Walking Charity’s ‘step it up’ strategy aims to improve life in Lanarkshire

The charity Paths for All has launched its ‘Step it up’ strategy with the aim of tackling physical inactivity, poor mental wellbeing, health and transport inequalities and the climate emergency.

The pandemic has caused immense upheaval and uncertainty and the charity believes it is possible to learn from the past 18 months and speed things up by building back and recovering better.

The strategy puts walking and physical activity at the heart of the response to some of the biggest problems in Scotland today.

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Kevin Lafferty, chief executive of Paths for All, said: “Our new strategy sets a clear direction for the future of all of Scotland.

“We sincerely believe that walking is unbeatable for our physical, mental and social health and well-being.

“It helps us make friends, feel fitter, improves our concentration, helps us sleep better, and boosts our immune system to protect us against viruses.

“It’s mother nature’s best medicine and best of all it’s free. Walking helps us relax, unwind and connect with nature and our surroundings.

“This is arguably the best buy in public and planetary health today and now is the time to step things up.”

The initiative has been structured around the four key objectives of the WHO Global Action Plan for Physical Activity, which aims to promote walking, whether on foot, with a wheelchair or with a mobility aid. as the natural choice to improve health, tackle inequalities and respond to climate change.

Kevin added: “We have all been on our own journey over the past two years.

“We see that the pandemic has had a polarizing effect. For many, walking and active travel have always been an anchor for our physical and mental health. But unfortunately, many Scots are becoming increasingly sedentary and face increasing barriers to an active lifestyle.

“We will seek to create environments where everyone has the opportunity to be active, whether for leisurely walks or a short daily commute like commuting to the shops, school or work.

“Making these changes will improve the nation’s health and well-being, while leaving the car at home more often will reduce carbon emissions and do our part to protect the planet.”

Paths for All continues to work to strengthen leadership, partnerships and policy to make Scotland a nation that walks through data collection, research and evaluation of walking and change programs. behaviour.

Maree Todd, Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, said: “The launch of Path’s for All new strategy is welcome. Walking is an effective and accessible way to improve physical, mental and social well-being.

“Everyone in Scotland should have equal access to inclusive environments where they can walk, ride and be active.

“We’ve seen huge numbers of people embracing the outdoors and looking for innovative ways to stay active throughout the pandemic, with walking being one of the few constants.

“It’s important that communities keep this momentum going to help us achieve our aspirations to become a more active, healthier and greener nation as we transition to a new way of life.”

For more information on Paths for All visit: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/

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