More important than ever to look after ourselves, says walking charity

Scotland’s walking charity is urging the public to stay active and take a walk every day amidst the Coronavirus outbreak.

Paths for All says it’s more important than ever that people who feel well should walk alone or with those they live with to protect their physical and mental health.

Exercising once a day is one of only four reasons why people are allowed to leave their home. The charity believes that those not experiencing symptoms and not in the high-risk groups should go out for short, local walks as long as they minimise social contact.

Paths for All has also launched new online guidance and links to resources which can help people stay active indoors, connect with nature outside and encourage those working from home to move more.

More important than ever to look after ourselves, says walking charity
Ian Findlay

Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer at Paths for All, said:

“Now more than ever it’s important for people to look after their physical and mental health.

“Fresh air, being outdoors and connecting with nature is not only positive for your physical health, but it can help your mental health by improving your mood and reducing stress and anxiety. We believe it’s important for people to continue to enjoy short, local walks provided you are well and where it’s safe and appropriate to do so.

“The official advice is to stay local. Choose routes right from your own front door if you can, to avoid non-essential travel. You should try to visit places you know will be quiet, away from hotspots, and remember to keep a distance of at least two metres from other people.

“If you are unable to go outside for a walk, then there are many ways you can keep moving at home. Browse online for demonstration videos and resources and remember to take regular breaks from sitting down to get up and move around.”

Walking provides many benefits, including increased fitness and enhanced mood on top of reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, dementia and diabetes.

The charity’s campaigns and events showcase how walking can bring significant benefits to the nation’s health and environment, aiming to encourage everyone in Scotland to walk every day and everywhere.

Paths for All works with Scottish Government and 30 partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other ‘active travel’ initiatives.

For more information on Paths for All, visit: