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Paths for All urges Scots to get out for a walk every day this winter


By John Davidson

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Taking a walk in the winter can help boost mental and physical health.
Taking a walk in the winter can help boost mental and physical health.

A WALKING charity is encouraging people to get outdoors and walk in their local area to help boost mental and physical wellbeing during the lockdown.

Paths for All wants the public to explore local walking routes in a bid to help combat social isolation, anxiety and loneliness while maintaining physical health.

It follows the launch of the charity’s Walk Once a Day this Winter campaign, which is urging people to make the pledge of walking every day throughout January.

The campaign includes an online hub which outlines the importance of walking and regular physical activity during the winter. A variety of activities and ideas, designed to motivate individuals of all ages, are available on the hub with podcast recommendations, creative walking advice and prize incentives.

Ian Findlay, chief officer at Paths for All, said: “Yet again our country faces a significant challenge in which we must all do our bit to keep everyone, including ourselves, safe and healthy.

“In what is traditionally the time of year which sees a surge of gym memberships and fitness plans, we suggest taking up walking instead as part of our New Year’s resolutions.

“With walking being one of the few essential reasons for leaving your home, it is the perfect exercise and now is the time to get into a walking exercise routine which is consistent with the current government guidelines. Walking can help with our social health as the guidelines allow us to meet with one person from one other household outside.

“Last year we saw an increase in Scots taking up walking during the first lockdown and the outcome has highlighted just how many benefits are attributed to walking and how outdoor exercise as many times a day as we can has become an important way to look after physical and mental wellbeing.”

A survey in April 2020 by YouGov found Scots were more likely to walk following pandemic restrictions than the rest of the UK and that 61 per cent of Scots said they walked more now than they did before the restrictions – the highest of any of the countries and regions analysed.

Throughout the first national lockdown many people found walking to be an essential component of their day to keep healthy and motivated.

Paths for All believes regular walking is key to leading a happy and healthy life, and it’s even more important for people to continue enjoying short, local walks where it is safe and appropriate to do so with to the huge array of associated benefits.



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