Keeping the Olympic spirit
Scots are being urged to keep the Olympic spirit alive when the flame leaves Scotland today.
Over 400,000 Scots have lined the streets to see the flame tour Scotland’s communities and some of its most iconic landmarks over the last week.
The Scottish Government’s Physical Activity Champion Dr Andrew Murray, a sports and exercise doctor and North Pole marathon champion - who was an Olympic Torchbearer in Edinburgh today - says it is the perfect time to take up new activities to keep fit, healthy and happy.
Dr Murray said: “Getting more people active is a key ambition for the Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“Not a lot of people realise the scale of the benefits from activity - people active for at least 30 minutes five times a week live around seven years longer. And the good news is that everything counts, so building a bit of walking, cycling, gardening, or anything that raises your heart rate, into everyday life is a ticket to a healthier life.
“The Games will inspire millions around the world to become Olympic heroes, so with all the facilities we enjoy in Scotland, why not try a new activity? Why not take up tennis, have a go at hockey or take a crack at cycling? I’d like to see everyone try to get a bit more active in the run up to the Olympics and see for themselves the difference it can make.
“Exercise provides more protection against death than any preventive medication known, and if we can limit our inactivity to 23 and a half hours a day, we’ll all be fitter, healthier and happier.”
Sport Minister Shona Robison said:
“The crowds that have come out to see the Olympic flame in communities around Scotland, and cheer on our Torchbearers, have been truly spectacular. Over 400,000 Scots have taken in the flame tour at some of our most beautiful settings and iconic places, putting Scotland on the world stage as a destination for tourism, culture, and a guaranteed warm welcome.
“The excitement will no doubt return when the Olympic flame comes back to Dumfries next week and during the eight Olympics football matches at Hampden in July. I want Scotland to be internationally recognised as an active society and increasing physical activity is one of the key Commonwealth Games legacies we want to leave – with the Olympics firing imaginations, there‘s never been a better time to start.”
The Scottish Government’s Take Life On campaign promotes the benefits of children participating in exercise every day. The initiative highlights simple steps parents can take to help their children get active and achieve health benefits as a result. For more information See the Take Life On website
Currently, 39 per cent of adults meet the minimum guidelines of 150 minutes activity, or 5 x 30 minutes exercise per week, up from the 2009 figure of 37 per cent. The minimum recommendations for school age children is they get a minimum of 60 minutes per day, and the proportion of children meeting this has gone up to 72 per cent.