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How to stay safe, healthy and happy during the Step Count Challenge

We believe regular walking is key to helping you lead a happy and healthy life. With the outbreak of Covid-19 this year, many of us have adapted our regular routines and activities. But it is as important as ever that we do what we can to look after our physical and mental wellbeing. Making regular walking a part of your daily routine is one way we can do this.

Published: 09/10/2020

This blog post was last updated on 9 October 2020. For our most up to date advice on Covid-19 in line with the NHS and Scottish Government recommendations click here.

We believe regular walking is key to helping you lead a happy and healthy life. With the outbreak of Covid-19 this year, many of us have adapted our regular routines and activities. But it is as important as ever that we do what we can to look after our physical and mental wellbeing. Making regular walking a part of your daily routine is one way we can do this.

What you can do

Morning walks, lunchtime walks, afternoon walks, evening walks. 

During the pandemic, a daily walk has been up there with one of the main things we’re able to do. It is recognised as a safe, healthy and enjoyable activity that everyone can do. Our Step Count Challenge is here to support you to walk more and enjoy the benefits.

What you can’t do

Our Step Count Challenge is all about the team element. Getting to know your colleagues a bit better, enjoying spending time outdoors with them rather than in your usual workplace environments, and being one another’s motivation to walk that bit further.

Under current Scottish Government guidelines, you can walk outdoors with one other household only, up to a maximum of 6 people. For most of us, this will mean that we cannot enjoy a walk with our whole team. 

But this doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected. Try walking phone calls with your team, or find ways of sharing pictures and highlights from your walk like via a WhatsApp group. 

Our advice for walking during social distancing

Stay safe

  • Leave plenty of space - at least 2 metres - when passing others. This courtesy may mean stepping onto verges, slowing down or waiting at a wider part of a path or pavement to let others pass.
  • Try to stay local. However, you can travel for exercise, recreation and to meet friends and family outdoors. You should walk, wheel or cycle where possible when travelling.
  • Wash your hands before you leave and when you return home.
  • Try to avoid touching gates and fences if you can. If you do, don’t touch your face, and wash your hands as soon as you can afterwards.

Be smart

  • You should avoid crowded places where physical distancing may be difficult
  • If you are walking close by or in farmland, remember that farm work is essential and farmers will be using gates and infrastructure for work purposes. Keep a safe distance especially around livestock.

Be Kind

  • Respect other path users and give older people and people with poor mobility, visually impaired and people in wheelchairs priority
  • Take your litter with you

In this together

Make a short walk an important part of your daily routine. Whether you’re used to walking regularly, or haven’t walked in a while, a local walk for exercise is an important way we can all maintain good health and wellbeing.

Fresh air and being outdoors is not only positive for your physical health, but it can help to reduce any stress, anxiety or other mental health conditions. 

Now is a time for personal and collective resilience and staying active, hopefully outdoors, but also indoors, is key to us staying healthy and well. Encourage others in your household, or friends and family you’re keeping in touch with to do the same.