You don’t need an expensive gym membership to get fit and healthy in 2020. Newcastle’s parks are a great way to get outdoor and active, and the best part is, it’s all free.
We’ve picked out some of our favourite sports and activities you can do in your local parks, as well as highlighting how being close to nature is a great way to improve your mental wellbeing too.
This fantastic volunteer-run event for people of all ages and abilities has grown from its original home in Exhibition Park to include Leazes Park and Jesmond Dene.
The 5km runs take place every Saturday morning, starting at 9am. If you’re new to Newcastle parkrun, simply register before your first run and then strap on your trainers and head on down.
We do it everyday but walking is sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise. A brisk walk can help people lose weight, keep their heart healthy and strengthen bones. It’s something people of all ages can do and it’s low impact too.
You’ll be spoilt for choice with the huge network of paths and trails available in some of our parks. If you prefer a paved path to walk on then Jesmond Dene, Leazes Park, Heaton Park and Walker Park are all worth a look.
If you’re happy to venture into more wild and rugged environments, then Havannah and Three Hills Nature Reserve, Percy Pit Park and Walbottle & Throckley Dene all have some beautiful woodland to discover.
See what walking routes your local park has to offer by clicking here.
If watching Wimbledon every year encourages you to dig out your tennis racket then make the most of the free tennis courts available at Armstrong Park, Exhibition Park, Leazes Park, Elswick Park, Gosforth Central Park, Nuns Moor Park, Paddy Freeman’s Park and Walker Park.
No booking is required, courts are available on a first come, first served (excuse the pun) basis.
Work up a sweat on the basketball courts at Armstrong Park, Exhibition Park and Walker Park. Again, all courts are free to use and on a first come, first served basis. Slam-dunks optional.
Mental health and wellbeing
Spending time surrounding by trees and nature has an amazing effect on our mental health. It can reduce feelings of stress and anger and improve our overall mood; it can also help us relax and cope with the pressures of modern life.
Parks can be an oasis of calm in a busy world, especially for people living and working in urban areas.
Whether your want to surround yourself with wildlife or just relax and enjoy the quiet, visit one of Newcastle’s parks and see for yourself the difference it can make.
Seek some inspiration by clicking here.