Lockdown unlocks Scots love of taking a wee stroll

People in Scotland are walking more since lockdown began compared to folk living in other parts of the UK.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 4:45 pm
Room to roam...lockdown is encouraging more people to take to their feet in Scotland and enjoy their daily exercise.

In a YouGov opinion poll, 61 per cent of Scots said they walked more now than they did before the coronavirus restrictions came into place.

The findings were welcomed by Scotland’s walking charity Paths for All, which said now is the perfect time to experience the physical and mental health benefits of a simple walk.

Ian Findlay, chief officer, said: “Walking has never held such importance to our physical or mental health, so it is great to see walking becoming more popular.

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“Many people are feeling more anxious than usual right now and walking is an easy way to reduce stress and anxiety while also keeping us physically fit.

“Just a 30-minute daily walk is one of the best ways to look after your physical and mental health.

“As it’s something we can do from our own front door, it fits in perfectly with permitted reasons to leave our homes.

“We also think it’s important that people get the greatest benefit from their walks so, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we added another guided walking meditation track to our Mind to Walk podcast series.”

Mind to Walk was launched earlier this month with the help of Scottish DJ and presenter Edith Bowman to help people relax their minds as they moved their feet.

The latest Mind to Walk podcast episode helps locked-down listeners take an imaginative journey by helping them to escape to their favourite location.

Listeners are encouraged to think of their favourite holiday, childhood memory or regular route they are currently unable to visit.

The calming series of audios has been welcomed by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Robert Nesbitt, head of physical activity and sport, said: “We know that physical activity can improve confidence, self-esteem and mood but it can be difficult for people to be active in the current circumstances.

“Walking is accessible and something that most of us can participate in.

“It’s great that Paths for All is helping to make this easier for people with the fantastic Mind to Walk podcast.”

Physical activity has been proven to help 18 per cent of people with their mental well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic. Other activities such as household chores, appreciating nature, getting outside and relaxation techniques have also made a big impact.

Paths for All believes regular walking is key to leading a happy and healthy life. It’s even more important now for people to continue enjoying short, local walks where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Mind to Walk is freely available online on all popular podcast players or at www.pathsforall.org.uk/whats-on/event-details/mind-to-walk.