National Walking Month: Couch Potato No More

When out and about in the community, our Living it Up Community Engagement Workers across Scotland are regularly asked about walking groups available in their local area. As the weather is improving and the days are longer, why not aim to take a walk every day and feel the benefits?

May is National Walking Month and walking is the most frequent mode of physical activity recommended by health professionals.

Walking is free and a great way to meet new friends and improve your mood and fitness. Whether it’s around the shops in a town or city, or heading up a Munro, be inspired by the magic and beauty of walking in Scotland. However, as Billy Connolly kindly reminded us, "in Scotland, there is no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes” so be prepared for four seasons in a day and being bitten alive by the midges in some parts of the country in the summertime.

Whether you’re not active at the moment, recovering from an illness or have an injury, you can walk at a pace to suit you or combine it with another hobby such as photography.

All across Scotland you can find walk groups and programmes such as the 30-60 minute Put Your West Foot Forward walks across West Lothian. Led by trained volunteers, they support new walkers to build up their pace and distance. Volunteer walk buddies can accompany people needing support or lacking confidence by not knowing anyone and they are planned with rest stops available. Some have disabled facilities too.

So let’s get our bums off our seats and get out to enjoy a wee stroll or a brisk longer walk. Our hearts and minds reap the benefits. If that’s got you keen to get motivated and more active, why not search for a local walking group in the Your Area section and monitor your progress by logging your steps from a simple pedometer or app on your smart phone into your personal Living it Up Activity Log. Join others in the Living it Up community by taking part in one of our fun, popular Community Challenges.

The simple new Step it Up Scotland app is available now to download free from the Apple App store to iPhones. You'll be amazed how quickly the daily step count mounts up!