National Fitness Day 2017 : Getting active is easier than you think

By 21st September 2017News

Blog by Aileen Campbell – Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sport

I am proud to be supporting National Fitness Day in Scotland.

We know that increasing involvement in sport and physical activity improves health and wellbeing, leads to improved self-esteem and, at the elite level, gives us all something to cheer for as our sporting stars perform on the international stage.

Getting active has never been more important, and there are a huge number of options out there. From marathons to mass walks, dancing to diving, I truly believe there is a sport or physical activity out there for everyone – no matter how sporty (or not) you might think you are.

I played football as a schoolgirl and, when my ministerial diary allows, I go to my local rugby club in Biggar where the female squad there are more than happy to put me and a few like-minded mums through our paces.

It needn’t be that challenging of course. Even walking a short distance every day can have a wide range of benefits. That’s why the Scottish Government is involved in rolling out the Daily Mile initiative to workplaces and schools, encouraging everyone to put their best foot forward, and find out the difference that completing this short walk every day can make.

One of my priorities is to encourage more women and girls into sport and physical activity. Only last week I met with Scotland netball captain Claire Brownie to see some of the excellent work her and her teammates are doing to help girls deal with the body confidence issues that can lead them to stopping playing sport or exercising. This is a crucial issue, especially as we head into the Year of Young People in 2018.

It’s great, of course, to see people taking part in sport and physical activity regardless of age or gender. In my work as the Scottish Government’s Minister for Public Health and Sport, I’ve met everyone from Olympic gold medallists to those taking their first nervous steps away from the couch.

They all have the same story to tell – that getting active has changed their lives. And as National Fitness Day on September 27 will highlight, it could change yours too.