Physical activity is having a hugely beneficial impact on people’s well-being during the pandemic, a survey backed by Sir Chris Hoy has suggested.
The research is lighter fuel for a nationwide campaign which hopes to encourage more people to get more active during this challenging time.
Of the 194 Aberdonians who took part in the online questionnaire, 59% said being active throughout the pandemic had a positive impact on their wellbeing.
More than 80% said being active brought them outside more fresh air. And 47% said being active helped them to relax and switch off from the daily pressures of lockdown.
Olympic gold medal winner Sir Chris Hoy says the new nationwide campaign, Feel Your Personal Best, is not about clocking steps.
Just a little exercise is enough
He says: “This is about people finding their own way to get moving.
“Physical activity is central to good mental health, and small changes – like a daily walk with a friend – can be transformational.
“The activity doesn’t need to be strenuous to be effective.”
It comes as leisure centre bosses in the north and north east say membership numbers at local authority-run leisure centres have remained buoyant during the pandemic.
In November, High Life Highland, the charity which runs leisure centres at at arms length for Highland Council, secured £37,404 from the National Lottery to boost gym equipment at Inverness Leisure Centre.
Motivating strength of new campaign
SAMH chief executive Billy Watson said: “We hope this new campaign will inspire even more people to get moving for their mental health.”
Stewart Harris, Sportscotland chief executive, said: “Clearly everyone in Scotland and beyond has experienced very difficult circumstances over the past 15 months.
“Looking after our own physical and mental wellbeing has been challenging during that time but with the success of the vaccination programme there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Keeping the body and mind active is crucial to our overall health and we hope the Feel Your Personal Best campaign will give people across Scotland a platform to get out and do whatever sport or physical activity helps them to feel better.”
Organisers hope people will use the hashtag #FeelYourPersonalBest to share their experiences of using physical activity to feel better.