A series of instructor-led health walks are now taking place around Aberdeenshire in a bid to boost local walking programmes.
Live Life Aberdeenshire, a business unit of Aberdeenshire Council, has teamed up with walking charity Paths for All to train 38 new Health Walk leaders who will lead community walks across different parts of the shire.
The new Health Walks will set off from various different leisure centres and include several different programmes for varying abilities.
Fit to Walk is a 20 minute walk with a warm up and cool down and finished with some strength and balance exercises, Walk Well is a walk lasting up to an hour, and Buggy Walks last up to an hour for parents with little ones in buggies.
Organised walks are now available in Turriff, Banff, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Stonehaven, Portlethen, Huntly, and Inverurie.
The new Health Walks provide an alternative to indoor exercise and are free and open to all regardless of age, ability or health status.
Following the recently completion of their training, the new walk leaders are embracing their role in helping people stay active during the pandemic.
Josephine Bruce is a leisure assistant who now leads the Health Walks from Turriff Sport Centre.
She said: “I have seen people’s confidence grow after coming out of isolation in lockdown and being nervous and unsure about starting exercise. The walks are very friendly and sociable. It’s amazing how a simple walk can bring so much support and encouragement to all ages and abilities.”
In many areas the walks have already begun and several of the participants have already been feeling the benefits.
“I was down and unmotivated during lockdown but now that these walks have started I’ve gotten my mojo back and feel so much better for it,” said one individual.
Another walker said: “It was the kick start I needed to get back into exercise and get out the house.”
Booking is essential and can be done on the Live Life Aberdeenshire website or by calling 01467 532929.