Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Gregor Smith, promoted an active lifestyle by joining local school children, Health Walk groups and local walkers at the Big Fit Walk launch.
The Big Fit Walk was first launched 13 years ago and now form an integral activity of Paths for All as part of their remit as a key delivery partner for the Scottish Government’s Scottish Government’s National Walking Strategy and Active Scotland Outcomes Framework which aim to encourage more people to undertake physical activity.
With over 200 Big Fit Walks taking place from Shetland to the Scottish Borders throughout June, Paths for All hope the campaign will inspire communities across Scotland to come together for a walk to experience the benefits of being active.
Local community health walk project, Get Walking Lanarkshire, led the walk through Strathclyde Country Park, Motherwell. They brought with them over 80 of their walkers and dedicated volunteers, 50 local school children from Logan’s and St Bernadette’s Primary School and staff from Paths for All and North Lanarkshire Council.
Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, said: “I’m delighted to be here today in the beautiful setting of Strathclyde Country Park to launch the Big Fit Walk campaign. Walking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your physical and mental health, and best of all it’s completely free. The Big Fit Walk is a great way to encourage walking, and also to bring people together. Meeting new people and building a sense of community is also beneficial to health, so this really is a win-win.
“Through our National Walking Strategy the Scottish Government is committed to creating a culture of walking where everyone walks more often, both as part of their everyday travel and for recreation and wellbeing.”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, said: “As a doctor, I recognise that taking part in physical activities like walking has a range of direct and indirect health benefits. Regular involvement in physical activity reduces your risk of type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia, among many other conditions.
“A few walks with friends or family would help take you a long way to meeting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. It also helps us to sleep better, control our diets, manage stress as well as getting us out and about and socialising with people.”
The Big Fit Walk is a national project developed initially by Falkirk Community Trust and a group of Grangemouth school children. Each year since then, thousands of people in many communities across Scotland have stepped out in a Big Fit Walk and discovered the benefits of a short, friendly walk.
Chief Officer of Paths for All, Ian Findlay, said, “The Big Fit Walk, has grown year-on-year and we’re delighted to have over 200 walks happening across Scotland this June. By encouraging and supporting more people to take their first small step towards enjoying physical activity, we want to help fight some of Scotland's most pressing health issues. The walks show people how easy and enjoyable it can be to get active and take people to brilliant places to walk in their local neighbourhoods, such as Strathclyde Country Park.
“We’d like to thank our health walk project, Get Walking Lanarkshire, who led today’s Big Fit Walk. They and groups like them across Scotland are vital in giving people the opportunity to walk together, get active and stay healthy.“
For more information visit Paths for All.