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Pedalling and Trekking Toward Mental Wellness

Posted by Jess Pitman on 16-May-2023 12:15:56
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In today's fast-paced and digitally connected world, spending time outdoors can have a powerful impact on our mental well-being. With it being Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to highlight the benefits of adventure travel on our psychological health.

A little bit about Mental Health Awareness Week...

Every year, Mental Health Awareness Week, promoted by the Mental Health Foundation, serves as a crucial platform for raising awareness and encouraging discussions about mental health. With anxiety as the central theme this year, we wanted to delve deeper into how challenges like ours can help empower individuals to navigate their mental health journeys with courage, resilience and a sense of adventure. 

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The Mental Health Foundation's focus on anxiety during Mental Health Awareness Week emphasises the importance of destigmatising this condition and promoting understanding and support - this is something we fully advocate here at Discover Adventure. Let us embrace the opportunity to engage in open conversations about mental health.

While anxiety can be debilitating, adventure travel can encourage individuals to explore these transformative experiences to help manage their mental health. 



Nature Immersion: One of the most significant aspects of adventure travel is the opportunity to connect with nature. Trekking through picturesque landscapes or cycling along winding paths allows us to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find solace in the natural world. Research has proven that spending time in nature can reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance overall psychological well-being. The sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors can calm our minds and rejuvenate our spirits, providing a much-needed break from the stresses of daily life.

A study by Exeter University found that spending at least 120 minutes per week in nature is associated with better self-reported mental health and well-being.


cycling through the valley

Physical Fitness and Mental Resilience: Trekking or cycling trips can offer numerous physical benefits that positively impact our mental health. Engaging in regular physical activity releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that improve our mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Our challenges also help develop determination, perseverance, and the ability to overcome obstacles which we can translate to our daily lives. That standing-on-top-of-a-mountain feeling is something we basically bottle and sell! 

According to a survey conducted by Cycling UK, 91% of respondents reported that cycling positively impacted their mental health, with improvements in self-esteem, stress reduction, and increased happiness.

We have many different levels of challenge, and there are trips suitable for beginners and experienced adventurers. If you're new to adventure travel, start with our Yellow Graded trips trails and gradually build up to our Red challenges. Training is key before the trip to help prepare your body for the challenges ahead.

Inca Trail 1


Mindfulness and Self-Reflection: Challenges like ours can provide an ideal environment for practising mindfulness and self-reflection. Trekking on challenging terrain or cycling through picturesque landscapes demands focus, allowing us to let go of worries and negative thoughts. Amid awe-inspiring landscapes, we slow down and are present in the moment. This can promote mental clarity and inner peace. The peaceful moments of our adventures create an opportunity for self-reflection, allowing us to ask ourselves big questions, set intentions, and cultivate personal growth.


kili - descend day 8 view Mwenzi

Social Connections and Community: While adventure challenges can include solitary moments, it also provides opportunities to find social connections and build community. Joining our group treks or cycling trips allows you to meet like-minded people passionate about exploration, fundraising and adventure. Engaging in shared challenges and triumphs creates lifelong bonds and can deepen relationships, enhancing our social support network. 


group photo at the finish

Overcoming Personal Limits: We're very keen to promote the exploration of what sits beyond our comfort zones. Trekking or cycling long distances tests our physical and mental boundaries, allowing us to discover new strengths and capabilities. Beating a col or tackling hundreds of steps gets the endorphins pumping, and there is little that compares to proving to yourself that you can! By conquering these physical and mental obstacles, we gain a sense of achievement and boost our self-confidence and self-esteem. The knowledge that we can overcome hurdles in the great outdoors can translate into a belief that we have the resilience and adaptability to face life's everyday challenges with a renewed perspective.


While discussing Mental Health, it is important to acknowledge the concerns and fears around adventure travel and challenges like ours. These are valid, but it's important to remember that the benefits of embarking on these transformative journeys can far outweigh the barriers. Remember to choose reputable tour operators like us. Start small and gradually explore your boundaries - we will support you all the way! We prioritise your safety and have almost 30 years of experience. 


Adventure travel offers an opportunity for personal growth, self-discovery, and improved mental well-being. By taking gradual steps, seeking guidance, and embracing new experiences, you can embark on an adventure that enriches your life and nurtures your mental health. So, dare to take that first step and unlock the extraordinary rewards that await you on your adventure journey.






Topics: Tales from the outdoors