10th October 2016 is World Mental Health Day, an opportunity to “raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilise efforts in support of mental health.”

One of the ways we at Kent Sport are supporting mental health this autumn is through our #GoOutside campaign. There is strong evidence to suggest that spending time being active outdoors has a positive effect on people’s mental health. During the autumn months however, our tendency is often to be less physically active, as the days get shorter and cooler. Seasonal affective disorder affects an estimated one in 15 people in the UK (according to the NHS). Many more may suffer from a milder version known as “winter blues” between the months of September and April. Experts suggest one of the best ways to combat the winter blues is by getting outside and keeping active.

That’s why Kent Sport want to hear from people across Kent and Medway who are going outside and getting active this autumn. In partnership with Explore Kent, the #GoOutside campaign is aiming to highlight the great opportunities for getting active outdoors that exist across the county. Getting active outdoors needn’t be a burden – it could be as simple as going for a stroll in the park, throwing a ball around or dusting off the bikes and going for a ride with the kids. In Kent and Medway, we’re fortunate to have a wealth of stunning outdoor destinations, parks and trails right across the county that people can access for free. Why not try something different and use an outdoor gym or go for a parkrun!

You can find plenty of information about #GoOutside at kentsport.org/gooutside, including loads of ideas for places and activities to help you get active this autumn.   You can also tell us your #GoOutside stories for the chance to win an amazing £100 of high street shopping vouchers! You’ve got until the 15th January 2017 to enter and be in with a chance of winning! If none of that has convinced you then we guarantee it’ll make you feel great. Go on, #GoOutside, we dare you.

See kentsport.org/gooutside, Twitter @explorekent or @kentsport1 or Explore Kent Facebook for exciting ideas and inspiration to enjoy every day.