The online information includes a 12-week walking plan

The online information includes a 12-week walking plan

The Ramblers in Scotland are challenging their nation to make a profound cultural change and take to their feet.

The charity is today launching a campaign to persuade everyone to take at least 30 minutes activity five times a week.

And the group has produced an online walk plan that the public can use to keep track of a 12-week regime which, the Ramblers said, can boost the health of Scots in the run up to the Commonwealth Games next year.

The Ramblers said the Take 30 campaign supports the UK Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation that everyone should aim to take at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week. The move is endorsed by Dr Andrew Murray, the Scottish Government’s physical activity champion and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Jeannie Cranfield, Ramblers Scotland’s games legacy advisor said: “The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year provide an incredible opportunity to inspire people to be more active in their daily lives, but a profound cultural change is needed in Scotland if we are to improve the health of the nation.

“This is most easily done through spending more time walking and cycling for everyday journeys and for fun.

“We need to motivate people to get up from their desks and walk about, get outside over their lunch break, get off the bus a few stops early, park the car 30 minutes’ walk away from the office and get the bike out of the garage.

“As part of our Take 30 campaign we have developed a Take 30 guide to walking for health and wellbeing, to encourage more people to be more active in their daily lives.

“Walking is an excellent natural exercise that almost everyone can do, that costs nothing and helps us stay fit and healthy.

“This guide includes a 12-week individual walk programme to help anyone, wherever they live, to get started in increasing their physical activity levels.

“Everyone across Scotland should know they need to Take 30. This simple message can have a positive impact. We want to see the Take 30 message reinforced in health centres across the country, and people building physical activity into their everyday lives.”

Dr Andrew Murray said: “We know that physical inactivity costs the Scottish Economy about £660m and that getting people active can help to treat over 20 diseases.

“Around 75 per cent of people die now from preventable diseases, and walking can help treat the majority of them. Each step is a step to health.

“I’d urge everyone to look at this resource and if it’s for you, get on and use it.

“It’s providing a solution to a problem. Health professionals, including GPs, and practice nurses are increasingly aware that it’s almost always safe to get our patients to be more active and it’s significantly to their benefit.

“Everyone knows how to walk, it’s not difficult, and if we can get people walking regularly it will improve health and happiness.

“We as health care professionals need to be offering our patients the very best, and physical activity is a first line treatment for many conditions.”

An NHS Scotland physical activity pilot scheme to be launched today will see overweight and unfit patients who visit their GPs urged to take more exercise as the NHS work to improve patient health and tackle inactivity and obesity in Scotland.

A report last year in The Lancet suggested16 per cent of the UK population dies due to lack of physical activity.

An estimated 72 per cent of women and 59 per cent of men are not active enough for health, making physical inactivity the most common risk factor for coronary heart disease, more than obesity and smoking.

The activity plan and other resources, which can be used by those in Scotland and outside the nation, are on the Ramblers’ Take 30 website.

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