New Health Walk map launched

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Paths for All has launched a new map of over 500 Health Walks to get people active, with the help of Walk It Borders.

We have trained and supported an impressive 9000 volunteers to lead these walks in communities across Scotland. The walks are low – level, safe, and social, and are aimed at people looking to get more active.

Short and safe community walks

The online map plots the details of the free walks, which usually last 30 to 60 minutes. The 500 walks are well spread across the mainland and islands with walks taking place in every local authority.

Ian Findlay, Chief Officer at Paths for All commented: “I would encourage anyone to go along to their local Health Walk and reap the benefits from taking part. With 85% of the population living within 2 kilometres of a Health Walk, they are a hugely accessible and fun way to build some physical activity into your week.

“Our walkers who join these walks don’t only experience the physical benefits to their health such as weight loss or increased mobility, but they also find walking in groups improves their mood and makes them feel better connected to their communities.

“I would also encourage health professionals to use our new map to refer patients or clients who could benefit from getting more active.”

Physical inactivity costs economy £91 million each year

Physical inactivity is a huge burden upon the people of Scotland, adding up to nearly 2500 deaths each year.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said “Paths for All’s new online Health Walk map supports our aim to create a culture where everyone walks more often, both as part of their everyday travel and for recreation and wellbeing.

“Everyday walking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your physical and mental health, and is an easy and enjoyable way to help you meet the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. The addition of over 500 volunteer led Health Walks across Scotland is a great way to encourage that.”

Reduce your risk

Walking for 30 minutes can reduce the risk of several serious health conditions including heart attack, stroke and certain cancers.

Isobel, a member of the Peebles Health Walk run by Walk It Borders explains why she loves taking part in her local walk: “I’ve met all sorts of interesting people since joining the walk. It’s a very inclusive group where everyone is welcome, and lots of new friendships have been made here.

“The Walk Leaders are just super which I’m sure is why the walks are so successful.”

Supporting long term conditions

Paths for All has also developed dementia friendly and cancer friendly walks to support people living with dementia and cancer to get more active in a safe and welcoming environment.

To view the Health Walk map go to: www.pathsforall.org.uk/healthwalkfinder

© 2014 Paths for All - Registered Scottish Charity No: SC025535, Company Limited by Guarantee No: 168554 inc. 19 Sept 1996 at Companies House, Edinburgh