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Get active outdoors

Think of Scotland’s outdoors as an open-air gym that’s free to use, open 24/7 and right on your doorstep.

Parks, gardens, greenspaces, woodlands and local paths are ideal settings for a spot of green exercise. Perhaps you like to relax by taking a gentle stroll or by tidying up the garden. Maybe cycling to work starts the day on a high note or you look forward to evenings playing sport in the park.

Whatever pace you set yourself, being in the outdoors and getting active is great for your physical and mental health and well-being.

It’s recommended that adults do at least five 30-minute sessions of moderate exercise per week. For children, it’s at least 1 hour every day. Getting active outdoors could be an easy way for you to meet your target.

Learn about green exercise and its benefits.

Step to it

Parks and woods are a brilliant backdrop for your walk, cycle or jog. Soak up the surroundings and say hello to your neighbours as you get your daily dose of green exercise. You can probably reach your favourite local greenspace via a traffic-free route – so you can leave the car at home.

Active travel is another option if you struggle to set aside a specific time for outdoor exercise. Just choose to walk or cycle whenever you have to go somewhere and you’ll soon start to clock up the miles.

Discover your local path network today.

Join a Health Walk

You’re not alone if you find it easier to exercise regularly as part of a group. Hundreds of organised Health Walks take place across Scotland each week to help people get active outdoors together. You’ll have fun and make friends too.

Find a Health Walk near you on the Paths for All website.

Work out in a Green Gym

Ditch the dumbbells and pick up a pitchfork instead. TCV Scotland runs Green Gyms where you can stretch your muscles for the good of local greenspace. This is conservation work at its most rewarding: you’ll improve your strength and stamina, get some headspace to de-stress, and make a lasting difference to the environment too.

Go for gold!

Medal Routes is a Ramblers Scotland initiative to get people walking more. Scotland’s 700-plus Medal Routes are circular walks of varying lengths, which begin and end at a local ‘walking hub’. Find your nearest hub and go from the Bronze route (15 minutes to complete) to Silver (30 minutes) to Gold (60 minutes).

You can use the free Medal Routes app to find routes, collect virtual medals and challenge your friends on the leader board. You can set personal goals and monitor your progress towards them. Or go ahead and create your own walking routes to share with the Medal Routes community.

Get the Medal Routes app.

Find a group or event

Outdoor activities and events are a great way for adults and children to get active and enjoy the outdoors.

Groups and clubs across Scotland can help you to get into a range of outdoor activities from climbing and canoeing to hiking and biking. Other organisations run green exercise programmes that can help you to stay healthy or recover from ill health.

Find activities near you on the Active Scotland website.

Search for outdoor events across Scotland.

Use the Sport A–Z on the sportscotland website to find the governing body for any sport. You can then search the governing body’s website for clubs near you.