Community

Cycling Scotland supports campaign to keep up active lockdown habits

26th August 2020    

Cycling Scotland supports the Scottish Government’s 'Clear Your Head' campaign to help people look after their mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The benefits of staying active as restrictions ease have been highlighted, as new research shows worry about the coronavirus situation has risen amongst Scots.

A new phase of the Scottish Government's national 'Clear Your Head' campaign launched on 20 August 2020 to help people look after their mental health, as research shows seven in ten people in Scotland (71 per cent) are worried about the coronavirus situation, the highest level seen since mid-June1 (59 per cent).

The latest phase of the campaign is encouraging people to keep up any new habits they may have started during the pandemic. It also highlights how making time to get active and do one thing, however big or small, can help people feel calmer and boost mood.

The website – clearyourhead.scot – gives practical tips and ideas on how to stay active and feel the benefits, including:

  • Build being active into your day by stretching, working out, walking or cycling
  • Be realistic about what’s achievable, start small and build up over time
  • Do something you enjoy, mixing things up to help make it interesting
  • Make it sociable, turning being active into a chance to catch up with people

"Cycling is a great way of clearing your head"

Cycling Scotland was invited to support the campaign, with our Chief Executive, Keith Irving saying: "cycling is great for your physical and mental health. Many more people were on their bikes during lockdown and we heard from so many how much of a difference cycling was making to their mental health, enjoying cleaner air, quieter roads and reducing feelings of stress.

“As we battle against Covid-19 and move through different phases, everyday physical activity is more important than ever to look after our physical and mental health. Whether it’s a bike ride at lunchtime, when you go to the shops or at the weekend with people in your household, cycling can really help you fit physical activity into the daily juggle.

“Workplaces, campuses, schools and social housing providers can play their part by working with Cycling Scotland and partners to provide cycle parking and make bikes available to more people. Everyone can help support each other through this terrible pandemic and cycling is a great way of clearing your head.” 

"A walk can often help"

Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer at Paths for All, said: "Walking is an easy way to reduce stress and anxiety and feel good in body and mind.  Just a 30-minute daily walk is one of the best ways to look after your physical and mental health and, as it’s something we can do from our own front door.

"We've been gathering stories documenting how life-changing walking during lockdown has been for many. We've spoken to people whose anxiety has melted away thanks to walking. People living alone used walks to see others safely, and feel connected to their communities. Some used walking to have fun as a family, while others walked to relieve stress and enjoy some time away from desks and busy homes.  We've genuinely discovered that whatever your situation - a walk can often help."