Britain is a nation of people who love a ‘weekend getaway.’ From a small tent to a mobile home, the lost art of the ‘staycation’ has made a rapid return with more and more people hitting the road on Friday afternoons to explore some of the UK’s most picturesque scenery.
It seemed appropriate then to explore The Motorhome and Caravan Show – a stone’s throw from the In The Driving Seat Office! We sent our reporter Dan to the NEC to find out more about the latest trends whilst keeping him away from the VW Campers.
Whilst at the show, Dan sat down with Dr Hilary Jones, who had some interesting things to say about the great outdoors. When you’re looking for the medicine for motoring bliss, then In The Driving Seat is the place to come.
But if you’re looking for the tonic for life, work and health balance, then the man to ask is Dr Hilary Jones!
In The Driving Seat sat down with the health expert at the Motorhome and Caravan Show for a quick chat about the great outdoors.
“I’ve seen so many motorhomes that I could leave with today, there’s some absolutely fantastic vehicles on show. I think I’m going to have 5 Morelo Palace’s, one for each of the family!
“But I’ve always loved the outdoors and I think my love has been rekindled today with all the great motorhome options”.
“I was the child sitting in the window at school, dreaming of getting into the playground.My mum always told me to get out into the ‘clean dirt’ to play. I loved exploring, climbing trees and being outside. I could have been a tree surgeon rather than an actual surgeon! If I could have one piece of advice for parents and children it’s this – Get in the mud, jump in puddles, roll in the grass. Life is for exploring.”
Although he’s stuck in his practice for around nine hours daily, Dr Hilary dreams about his few weeks in Dorset earlier this year.
“It was quiet, it was minus 4 and I was wrapped up in the thickest clothes I own. Despite that, Burgh Island is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Half of the time, it’s not an island but then the tide comes in and you have to visit by a huge vehicle to push through the water.The views are spectacular and it’s such a quaint little island – full of thirties art deco buildings and quirky designs. I’d go back in a heartbeat.”
Dr Hilary is still full of the energy and love of greenery that he nurtured as a child but hopes that he can encourage others of all ages to share in his passion
“It’s really important to get outdoors. Vitamin D is one of the least produced vitamins in the human body, helping keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Walking can be as important as eating fruit and vegetables. Would you believe that we’ve seen the first cases of rickets for around a century because people are sitting in doors watching too much TV?
“It’s absolutely spectacular that in the 21st Century that it’s risen its ugly head.”
Despite the ugly comeback of the Victorian disorder, science has proven time and time again that the outdoors can do much more than just provide somewhere beautiful to look at
“It is scientifically proven that sight of the outdoors helps to strength and regenerate your body – so why would people want to stay indoors in front of daytime TV?!” exclaims Dr Hilary.
A study that stands out as substantial evidence is a groundbreaking experiment by American doctor Robert Ulrich. Jones continues the story:
“Ulrich was obsessed with healing processes and making people heal quicker – which is something that all patients and doctors want.
“He conducted a study on patients having gall bladder surgery with half of them having a view of a brick wall from their window, the other half looking across a beautiful nature scene.
“Those surrounded with four walls healed slowly, were more emotionally unstable, received more negative patient notes and were weaker than those with a view of greenery!
“If that isn’t proof, then I don’t know what is.”
Away from the operating table, Dr Hilary has admitted that doctors are looking away from the typical prescriptions to more ‘natural’ remedies for helping people recover.
“Exercise and walking are becoming more and more common place throughout the NHS–sometimes it’s the perfect option.
“Walking lowers your blood pressure, stimulates your heart rate and gives a lower chance of stress-related gastric problems.
“Plus, it means people are getting more sociable, which is never a bad thing – especially as over 2,000,000 over 75’s haven’t heard a human voice for over four weeks.
“If I can give people a plan to help their medical problems – be that exercise or otherwise – then, to me, that’s a great thing – especially as it costs the NHS absolutely nothing.”
So what is the answer to staying fitter, healthier and happier? Read Dr Hilary’s top three tips for staying fit – both physically and mentally!
- It goes without saying – exercise. Whether you’re 20 and love cycling or 85 and your best sporting days are behind you, there is something you can do! Keep moving and exploring, because after all, isn’t that what life is all about?
- Believe in the power of love and laughter. Staying connected to the world around you and get in touch with people that you care about and even those ones you’ve not spoken to in ages. It stimulates the mind, it encourages you to be active and it could lead to your next big adventure.
- Go outdoors. Explore the forests, the parks. Turn your devices off and take a look at what is in your own back-garden!
To see more about Dr Hilary he can be found on the sofa with Lorrain or reads his weekly column in The Sun