Stay active during the festive season

Although the festive season is feeling different this year, it’s still a good time to get outside. During these times of restrictions, it is important that we all try to stay active, for our physical health and mental wellbeing.

Some changes are underway across Fife to make essential travel and exercise safer during Covid-19. Fife Council is making improvements to paths and cycle ways throughout Fife. Some streets and spaces in towns and villages are being adapted to help with physical distancing and to make more space for queuing or passing each other.

These are temporary changes to protect public health whilst there is still a need for people to physically distance. We are creating safer, easier-to-use spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. Temporary measures include widened pavements, some re-allocations of road space, improvements to cycle tracks and temporary 20mph speed limits.

Cllr Altany Craik, Fife Council's Convener, Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee,  said: “We want more people in Fife to be able to walk and cycle safely. This will help to make the region more sustainable and ready for the future. By improving networks for pedestrians and cyclists, Fife Council is making local journeys easier. Active travel is great for the environment as well as helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Getting out for some fresh air is vital and we must all physically distance while outside. The temporary changes are in place to protect public safety. Each and every one of us continues to play a vital role in suppressing Covid-19 by sticking to the 2m distancing rule.”

Explore your local area Right now, there is no better time to start exploring your own backyard. If you are missing travel, try reconnecting with local history and nature. The increased support for local businesses is also important in reviving local economies. Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise and easily accessible. Go exploring! The holiday season is a great time to get outside and discover new walking paths or tracks.

Get on your bike! Cycling is great for leisure or a healthier, more environmentally friendly way of commuting. If you are new to cycling or want to build up your confidence, try biking around quiet streets or somewhere off-road, like a park, to begin with. Once you feel confident enough, you can start branching out to longer cycling routes.

Human power your travel - Activate your commute Consider making some changes once you get back to work. On your way to work, take the stairs rather than the lift, or walk or cycle rather than driving. Exercise can perk you up and improve sense of wellbeing during your day. Cycling, walking and running either to work or at weekends will clear your mind and create some positive headspace.

Get up, stand up With most of us being in sedentary jobs it’s never been more important to get active. Stand and stretch, rather than sit the whole way through meetings. This is just as important if you are taking part in online meetings while working from home. Even if you are not commuting at the moment, try adding a walk around the block, or other activity,  into your lunch or coffee break to improve both physical and mental wellbeing.

Fife has lots of open spaces, parks and paths that are easy to access for travel, pleasure and leisure close to home. To find out more about local walking and cycling paths visit: www.travelfife.com

For more information visit: http://www.fife.gov.uk/spaces-for-people

Things getting too much sometimes?
Visit https://clearyourhead.scot/tips for more tips to help you look after yourself and get through these uncertain times. With ideas about how to keep moving, create a routine, find things you enjoy and keep connected with friends and family - finding time for any of these will help to clear your head.

Meg Buchanan, Fife Council Active Communities Team, added: “We want to encourage everyone to become more active and enjoy the health benefits of physical activity, sport and leisure to both their physical and mental health. Fife has safely brought back organised sport and physical actvity over the last few months and offer a number of opportunties using both leisure facilites and our green space across Fife.” www.activefife.co.uk