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Time for a big walk in the Highlands

By Tom Ramage

Highlanders are being encouraged to get outside and get walking this month, now Scotland’s walking charity has launched the 16th annual Big Fit Walk.

The big fit walkers
The big fit walkers

Organised by Paths for All, the campaign will see the Highlands become more active over June as people of all ages and abilities are being asked to organise a 30-minute walk.

Friends, businesses, schools and community groups who organise a local walk will all be in with the chance of winning £150 to spend on a project of their choice - whether it’s taking volunteers on a day out to say thank you or buying new resources for their organisation.

Organisers just need to complete this form with the details of a walk and Paths for All will add each Big Fit Walk to their online map and enter it into the prize draw.

Anyone can organise a Big Fit Walk, said Ian Findlay, chief officer at Paths for All.

"This year’s theme, Bring a friend then make a few more, is intended to inspire people to become part of the walking community and join one of the 550 Health Walks that run all year round after the Big Fit Walk.

"It's all about bringing the people of the Highlands together to enjoy a walk in a fun and relaxed way.

“This year, we’d like the Big Fit Walk to be a way for everyone to sample how simple and enjoyable walking in a friendly group is and encourage everyone to walk regularly, for example by joining one of our weekly health walks.

“Walking is free, most people can do it and you don’t need any special equipment. Regular walking is still one of the best things you can do for your physical, mental and social health.

“If you love walking, why not introduce a friend to it this June? Everyone is welcome.”

The Big Fit Walk 2019 was launched by Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing at the start of the month.

Mr FitzPatrick said: “Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible ways for many people to be active.

“I encourage everyone to get involved this month and thereafter as this simple yet significant change to your lifestyle can completely transform your overall wellbeing.”

For locations of the 550 weekly Health Walks, visit www.pathsforall.org.uk/healthwalkfinder

For information, guidance, invites, posters and images, visit www.bigfitwalk.scot

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