Get outdoors and improve the health of all the family
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Scottish Government Viewpoint
Summer is here and it is a great time to make some healthy changes. The past few months have reminded us of what really matters; our health. We all have things we’d like to improve, whether that’s losing weight or getting more physically active. Here is some advice on how to take advantage of the great outdoors and get the whole family fit this summer.
Plan your day with safety in mind
- Have the right kit – the right shoes, a waterproof, a map, water
- Tell people where you are going if visiting the hills, a remote area or out to sea
- Choose an activity or location within your existing skills and experience level
- Check the weather forecast and tide times
- Only swim where it is safe and permitted
- Avoid popular honey pot sites – this will help maintain social distancing
- Weekends and afternoons can be very busy – choose another time if you can
- Discover new places and hidden gems
- Leave your car at your accommodation if possible
- Check if services you need such as toilets, baby changing and other facilities are available
- Take hand sanitiser and use face coverings in line with local rules
The summer months offer us all the perfect opportunity to make changes to improve our mental and physical health. Getting active is good for your body and mind, and there are lots of easy ways to get active. Taking a brisk walk every day will help shed the pounds, but there is nothing better than heading out into the great outdoors to take in some of the wonderful countryside and coastal sites close to home. There are fabulous woodlands, beaches and picnic spots everywhere. And you don’t have to just go walking. Cycling has become ever more popular during lockdown and swimming in rivers and lakes is another wonderful way to get the blood pumping and improve your health. A survey taken at the start of lockdown revealed that one in four of us admitted that we were more active than before lockdown.
This increased to one in three as lockdown continued, with combatting lockdown weight gain and helping mental health given as the top reasons many people are turning to some form of physical exercise. There is so much to choose from to keep you active from dusk to dawn.
From aerial assault courses to horse riding treks, there are a massive range of outdoor family activities and endless possibilities for days out packed with family-friendly outdoor activities.
No matter where you are, lakes and waterways make for not only incredibly scenic views but also cover a whole range of activities.
The United Kingdom’s 15 National Parks also contain some of the nation’s most beautiful and inspiring landscapes.
You’ll find some of the best walking, cycling and horse riding locations and a whole host of other adventure activities in the spectacular parks.
Add nearly 50 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and you’ll find you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring our famous countryside and keeping fit.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland currently have different guidelines, advice and timelines for reopening tourism.
So do please make sure you check the respective official sources for information before you travel.
Check out what you need to stay safe
Whether you are heading for the hills, planning a coastal stroll or fancy splashing about in the sea or a lake, make sure you take time to check out what you need to do to stay safe.
Visit visitbritain.com/know-before-you-go to learn more about heading outdoors safely.
Walking tall in the Scottish mountains or taking a scroll along the coastline
Walking in Scotland means mighty mountains to conquer, plenty of forest paths or coastal walks to meander along, charming villages to discover, and exciting city routes to explore.
Whether you’d like to enjoy a walking holiday, or simply an afternoon’s amble, you’re definitely in the right place when you are in Scotland.What are you waiting for?
It’s time to explore one of Scotland’s best assets – the great outdoors Scotland’s Great Trails, such as the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way, Fife Coastal Path and the Southern Upland Way are among the best walking routes in the world for experienced hikers and take you through some outstanding scenery. They’re fantastic for those who want to discover the country on foot, by bike or even, along one route, in a canoe.
The trails are distinctively waymarked, largely off-road and traffic free and have a range of visitor services along the way.You can take the family and walk or bike a route in small sections on an afternoon or day trip, or plan a multi-day epic and tackle a trail in one go.
If you decide to opt for a multi-day walk or want to stay overnight, check out businesses that are part of the Walkers Welcome scheme.
Learn more at visitscotland.com/see-do active/walking
Getting physical every day
Adults should aim to be physically active every day.They should attempt to do strengthening activities that work all the major muscles in the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms on at least two days a week.
It is also recommended that people do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity every week, or 75 minutes of vigorously intense activity a week.
However, people need to make sure the type and intensity of activity is appropriate for their level of fitness, and take medical advice if necessary.
Moderate activity such as brisk walking, riding a bike and hiking will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer.One way to tell if you’re working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing. Vigorous intensity activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you’re working at this level, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.In general, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity can give similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity.
Examples of vigorous activities include jogging or running, swimming fast, or riding a bike fast or on hills.
For more information on staying safe, please go to visitbritain/know-before-you-go
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