skills channel
WATCH: a short film about the BMC Ready to Rock course on BMC TV
WATCH: get inspired to join us at the BMC Gower Climbing Festival 2014