NHS Grampian is backing a new walking initiative in a bid to boost fitness across the region.
The health board is supporting the Medal Routes campaign – which features more than 30 locations across the North-east.
Covering Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray, each location has a start and finishing hub, and a gold, silver and bronze route representing 15, 30 and 60-minute walks.
New routes near NHS Grampian sites have now been unveiled to give staff, patients and visitors to hospital sites a convenient exercise option nearby. The initiative is open to all and NHS staff can also refer anyone, at any time, to join Medal Routes.
Last year NHS Grampian revealed 30% of the North-east population is obese, with 78% not eating enough fruit and vegetables, and 20% smoking.
Concerns were raised about the pressure this would put on health services in the future – caused by a population increase combined with more long-term health conditions like diabetes.
A spokesman for The Ramblers, which helped create the Medal Routes, said the initiative is a good way to incorporate exercise into your day.
He said: “Adults are encouraged to take part in 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week, children 60 minutes.
“Most people think physical activity means taking part in a sport, but there are lots of other ways to be physically active.
“One simple, affordable way of getting fitter is to go for a walk.
“This project is about using local knowledge to create local routes for local people on local paths, but visitors and tourists will be able to benefit from them too.”
An app to accompany the campaign tracks your location during each walk and gives feedback on calories burned and distance travelled. It also lets you create and share your own short walks with others and encourages you to set personal goals.
Routes can be found at ramblers.org.uk/go-walking