According to a YouGov opinion survey, 61 per cent of Scots say they walk more now than they did before the Coronavirus restrictions came into place, the highest of any other region.
We very much welcome these findings and believe that now is the perfect time to experience the physical and mental benefits of a simple walk.
This week, we marked Mental Health Awareness Week by launching a new podcast episode that helps people unwind while they walk.
Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer at Paths for All said:
Walking has never held such importance to our physical – and in particular – our mental health, so it is great to see walking becoming more popular.
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 and, 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’ve 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 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 at SAMH, said:
We know that participating in 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 are making 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 wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic, with other activities such as household chores, appreciating nature or getting outside and relaxation techniques also playing a big impact.
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is running from 18-24 May 2020 with this year’s theme being kindness.
Listen to our Mind to Walk podcast here.
To read advice on walking during periods of social distancing click here.