Venture outside

May is National Walking Month and after a slow start to the year, we’ve seen some of the best weather in 2024 to encourage us to put our walking boots on and venture outdoors, with or without canine companions.

As I write it’s currently tipping it down – earlier we were treated to the son et lumiere of a localised thunderstorm but, although frequently threated by the Meteorological Office, they have been few and far between.

In truth, a lot of the weather in May has been glorious – and the landscape mirrors our joy at long sunny days, lengthening shadows and joyful early mornings as the sun rises high and bright. In May the rhododendrons are in full bloom, the hawthorn is positively bridal and rhubarb is the fruit (vegetable?) of the month. Everywhere we look life is flourishing – lush verdant hedgerows conceal all manner of nests and nesting and even when it rains, the sense of summer’s promise doesn’t diminish.

Take screen breaks

There is a quote I have longed to find again, but so far search engines have failed me. It’s something akin to the fact that no matter how low our spirits, they will always be improved by a walk. In our frequent WFH world, it’s good to get away from our desks and multiply our steps. Not just good for our hearts, walking is good for our heads too. We’re often urged to turn a problem over to our minds before sleep – in our unconscious, dream-like state sometimes the answer emerges. A good walk can ensure the same result.

It can make us more productive too. Our brains are not geared up to perform at optimum level if we’re just sat at our desks all day. The pomodoro effect can be put to good use – taking regular breaks actually enables us to optimise the time we spend in front of our laptops and helps us problem solve.

The joy of walking

Taking ten thousand steps a day has become the benchmark for moderate healthy activity. Although proven to be a relatively random figure, it’s actually become the impetus for more of us to get out and walk. With our smart phones and smart watches, tracking our steps has become one of our healthier addictions and we can also make it competitive. Some apps have introduced a leader board where walkers can compete with their friends to see who can take the greatest number of steps per day, per week and per month.

The joy of walking is that all you need is a pair of shoes and some time to spare. It might be easier to enjoy the great outdoors if you live in the country but in urban centres it can be a great way to avoid the crowds of the commute, check off your exercise for the day. and get to work on time. As an ex-Londoner I used to frequently walk to work – anything to avoid the tube – and there was so much to see that I would have missed on public transport.

Forest bathing

Shinirin yoku or forest bathing – is an he Japanese coined the term forest bathing –  its an ancient Japanese relaxation process. Being calm and quiet among the trees, observing nature while breathing deeply is a known de-stressor and a very natural way to boost health and wellbeing. For those country-dwellers or any of us lucky enough to have a lot of green space just outside our front doors, this is something we can do on a daily basis to address the stresses and strains of modern-day living.

Let Contract Insight take the strain

Anything that we can do to make our working lives less stressful is a good thing. At Four Business we believe that our contract management softwareContract Insight – definitely takes some of the strain

Contract Insight is a highly robust, scalable, web-based solution using advanced web and database technologies. It offers unprecedented flexibility and functionality to business users of all levels and organisations of all sizes. Contract Insight can be rapidly deployed, supported and maintained, hosted in a SaaS model or deployed on your organisation’s servers. It integrates easily with your existing systems, including Sun Systems and Oracle.  

To find out more, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions – global business consultants and software integrators specialising in business process improvement.